The Impact Platform

Author: Jefferson Pooley

Abstract: The Conversation—”academic rigour, journalistic flair”—is the leading example of a new, web-enabled mode of academic popularization: the impact platform. The nonprofit site’s unpaid scholar-writers, together with professional staff editors, produce dozens of short, image-filled dispatches every week day. In a crucial twist, each piece is released into the web with a Creative Commons license and the hope for widescale republication. There’s no grumbling about the Huffington Post and other aggregators stealing page views: The whole point is to spread the academic news to any and all takers, as long as the author and publication are credited. The “impact” in impact platform is a nod to the motivating source for The Conversation and its imitators: the policy-driven demand for “public impact” in the Anglophone university systems. It’s no accident that The Conversation started in Australia and has its second-biggest “edition,” by far, in the UK. Both countries have adopted controversial higher-ed ranking regimes that require academics and their departments to demonstrate—and quantify—public reach. The Conversation‘s reader tallies are a convenient way to show taxpayer “return on investment.” This explains the site’s array of funders, which tend to be universities, grant-making foundations, and national research councils. The “metric tide” dynamic that underwrites the enterprise may be questionable, but the upshot is a new stage for “translated” or born-public scholarship—for all of us, not just those laboring under the Research Excellence Framework regime. Cleanly written, synoptic research capsules are ricocheting around the web and getting read. It’s spillover from the neoliberal university, and drinkable all the same.

Citation: Pooley J. 2017. The Impact Platform. Humanities Commons. http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M65K8K

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Live Discussion on Open Access — Cultural Anthropology

Author: Grant Jun Otsuki

Abstract: These are the questions and comments from the March 20th, 2013, discussion on Open Access with SCA President Brad Weiss, and CA Editor Charles Piot.

Citation: Otsuki, Grant Jun. “Read the Transcript of our March 20th Live Discussion on Open Access.” SCA News, Cultural Anthropology website, March 21, 2013. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/151-read-the-transcript-of-our-march-20th-live-discussion-on-open-access

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Source: Live Discussion on Open Access — Cultural Anthropology

Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Author: Nora Almeida

Abstract: As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice. But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes. This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university. This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education—particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom. Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

Citation: Almeida, Nora. “Open Educational Resources and the Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity).” Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 1.1 (2017).

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A survey of current reproducibility practices in linguistics publications

Authors: Gawne, Lauren; Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L.; Kelly, Barbara; Heston, Tyler

Abstract: In order to move forward toward reproducible research in linguistics, we first need to know where we are now with regard to our practices for methodological clarity and data citation in publications. In this poster we share the results of a study of over 370 journal articles, dissertations, and grammars, which is taken as a sample of current practices in the field. The publications all come from a ten-year span. The journals were selected for broad coverage. Grammars included published grammars and dissertations written as grammars, with broad geographic coverage, both in terms of subject language and publisher or university.These publications are critiqued on the basis of transparency of data source, data collection methods, analysis, and storage. While we find examples of transparent reporting, most of the surveyed research does not include key metadata, methodological information, or citations that are resolvable to the data on which the analyses are based.

Citation: Gawne, Lauren; Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L.; Kelly, Barbara; Heston, Tyler.  (2017). “A survey of current reproducibility practices in linguistics publications.” Poster presented at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting, 5-9 January 2017, Austin TX.

 

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Research Data Services in Academic Libraries: Data Intensive Roles for the Future?

Authors: Carol Tenopir, Dane Hughes, Suzie Allard, Mike Frame, Ben Birch, Lynn Baird, Robert Sandusky, Madison Langseth, and Andrew Lundeen

 

Abstract: Objectives: The primary objectives of this study are to gauge the various levels of Research Data Service academic libraries provide based on demographic factors, gauging RDS growth since 2011, and what obstacles may prevent expansion or growth of services.Methods: Survey of academic institutions through stratified random sample of ACRL library directors across the U.S. and Canada. Frequencies and chi-square analysis were applied, with some responses grouped into broader categories for analysis.

Results: Minimal to no change for what services were offered between survey years, and interviews with library directors were conducted to help explain this lack of change.

Conclusion: Further analysis is forthcoming for a librarians study to help explain possible discrepancies in organizational objectives and librarian sentiments of RDS.

 

Citation: Tenopir, C, Hughes, D, Allard, S, Frame, M, Birch, B, Baird, L., Sandusky, R, Langseth, M, & Lundeen, A (2015) Research Data Services in Academic Libraries: Data Intensive Roles for the FutureJournal of eScience Librarianship 4(2): e1085. http://dx.doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2015.1085

 

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