An Open Social Scholarship Path for the Humanities

Authors : Alyssa Arbuckle, Ray Siemens, Jon Bath, Constance Crompton, Laura Estill, Tanja Niemann, Jon Saklofkse, Lynne Siemens

Open digital scholarship is significant for facilitating public access to and engagement with research, and as a foundation for growing digital scholarly infrastructure around the world today and in the future. But the path to adopting open, digital scholarship on a national—never mind international—scale is challenged by several real, pragmatic issues. In this article, we consider these issues as well as proactive strategies for the realization of robust, inclusive, publicly engaged, open scholarship in digital form.

We draw on the INKE Partnership’s central goal of fostering open social scholarship (academic practice that enables the creation, dissemination, and engagement of open research by specialists and non-specialists in accessible and significant ways).

In doing so, we look to pursue more open, and more social, scholarly activities through knowledge mobilization, community training, public engagement, and policy recommendations in order to understand and address challenges facing digital scholarly communication.

We then provide tangible details, outlining how the INKE Partnership puts open social scholarship theory into practice, with an eye to a more open and engaged future.

URL : An Open Social Scholarship Path for the Humanities


Digital Humanities in European Research Libraries: Beyond Offering Digital Collections

Author : Lotte Wilms

Libraries are increasingly becoming involved in digital humanities research beyond the offering of digital collections. This article examines how libraries in Europe deal with this shift in activities and how they compare with libraries in other parts of the world.

This article builds on the results of surveys conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United States and the United Kingdom, and compares them with a survey conducted in Europe. We found that European libraries are mostly active in research supporting activities, such as digitisation and storage, while US libraries often include analysis in their activities.

Funding comes from the library’s main budget and non-structural funding in a variety of forms. Staff working in DH roles has a diverse range of titles, with various forms of librarians being the most used.

Analytical staff such as GIS specialists are only found in the US survey. All surveyed libraries agree that the biggest skill gap amongst their staff is in technical skills.

When looking towards the future, European libraries see the role of digital humanities (or digital scholarship) within the library grow and are making plans to facilitate this change within their organisation by positioning themselves as an attractive research partner, by opening and increasing their digital collections and by improving the internal workings of the library.

URL : Digital Humanities in European Research Libraries: Beyond Offering Digital Collections

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Collaboration, Consultation, or Transaction: Modes of Team Research in Humanities Scholarship and Strategies for Library Engagement

Authors : Megan Senseney, Eleanor Dickson Koehl, Leanne Nay

With the rise of digital scholarship, humanists are participating in increasingly complex research teams and partnerships, and academic libraries are developing innovative service models to meet their needs.

This paper explores modes of coworking in humanities research by synthesizing responses from two qualitative studies of research practices in the humanities and proposes a taxonomy of multiperson research that includes collaborative, consultative, and transactional research partnerships among scholars, graduate students, academic staff, and a range of other potential stakeholders.

Based on an analysis of humanities scholars’ self-described research behaviors, we provide recommendations for academic librarians who are developing and sustaining service models for digital scholarship.

URL : Collaboration, Consultation, or Transaction: Modes of Team Research in Humanities Scholarship and Strategies for Library Engagement


Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship

Author : Matthew D. Bunker

Fair use in copyright law is an enormously complex legal doctrine. Although much scholarly attention has been paid to fair use in the context of teaching — particularly in on-line education — relatively little research exists on the problem of fair use in scholarship.

This article analyzes reported federal cases on fair use in scholarly contexts, with a particular emphasis on the transformative use doctrine that has become enormously influential in fair use determinations.

The article explores insights from this body of case law that may assist future scholars wishing to fairly use copyrighted expression in their scholarship.

URL : Decoding Academic Fair Use: Transformative Use and the Fair Use Doctrine in Scholarship


Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us

Author : Cameron Neylon

The infrastructures that underpin scholarship and research, including repositories, curation systems, aggregators, indexes and standards, are public goods. Finding sustainability models to support them is a challenge due to free-loading, where someone who does not contribute to the support of an infrastructure nonetheless gains the benefit of it.

The work of Mancur Olson (1965) suggests that there are only three ways to address this for large groups: compelling all potential users, often through some form of taxation, to support the infrastructure; providing non-collective (club) goods to contributors that are created as a side-effect of providing the collective good; or implementing mechanisms that lower the effective number of participants in the negotiation (oligopoly).

In this paper, I use Olson’s framework to analyse existing scholarly infrastructures and proposals for the sustainability of new infrastructures. This approach provides some important insights.

First, it illustrates that the problems of sustainability are not merely ones of finance but of political economy, which means that focusing purely on financial sustainability in the absence of considering governance principles and community is the wrong approach.

The second key insight this approach yields is that the size of the community supported by an infrastructure is a critical parameter. Sustainability models will need to change over the life cycle of an infrastructure with the growth (or decline) of the community.

In both cases, identifying patterns for success and creating templates for governance and sustainability could be of significant value.

Overall, this analysis demonstrates a need to consider how communities, platforms, and finances interact and suggests that a political economic analysis has real value.

URL : Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us



Big data is not about size: when data transform scholarship

Authors : Jean-Christophe Plantin, Carl Lagoze, Paul N. Edwards, Christian Sandvig

“Big data” discussions typically focus on scale, i.e. the problems and potentials inherent in very large collections. Here, we argue that the most important consequences of “big data” for scholarship stem not from the increasing size of datasets, but instead from a loss of control over the sources of data.

The breakdown of the “control zone” due to the uncertain provenance of data has implications for data integrity, and can be disruptive to scholarship in multiple ways. A retrospective look at the introduction of larger datasets in weather forecasting and epidemiology shows that more data can at times be counter-productive, or destabilize already existing methods.

Based on these examples, we look at two implications of “big data” for scholarship: when the presence of large datasets transforms the traditional disciplinary structure of sciences, as well as the infrastructure for scholarly communication.


Les pratiques informationnelles des chercheurs à l’ère du numérique

Auteur/Author : Amal Jaouzi

Dans la présente étude, nous avons tenté d’analyser les modalités d’accès aux informations scientifiques et techniques, en particulier et aux publications scientifiques éditées par les grands éditeurs, en général.

Nous précisons que ladite analyse porte principalement sur les pratiques informationnelles des chercheurs issus des pays en voie de développement, notamment les enseignants-chercheurs et les doctorants marocains.

En effet, notre étude s’inscrit dans le domaine des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication dans la mesure où elle traite principalement les problématiques d’accès aux communications scientifiques.

Á ce titre, en vue d’apporter des éléments de réponse et d’explication aux questions de recherche que nous avons défini au début de cette étude, nous nous sommes entretenus avec vingt-et-un (21) chercheurs marocains issus de trois instituts d’enseignement supérieur : IAV, INPT et ESI, dont le domaine est respectivement, l’agronomie et la médecine vétérinaire ; les télécommunications et les sciences de l’information.

Il s’agit d’un entretien semi-directif guidé par une grille d’entretien. Par ailleurs, selon les résultats de l’enquête menée, l’accès aux informations scientifiques est problématique au Maroc.

Les chercheurs font appel à des pratiques contournées pour acquérir les articles scientifiques, notamment, l’utilisation de certains réseaux de partage tel que ResearchGate ou l’utilisation des sites de recensement des productions scientifiques de grands éditeurs, comme la plate-forme Sci-Hub ou Libgen.

Outre ces constats, nous avons tenté, par le biais de ce travail, de situer l’usage du hashtag #IcanhazPDF dans la démarche d’accès aux communications scientifiques. Par conséquent, nous avons constaté que ladite pratique demeure récente et méconnue dans le contexte marocain mais, à laquelle les chercheurs marocains ont porté un intérêt particulier et ont exprimé leurs volontés de l’utiliser et de la pratiquer.

La valeur ajoutée de ce travail est transversale dans le sens où il présente une analyse axée sur l’usage des productions scientifiques dans deux contextes différents : marocain et étranger -en particulier français- et dans le sens où il présente également l’étude d’une pratique nouvelle qui n’a pas été traitée par un grand nombre de chercheurs.

Nous évoquons, à ce niveau, la pratique de demande des articles scientifiques payants moyennant le hashtag #IcanhazPDF sur le réseau social Twitter.