Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

6) Policy Development, Implementation, and Analysis

Published onJan 14, 2023
6) Policy Development, Implementation, and Analysis
·

Open Scholarship Practices

+ Coonin, Bryna, and Leigh Younce. 2009. “Publishing in Open Access Journals in The Social Sciences and Humanities: Who’s Doing It and Why.” ACRL Fourteenth National Conference. http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/seattle/papers/85.pdf

Coonin and Younce survey 918 authors who published in open access humanities and social science journals in 2007 and 2008 in order to study the demographics and perceptions of open access. A total of 339 individuals responded to the survey. The respondents ranked peer review as the most important factor in choosing a journal, with reputation and suitability ranking second and third. The authors who published the most over the calendar year also published the most articles in open access journals. Approximately 15% of the respondents were unaware of open access publishing, and more than 50% saw open access journals as having less prestige. Further, article processing charges (APCs) often obstruct publication, as authors or their institutions are sometimes expected to levy fees to publish in open access journals, and these costs discourage many from seeking this type of publication venue. Overall, Coonin and Younce observe that the humanities and social sciences have been slower at integrating open access publishing than the scientific disciplines.

+ Gaines, Annie. 2015. “From Concerned to Cautiously Optimistic: Assessing Faculty Perception and Knowledge of Open Access in a Campus-Wide Study.” Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication 3 (1): 1–40. https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1212

Gaines argues that, while the academic community has a solid understanding of what open access is, very little research has gone into examining individuals’ impressions of open access publishing platforms. Gaines surveys faculty members at one university in hopes of gathering data to fill this information gap. A total of 240 surveys were administered, and 54 respondents (23%) returned completed surveys. The majority of these respondents were from the sciences. Overall, the respondents had very little practical knowledge about open access: most knew what it was, but could not differentiate between types of platforms. The respondents indicated that the three key motivations in choosing a publication venue were prestige, impact, and personal recommendations. They felt that open access journals were unreliable and did not hold as much academic value as more traditional journal publications. Policy is cited as a major roadblock, as many institutions do not have promotion and tenure guidelines that allow open access articles. Fear and misinformation resulted in a general lack of motivation to publish in open access spaces.

Larivière, Vincent, and Cassidy R. Sugimoto. 2018. “Do Authors Comply When Funders Enforce Open Access to Research?” Nature 562 (7728): 483–86. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-07101-w

Larivière and Sugimoto use bibliometric analysis to determine compliance rates with funding agencies’ open access policies. They argue that these policies have a strong effect on rates of open access publishing, particularly when open access is required rather than voluntary. Their findings show rates of compliance trending upwards overall since 2009, with wide variety in compliance rates across funding agencies, from near total compliance for the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust to about one-quarter compliance for Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). They note that funding agencies with lower rates of compliance tend to offer less infrastructure to support publishing open access, such as open repositories, and less enforcement. Although compliance rates vary across disciplines, variations within disciplines suggest this is due to funding agency policy rather than disciplinary conventions and norms as is often believed. The authors conclude that data about compliance should be openly available to facilitate more research in this area, and that stable funding and robust infrastructure, in addition to policy requiring open access, would help push open access forward.

MacCallum, Lindsey, Ann Barrett, Leah Vanderjagt, Amy Buckland, and Canadian Association of Research Libraries Open Repositories Working Group’s Task Group on Community Building and Engagement. 2020. “Advancing Open: Views from Scholarly Communications Practitioners.” https://www.carl-abrc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ORWG_report3_Advancing_open_EN.pdf

This report summarizes the discussion from an event hosted by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) called Advancing Open, an unconference-style event, held in May 2019, that gathered scholarly communication practitioners from across Canada to discuss the advancement of open scholarship in Canada. Intended as a foundational resource for initiating discussions about open scholarship, and contextualizing its discussion within relevant policies including those from the Tri-Agency, the report outlines the current state of open scholarship in Canada, the barriers facing it, and suggested strategies for moving forward. It addresses five focus areas: open scholarship policy, open technological infrastructure, open people: the human element, open outreach, and open workflows and operations. Its discussion of policy recognizes the significance of Plan S but notes that Canada currently lacks the infrastructure that aligning its national policy with it would require. It also notes that institutional policy is an important driver of open scholarship that must be paired with institutional support and leadership in order to produce the culture shift necessary for its successful implementation. The report concludes with recommendations that address the need for national-level digital infrastructure and funding, opportunities for community building and community-led initiatives and training, and ensuring that the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are foundational to the movement going forward.

+ O’Donnell, Daniel, Heather Hobma, Sandra Cowan, Gillian Ayers, Jessica Bay, Marinus Swanepoel, Wendy Merkley, Kelaine Devine, Emma Dering, and Inge Genee. 2015. “Aligning Open Access Publication with the Research and Teaching Missions of the Public University: The Case of the Lethbridge Journal Incubator (If ’if’s and ’and’s Were Pots and Pans).” Journal of Electronic Publishing 18 (3). http://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jep/3336451.0018.309?view=text;rgn=main

O’Donnell, Hobma, Cowan, Ayers, Bay, Swanepoel, Merkley, Devine, Dering, and Genee present a research mission summary for the group behind the Lethbridge Journal Incubator and detail how this project provides graduate students with early experience in scholarly publishing. The Lethbridge Journal Incubator trains graduate students in technical and managerial aspects of journal production under the supervision of scholar-editors and professional librarians. The project introduces students to the core elements of academic journal production workflows and provides training in copyediting, preparation of proofs, document encoding, and the use of standard journal production software. Using circle graphs, the authors demonstrate the significant increase in research time devoted to production tasks that improve research ability or knowledge. For O’Donnell et al., the key innovation of the Lethbridge Journal Incubator is its alignment of journal production sustainability with the educational and research missions of the university. The authors attribute the slow growth of open access to attitudes among those who pay for the production and dissemination of research. By unlocking the training and administrative support potential of the production process, the Lethbridge Journal Incubator promotes access within the University of Lethbridge.

+ San Martin, Patricia Silvana, Paola Carolina Bongiovani, Ana Casali, and Claudia Deco. 2015. “Study on Perspectives Regarding Deposit on Open Access Repositories in the Context of Public Universities in the Central-Eastern Region of Argentina.” Scholarly and Research Communication 6 (1). https://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/view/145/390

San Martin, Bongiovani, Casali, and Deco survey and present qualitative statistics on the needs and practices of disseminating scholarly work through open access institutional repositories in Argentina. Their findings address issues of usability, navigation, and accessibility across three institutional repositories at Argentinean universities. In an online survey conducted by the authors, 1,009 individuals from the three universities responded to their queries about using open access institutional repositories. Eighty-one percent of the respondents had a positive attitude toward freely disseminating their scholarly works. However, barriers of interface design, organization, terminology, and inconsistent metadata requirements prevented the use of the system. The authors propose a new prototype in order to help alleviate these issues.

+ Veletsianos, George. 2015b. “A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices.” Open Praxis 7 (3): 199–209. https://doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.7.3.206

Veletsianos addresses the extent of enactment of open scholarship in institutions that lack a formal infrastructure to support such research. This is carried out through a case study on Tall Mountain University––a public, not-for-profit North American institution––specifically by working with faculty members. According to the case study, there are a number of ways in which open scholarship is carried out, with certain practices being favoured over others; some examples include open access manuscripts and educational resources, social media, and open teaching/pedagogy. Another finding is that some faculty members publish their materials openly on the Internet without attaching open licenses, and that the settings of the platform, as well as the institutional protocol, also affect the extent to which the material is accessible. Despite these findings, Veletsianos states that open scholarship is still a relatively narrow practice at the institution. The author outlines possible limitations of the research, such as open practices that may not have been revealed in the case study and possible limitations of Google Scholar (the search engine used for this research) that may prevent the study from being exhaustive. The study is also descriptive and does not address the motivations behind practicing open scholarship.

+ Zheng, Ye, and Yu Li. 2015. “University Faculty Awareness and Attitudes towards Open Access Publishing and the Institutional Repository: A Case Study.” Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication 3 (1): 1–29. https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1210

Zheng and Li study the awareness of Texas A&M University (TAMU) faculty regarding open access publishing. The authors assess their attitudes toward and willingness to contribute to institutional repositories and investigate their perceptions of newer open access trends and resources. The survey results suggest that tenured faculty have a higher engagement rate with open access journals in their fields. A lack of awareness, however, surrounds processes to deposit materials in institutional repositories: 84% of respondents did not know the institutional repository deposit process at all. Similarly, a quarter of the respondents indicated that they did not know enough about open access to form an opinion on institutional repositories and could not see depositing their work as counting toward merit raises, tenure and promotion, or annual evaluation. Attitudes remain the greatest barrier toward increasing open access publication in academic settings.


Institutional Policy and its Implementation

¤ Alperin, Juan Pablo, Carol Muñoz Nieves, Lesley Schimanski, Gustavo E. Fischman, Meredith T. Niles, and Erin C. McKiernan. 2018. “How Significant Are the Public Dimensions of Faculty Work in Review, Promotion, and Tenure Documents?” ELife 8 (February): e42254. https://doi.org/10.17613/M6W950N35

Alperin, Muñoz Nieves, Schimanski, Fischman, Niles, and McKiernan study how concepts of publicness and community engagement are represented in institutional review, promotion, and tenure guidelines and adjudication. The authors conclude that although these values are often touted by the university, they are sequestered to service considerations in the actual adjudication of faculty. Since service is already broadly considered as less important than research and teaching, the public aspects of one’s academic work are not valued as highly as research impact. Alperin et al. conclude that universities should consider how their civic missions could be better undertaken if faculty were rewarded for more open and/or more publicly engaged work.

+ Ayris, Paul, Erica McLaren, Martin Moyle, Catherine Sharp, and Lara Speicher. 2014. “Open Access in UCL: A New Paradigm for London’s Global University in Research Support.” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 45 (4): 282–95.

Ayris, McLaren, Moyle, Sharp, and Speicher address the benefits and challenges of open access publishing for a research university. While open access publishing provides an unprecedented opportunity for scholars to disseminate their research globally, it also presents numerous barriers for institutions, such as funding start-up costs, balancing roles, and measuring success. The authors provide insight on how to overcome these challenges from their positions as employees of the University College London (UCL). Ayris et al. argue that the popular discourse that discourages open access, or presents it in a negative light, is often factually incorrect. They provide evidence that free publications from University College London are widely disseminated, financially viable, and of outstanding quality. The authors assert that open access is an opportunity, not a threat, to research universities. By developing open access policies, constructing open access repositories, and establishing a gold standard open access press, universities can reap the rewards of open access publishing.

Gibson, Cynthia. 2009. “Research Universities and Engaged Scholarship: A Leadership Agenda for Renewing the Civic Mission of Higher Education.” Campus Compact (blog). Accessed March 2, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20170523222137/https:/compact.org/resource-posts/research-universities-and-engaged-scholarship-a-leadership-agenda-for-renewing-the-civic-mission-of-higher-education/

Gibson presents a statement on engaged scholarship developed by a group of scholar-practitioners at a gathering hosted by Campus Compact and Tufts University in October 2005. At the time of the gathering, engaged scholarship was primarily driven in the United States by liberal arts and community colleges, and the statement calls for research universities to support and advance the engaged scholarship movement as a way of fulfilling their public missions. The statement defines engaged scholarship as interdisciplinary research applied to solving complex, real-world problems. It cites several benefits for research universities, including meeting funding requirements that increasingly emphasize community engagement, retaining the interest of civic-minded students, and demonstrating universities’ value within their wider communities. It also discusses barriers faced by scholar-practitioners, including disciplinary silos, disconnects between universities and their communities, and a lack of understanding and support from institutions and scholarly communities. Because engaged scholarship is collaborative, interdisciplinary, participatory, and applied, it is sometimes seen as having less value than more traditional forms of scholarship, such as in tenure and promotion reviews. Gibson concludes with some actions university researchers can take to promote engaged scholarship, including working with university leadership, training graduate students, and developing policies, standards, and publishing infrastructures to support this form of scholarship.

* Glass, Chris R., and Hiram E. Fitzgerald. 2010. “Engaged Scholarship: Historical Roots, Contemporary Challenges.” In Institutional Change (vol. 1), edited by Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Cathy Burack, and Sarena D. Seifer, 9–24. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

Glass and Fitzgerald acknowledge the historical context for the growth of engaged scholarship, specifically in the United States. They argue that the research productivity became the priority for academic growth at American academic institutions, overlooking the civic and social purpose of the universities. Based on Ernest Boyer’s model of scholarship, Glass and Fitzgerald’s discussion presents some characteristics, principles, and challenges for more engaged universities, as well as proposals for measurement and assessment of the engagement. They conclude that the ongoing discussion of how to integrate engagement in academic structures is reinvigorating the democratic purposes of higher education.

Huang, Chun-Kai (Karl), Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Lucy Montgomery, Katie S Wilson, Alkim Ozaygen, and Chloe Brookes-Kenworthy. 2020. “Evaluating the Impact of Open Access Policies on Research Institutions.” ELife 9 (September): e57067. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57067

Huang et al. conducted an institution-level analysis of open access publishing at research-intensive universities around the world to determine whether open access policies have noticeable effects. They gathered data from several databases about open access articles published in 2017, then calculated the percentage of open access publications relative to total publications at each of the 2,107 universities represented. The percentage was tracked over time against policy changes, such as the implementation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the United Kingdom in 2015. This method revealed the effect of policy changes on open access publishing, especially in the United Kingdom, where policies mandating open access and funding increases are associated with a noticeable increase in open access publication, particularly through repository-mediated green open access. However, levels of gold open access publication peak at around 40% across the sample of universities. The authors note several challenges to achieving 100% open access, including disciplinary conventions. In the humanities, for instance, its emphasis on books makes achieving total open access difficult. They also conclude that policies that are monitored for compliance and sanction non-compliance show the greatest effect on open access publication rates.

Narayan, Bhuva, and Edward Luca. “Issues and Challenges in Researchers’ Adoption of Open Access and Institutional Repositories: A Contextual Study of a University Repository.” Proceedings of RAILS—Research Applications, Information and Library Studies Information Research 22 (4). http://informationr.net/ir/22-4/rails/rails1608.html

Narayan and Luca share findings related to use of the institutional repository at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and highlight concerns about open access and information literacy. To understand why the institutional repository was under-utilized, they conducted a user interface (UI) study. Based on this study, redesign focussed specifically on removing unnecessary metadata and making browsing for discipline-related work easier. The interviews, however, highlighted issues that could not be fixed with a better user interface. Researchers expressed concern about predatory open access publishers, were not aware of their author rights, or simply did not understand the value of open access publishing; if they shared their work at all they preferred academic social media websites or discipline-specific repositories. Narayan and Luca conclude with suggestions for improving information literacy such as workshops and greater collaboration with librarians.

¤ Niles, Meredith T., Lesley A. Schimanski, Erin C. McKiernan, and Juan Pablo Alperin. 2020. “Why We Publish Where We Do: Faculty Publishing Values and Their Relationship to Review, Promotion and Tenure Expectations.” Edited by Sergio A. Useche. PLoS ONE 15 (3): e0228914. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228914

Niles, Schimanski, McKiernan, and Alperin focus on the gap between what faculty express as their own publishing values and what they assume their colleagues’ values are. They demonstrate that although faculty suggest their own publishing values are community-oriented (e.g., they are concerned with relevant journals, audience reach, and open access), faculty also believe their colleagues to value journal prestige and impact more. Such an outcome pushes against the widely held notion that tenure and promotion depends on so-called status” publishing. Niles et al. recommend that the disconnect between values and behaviour should be addressed through providing platforms and mechanisms for faculty to publish according to their stated values.

Odell, Jere, Heather Coates, and Kristi Palmer. 2016. “Rewarding Open Access Scholarship in Promotion and Tenure: Driving Institutional Change.” College & Research Library News (August): 322–25. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/10343/322.full.pdf

Odell, Coates, and Palmer describe changes to institutional review, promotion, and tenure guidelines at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) driven by faculty librarians. They argue that because lack of recognition for open access publishing is a significant barrier for many faculty members, advancing open access requires changing institutional culture and infrastructure so that it is rewarded. Librarians, who have faculty status at IUPUI, promoted and supported open access from the top down, such as by contributing to the university’s strategic plan, and from the bottom up, such as by offering publication metrics workshops for faculty. The authors conclude that this approach was successful because it built upon the librarians’ expertise and roles as trusted service providers, noting that their approach can serve as a model for other institutions to change their own tenure and promotion guidelines.

Robinson-Garcia, Nicolas, Rodrigo Costas, and Thed N. van Leeuwen. 2020. “Open Access Uptake by Universities Worldwide.” PeerJ 8 (July): e9410. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9410

Robinson-Garcia, Costas, and van Leeuwen use bibliometric analysis to determine the share of research outputs published open access worldwide at the institutional level. Noting that indicators for measuring the impact of open science policies are essential, this study provides a model for analyzing publication data at this level of granularity that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of policy at various levels and offers a descriptive overview of institutional and national open access practices. Using the list of universities from the 2019 Leiden Rankings and its disciplinary categories, the authors collected publication data for all of each university’s publications from Web of Science and cross-referenced it against Unpaywall to gather information about its open access status and type. Notably, because this dataset includes publications with digital object identifiers (DOIs) only, social science and humanities publications are likely underrepresented. The authors found that, of the more than 4.6 million publications examined, about 41% were open access. Most were green open access, followed by gold, bronze, and hybrid. The shares of research published open access varied widely between countries and between institutions within a country. There was some evidence of the impact of open access policies, such as United Kingdom universities having the highest percentage of open access publications overall, likely the result of its Research Evaluation Framework (REF) and related policies, and the precedence of gold open access over green open access in Brazilian universities, likely the result of that country’s SciELO program. By describing the prevalence of open access in institutions around the world and presenting a method for analyzing this data, this study lays the groundwork for future investigations.

Shuttleworth, Kate, Kevin Stranack, and Alison Moore. 2019. “Course Journals: Leveraging Library Publishing to Engage Students at the Intersection of Open Pedagogy, Scholarly Communications, and Information Literacy.” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 14 (2). https://doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v14i2.5339

Shuttleworth, Stranack, and Moore discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in the development of course journals as an open pedagogical strategy for teaching information literacy. They present a case study based on course journals developed at Simon Fraser University (SFU) through partnerships between faculty and the SFU Library’s Digital Publishing program and discuss two course journal models. In model 1, students write, peer-review, and publish their own work in a course journal, with the instructor acting as the journal editor. In model 2, students design, edit, and produce a course journal, inviting contributions from outside of the course. In both cases, students learn about scholarly communication, including issues related to access and licencing, in addition to developing content knowledge and writing and editing skills. The authors argue that this kind of experiential learning increases student engagement and helps integrate information literary and library publishing programs into the classroom in meaningful ways.


National and International Policy and its Implementation

+ Kingsley, Danny. 2013. “Build It and They Will Come? Support for Open Access in Australia.” Scholarly and Research Communication 4 (1). http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/viewFile/39/121

Kingsley reflects on Australia’s adoption and support of open access policies over the last decade. He pays particular attention to the building of open access infrastructure, repositories, mandates, and funding bodies—and provides a full history of Australia’s Open Access movement. Kingsley uses the collected citation information as a test case for exploring the effectiveness and efficiency of open access publication. Finally, he concludes by providing some suggestions for improvement. Kingsley argues that developing an open access advocacy body, altering and updating the language of the current mandates, and introducing requirements for using open access platforms could help move Australia into the next phase of adopting this movement.

+ Milakovich, Michael E. 2012. Digital Governance: New Technologies for Improving Public Service and Participation. New York: Routledge.

Milakovich studies the application of digital information and communication technologies and their role in reforming governmental structures, politics, and public administration. He notes that governments are transitioning from electronic government to digital governance, which emphasizes citizen participation and the accessibility of information technology. Organizational bodies have shifted from bureaucracy-centred to customer-centric service operation in order to restore public trust in both governing and corporate bodies. Milakovich contributes several chapters to the social implications of virtual learning, methods of applying digital technologies to governance, and a discussion of global attitudes and patterns toward digital governance in the international community.

¤ Morrison, Heather, Leslie Chan, Michael Geist, Stevan Harnad, Christian Vandendorpe, Olivier Charbonneau, Andrew Feenberg, et al. 2010. “Require Open Access to Results of Research Funded by Canadian Taxpayer.” https://web.archive.org/web/20190708183249/http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/028.nsf/eng/00352.html

Morrison, Chan, Charbonneau, Feenberg, Geist, Harnad, Mitchell, Ouellette, Smith, Taylor, Trosow, Vandendorpe, and Waller recommend that the Canadian government adopt a policy that requires open access to research output in Canada. They argue that a coordinated approach to open access would lead to widespread knowledge transfer across sectors. The primary goal of this report is to suggest that all funded research should be required to be deposited in institutional repositories—a common recommendation from open access advocates due to the opportunities that a network of repositories might offer, including global interconnectivity and freedom from corporate control. Morrison et al. outline five key points in their recommendation: fairness (taxpayers have a right to read the research they fund); international ranking (other countries’ open access positions are more developed than Canada’s); ease of implementation (many open access repositories are available already); scholarly interest (Canadian open access initiatives already exist); and global citizenship (the state of academic publishing in Canada requires evolution in order to compete and contribute internationally). Overall, the authors emphasize the necessity of mandating open access instead of merely encouraging or requesting it.

¤ Nkoudou, Thomas Herve Mboa. 2020. “Epistemic Alienation in African Scholarly Communications: Open Access as a Pharmakon.” In Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Politics, and Global Politics of Open Access, edited by Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray, 25–40. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11885.003.0006

Nkoudou considers how the Open Access movement has played out on the African continent, with specific focus on sub-Saharan countries. He argues that open access is not necessarily an unfettered good in these regions, unlike the popular social good/equalizing/emancipatory qualities many open access advocates have claimed for years. Rather, Nkoudou suggests, open access has increased access to Western research and heralded in profit-making strategies like article processing charges that have further excluded researchers outside of North American and European contexts. He concludes that in order to redesign open access to truly benefit all, researchers need to emphasize epistemic justice and a decolonial approach to knowledge production and sharing.

+ Research Data Canada. 2013. “Research Data Canada Response to Capitalizing on Big Data: Towards a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada.” Ottawa. https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2014/crsh-sshrc/CR22-47-2013-eng.pdf

Research Data Canada responds to a Government of Canada report (“Capitalizing on Big Data”) that grapples with the issue of growing digital scholarship. The Research Data Canada authors suggest that the government needs to pay more heed to long-term, rather than short-term, researcher-focused data curation. They also argue that although provisions for graduate student and early career researcher training are positive developments, it is necessary to designate, train, and support distinct data professionals. Further, Research Data Canada claims that an increase in cross-sector collaboration with industry would be beneficial, as would more engagement with the international data community. The authors applaud the government for taking part in the digital scholarship discussion, and then succinctly outline which areas require more attention.

* Toledo, Amalia. 2017. “Open Access and OER in Latin America: A Survey of the Policy Landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay.” In Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South, edited by Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams and Patricia B. Arinto, 121–41. Cape Town & Ottawa: African Minds. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.602781

Toledo analyzes funding data, state and institutional policies, and civil society organizations related to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), to understand the Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER) movements in Latin America in general, and in Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay in particular. She observes that each of the selected countries has different forms of funding streams and state support in public higher education and, although all of them are substantially investing to strengthen science, technology, and innovation, the commitment to open access resources is closely associated with their political and social contexts. In Uruguay, there is an enabling environment for open education, while Colombia has designed some strategies for implementation of OERs, but they are not yet materialized in policies or legislation. Chile has a more commercial model of higher education, and no specific guidelines on OERs or open access publishing. Toledo concludes by proposing some recommendations for the development of policies to support open education, including the fostering and strengthening of networks among Latin American civil society organizations, such as the Latin America Federated Network of Institutional Repositories of Scientific Publications (LA Referencia).


Social Justice

¤ Ahmed, Allam. 2007. “Open Access Towards Bridging the Digital Divide—Policies and Strategies for Developing Countries.” Information Technology for Development 13 (4): 337–61. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/1298509.1298512

Ahmed assesses open access as a potential solution to the digital divide and accompanying knowledge and wealth gaps in academia, internationally. At the time of publication (2007), there are infrastructure and institutional policy gaps in Africa that prohibit a continent-wide open access system. A successful open access system requires both researcher access to and creation of free, open publications and data. Ahmed argues that this is problematic when standard technological infrastructure and nationwide open access initiatives comparable to those in the United Kingdom and United States do not necessarily exist across Africa, and when certain African nations promote censorship and other information regulation laws that prohibit open access publishing. Open access without the appropriate technical, social, and legal infrastructure is inconsequential, and could in fact render scholarship even more inaccessible to researchers whose countries are not currently able to build and sustain a digital scholarship system.

¤ Albornoz, Denisse, Angela Okune, and Leslie Chan. 2020. “Can Open Scholarly Practices Redress Epistemic Injustice?” In Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access, edited by Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray, 65–79. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Albornoz, Okune, and Chan challenge the idea that open access has made all knowledge more available. Rather, the authors suggest, open access has made research undertaken by scholars in the Global North more available, to the detriment and increased obscuration of research by scholars in the Global South. The authors reinforce this point when they argue that “open systems may potentially replicate the very values and power imbalances that the movement initially sought to change” (65), in particular regarding the replication of epistemic injustice. They also outline institutional forces that have invalidated certain types of knowledge, including academic publishing, the primacy of the English language, and professional advancement criteria. Albornoz, Okune, and Chan conclude by making four recommendations for open research: 1) for scholars in the Global North to recognize their privilege; 2) to challenge the current standards and norms that promote epistemic injustice; 3) to learn from ongoing projects that are already seeking to address injustice; and 4) to recontextualize open access as a more radical movement with direct responsibility for undoing structural oppression.

¤ Heller, Margaret, and Franny Gaede. 2016. “‘Measuring Altruistic Impact: A Model for Understanding the Social Justice of Open Access.’” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 4: eP2132. https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2132

Heller and Gaede make a library-based argument for open access, but their premise is unique. The authors move beyond the standard argument that open access is a public good (and de facto social issue), so should be adopted universally. Rather, they intend to demonstrate that the impact of open access institutional repositories can be measured in regards to social justice reach, rather than more common, pragmatic ways of proving impact like download and citation counts. The authors argue that it behooves librarians to increase open access collections of social justice materials in order to serve a larger international audience that includes potentially marginalized or lower income countries, and that social justice impact is possible through collection development. Moreover, Heller and Gaede suggest, this altruistic work brings institutional repositories in line with the social justice-oriented missions of many universities.

+ Paliwala, Abdul. 2007. “Free Culture, Global Commons and Social Justice in Information Technology Diffusion.” Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal (January). https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/lgd/2007_1/paliwala

Paliwala explores the role of digital intellectual property rights in the realm of the digital divide between developing countries of the Global South. He starts by exploring the intellectual property rights in information technology at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The author also studies the nature of change in production relations in the Age of Information, and the importance of Free and Open Source Software and Content (FOSS-C) movements. Paliwala then investigates the potential for digital social justice with regards to the application of arguments based on changed production and property relations in the Global South, the way digital divides are affected by property and piracy issues, and the reformist arguments based on the Right to Development. He concludes that millennial ideologies of new modes of productions are to be cautiously treated as they form hidden modes of domination.

¤ Piron, Florence. 2018. “Postcolonial Open Access.” In Open Divide. Critical Studies in Open Access, edited by Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schopfel, 117–28. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books.

Piron considers the benefits and drawbacks of open access in the Global South, with specific focus on Haiti and Francophone Africa. Piron argues that open access has not, in fact, created more equitable access to knowledge as many advocates have claimed. Rather, she suggests, open access has become a neocolonial tool, as it has only increased access to research from the Global North, and only for those who have access to the Internet or research databases. Piron recommends decolonizing open access so that research from around the world is valued and accessible to all, in ways that are appropriate to and make sense for diverse local contexts.

¤ Roh, Charlotte, Harrison W. Inefuku, and Emily Drabinski. 2020. “Scholarly Communications and Social Justice.” In Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Politics, and Global Politics of Open Access, edited by Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray, 41–52. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Roh, Inefuku, and Drabinski consider open access within the larger context of scholarly communication from an ethical perspective. The authors argue that although open access is a social justice movement in theory, the practice of open access could be much more progressive, inclusive, and equitable. Roh, Inefuku, and Drabinski point to disparities in publication output, topics, and practitioners, all of which are slanted toward the Global North. They suggest that scholarly communication would do well to reorient toward equity and justice rather than upholding colonial or overly-dominant practices.

+ Sturm, Susan, Eatman, Timothy, Saltmarsh, John, and Bush, Adam. 2011. Full Participation: Building the Architecture for Diversity and Public Engagement in Higher Education (white paper). Columbia University Law School: Center for Institutional and Social Change.

Sturm, Eatman, Saltmarsh, and Bush’s work grew out of the realization that the long-term success of diversity, public engagement, and student success initiatives requires that these efforts be more fully integrated into institutional settings. They explain their concept of full participation, which is an affirmative value focused on creating institutions that enable people to thrive and realize their capabilities. They note that a lack of integration of diversity, public engagement, and student success efforts in university architecture limits the efficacy and sustainability of the institution’s work. The authors argue that public engagement will encourage and enable full participation of diverse groups and communities, which is a critical attribute of legitimate and successful public engagement. The institutions that take account of public engagement enhance the legitimacy, levels of engagement, and robustness of higher education.

Comments
0
comment
No comments here
Why not start the discussion?