Turning Open Access Academic Books into BIPOC Art Galleries

One of the best parts about my job as a ScholComm Librarian is working with amazing students on meaningful publishing projects. As part of a team working on a Dept of Ed funded grant with our National Resource Center for Asian Languages, I had the wonderful privilege of collaborating with a team of BFA and MFA illustrators to make Vietnamese language books in support of bilingual K-12 education in Orange County. One of our illustrators, a young, gifted and Black artist by the name of Leah Simone Metters, brought tremendous energy, creativity and leadership to the project.

Now that my Open Science book experiment on the First Gospel (Qn) is almost a year old, over 1000 pages, more than 325,000 words, has over 2500 unique downloads, and is the basis for an upcoming peer-reviewed presentation in the Digital Humanities section of the Society of Biblical Literature this November, it felt like the right time to take the book to the next level of professional publishing. So I decided to commission book cover art, and I could think of no artist better suited to realize my vision for the book than Leah.

Read More »

Heartfelt Congratulations to CSU East Bay for Passing the First Green OA Policy in the CSU

Heard today from my ScholComm colleague Lana Wood that the President at CSU East Bay today signed the Green Open Access Policy passed for the second year in a row by their Academic Senate. Congrats to Lana, her policy co-champion (Vanessa Yingling from Kinesiology), the CSUEB Committee on Research, the CSUEB Academic Senate, and the CSUEB President on being on the first CSU to achieve this honor. CSUEB joins the hallowed ranks of the UCs, Harvard, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and lots of R1, R2, M1, M2, and Liberal Arts institutions that have passed such policies!

This is not only a tremendous honor for Lana and CSUEB, but also a significant milestone in the Open Access movement and achievement in the scientific community and for the public good. Like comparable Green OA opt-out policies at other universities, this one retains faculty copyright over articles and secures default open access licenses that benefit students, the general public, and institutional web/repository usage. It’s a win-win-win for everyone except publisher monopolies. And it finally got done at the nation’s largest public university system!

Read More »

The California State University and academic publishing systems are broken and racist. The only way to save them is to de-corporatize and de-racialize them.

CSU undergraduate students pay on average about $15,000 a year in tuition and fees. Many of our students can’t even afford food or a place to live, not to mention textbooks.

CSU Presidents make on average well over $400,000/year when housing benefits are included. Some attorneys and executives at the Chancellor’s office make more than university presidents. The Chancellor makes $625,000/year, which is more than the combined salary of President Biden ($400,000) and Governor Newsom ($210,000). Administrators have largely grown out of touch with the daily lives, concerns, and needs of students and faculty. They are working for themselves and their corporate welfare classmates, not for us and not for the common good.

The corrupt culture of corporate greed and legalistic voodoo has completely undermined higher education as a call to public service.

BLM happened and is still happening. Virtue signals and woke posturing abound daily from administrators, but have any substantive changes been made to CSU budgets? No.

To borrow a phrase from Ayanna Presley, “policy is my love language.” To take it one step further, for students, “policy and budgets are our love language.”

Read More »

Publisher Monopoly Long-Game: Make Libraries Renters, Not Owners

Lifting up this excellent article in the Daily Beast by Jennie Rose Halperin, the Executive Director of Library Futures. It highlights the recent forum at Georgetown Law with Senator Ron Wyden and provides a quick litany of the negative impacts of ebook licensing on public education. To quote just one example:

The draconian terms mean, for example, that a single e-copy of The Diary of Anne Frank can cost a school district as much as $27 per student per year—with the lion’s share of the money going to billion-dollar publishing companies.

Library Futures is welcoming consortial and university partners to join in activism around technological and educational initiatives to preserve Library rights. Johns Hopkins has recently joined as a partner. Here’s hoping the Cal State Libraries will consider joining as well!

How to Make an Open Access Article Fee Waiver Request

Copying the letter I sent today to Cambridge University Press both as a ScholComm diary entry and as an example to authors as to how you can self-advocate for OA fee waivers. Squeaky wheels and such…

April 17, 2021

Dear Cambridge University Press Representative,

Thank you for your excellent work supporting high-quality, peer-reviewed academic publishing. I am writing as the corresponding author of an article recently accepted for your journal, Harvard Theological Review, to ask for a waiver of the Gold Open Access APC of $3200.

Read More »

SBL Proposal Accepted for Digital Humanities section: Introducing LODLIBs

[Cross-posted from Vocesanticae.com]

Got confirmation of acceptance of a second paper this morning. Thank you to the session chairs (Garrick Allen and Paul Dilley) and the review committee for the opportunity to present this research.

Title: Introducing Linked Open Data Living Informational Books

Abstract: In a recent article, Claire Clivaz surveys the rise of VREs (Virtual Research Environments) that allow for scientific hypothesis-driven, iterative, and collaborative research in the Humanities. In this presentation, we propose a new kind of VRE, the Linked Open Data Living Informational Book or LODLIB, essentially a scientific hypothesis-driven iterative digital codex. LODLIBs follow the structure of scientific articles (introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion), leverage international Linked Open Data standards (unique and interconnected DOIs), rely on non-commercial Open Science repositories, include internal data dictionaries and lexicographical resources, embed datasets and code within the digital book, invite global open peer-review and collaboration, and allow for cycles of continuous improvement characteristic of agile software and systems development. Essentially, the LODLIB reimagines the codex as human- and machine-readable software, bringing together research and publishing, the Sciences and the Humanities. The LODLIB format inverts the power- and economic relationships between academic authors and publishers, opens academic discourse to the global public, allows for rich analytics about readership and citations, and has the potential to make monographs and compilations go viral in online environments. The conclusion will relate the story of the presenter’s prototyping of the LODLIB format to propose and realize a new, scientific solution to Q and the Synoptic Problem.

Subjects: Computer-Assisted Research | Historical Criticism | Lexicography

Google Scholar Takes a Bite out of ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu

On March 23, the Google Scholar team announced on their blog a new contribution to the OA self-archiving scholarly ecosystem. Google has released new functionality to help authors identify which articles are deposited OA in compliance with funder (whether gov or NGO) OA mandates all the while leveraging Google Drive–connected to a Google Scholar author’s profile–into an article self-archiving solution.

A SWOT-styled analysis follows under the fold:

Read More »

Systemic Racism in Pollak Library

  • Over the last five years, two BIPOC tenure-track librarians have left because of racism.
  • Over the last five years, three BIPOC library staff (two African-American men and one Asian-American woman) have left or retired early because of racism.
  • Over the past two years, proposals for Latinx murals and branding have been ignored or quashed because of racism.
  • Last year, a tenured female Asian-American Librarian was involuntarily removed from the Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee after speaking out about racism in library administration hiring practices.

There are far more examples, but we limit ourselves to these four summary statements of fact.

Pollak Library is out of alignment with our campus values and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and faculty rights.

Personal OA Experiment: Transforming a Past Published Monograph to Open Access via Unglue.it

As an academic author and a passionate advocate for Open Access, I have launched a crowdfunding campaign on unglue.it to provide access to my 2013 monograph for everyone in the world and to lead by example in my work as a Scholarly Communication Librarian in the California State University system. The print book has been unavailable on commercial sites for over a year now. My hope is that a successful campaign will give a new life to this book, increase its usage and citations, and inspire many other faculty in the CSU to start similar campaigns to unglue their books to Open Access.