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Aligning Open Access with the Social Justice Mission of Public University


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In this talk I provide an extended argument on why we need to shift the narrative about Open Access from one emphasizing the university's research prowess to Open Access as university's commitment to its public mission.

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Aligning Open Access with the Social Justice Mission of Public University

  1. 1. Aligning Open Access with the Social Justice Mission of Public University Leslie Chan University of Toronto Scarborough @lesliekwchan OPENCON Toronto 2016
  2. 2. Open Access in the Era of Post-Truth Why we need better Narratives about the Social Justice missions of Open Access
  3. 3. “Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century.” oliberalsim-donald-trump-george-monbiot?CMP=share_btn_link
  4. 4. Strategy: Changing the narrative from Open Access as a means to showcase a university’s research prowess to Open Access as university’s commitment to its public mission
  5. 5. Brief definition of OA
  6. 6. “An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good.” Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002
  7. 7. Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
  8. 8. OA is possible because scholarly communication is a form of peer production in the gift economy.
  9. 9. OA is compatible with traditional peer review, but it also opens possibilities for other forms of participation, assessment, and value propositions.
  10. 10. OA expands the boundaries of research, our peer networks, and promotes closer linkage between teaching, learning, and research.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Above all, OA provides expanded opportunities for scholarly participation that are inclusive, collaborative, and innovative.
  13. 13. But…
  14. 14. Changing the narrative of OA has been difficult …
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
  17. 17. …principles of equal opportunity, equity, and justice
  18. 18. Overall, THE weighs research and research performance heavily at 60 per cent of the total score (30 per cent for research volume, reputation and income and 30 per cent for citation research and influence).
  19. 19. Asking Different Questions: Do we want our knowledge commons to serve the needs of market or the public good? How to align the principles of Open Access with the mission of the public university? How could OA allow us to reconceive and broaden the meanings of scholarship ? How do we re-conceptualize “excellence” to reflect the richness of knowledge and cognitive diversity?
  20. 20. productivity-educational-metric/
  21. 21. Centre Could Open Access change the current power structure of global scientific production and dissemination? Periphery Periphery open access creates the potential for new spaces for collaboration and co-creation of knowledge
  22. 22. Metrics and Inequity
  23. 23. Unequal contribution and participation in science. Chan L, Kirsop B, Arunachalam S (2011) Towards Open and Equitable Access to Research and Knowledge for Development. PLoS Med 8(3): e1001016. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001016
  24. 24. Cognitive Injustice • The Global South is gaining access, but lags in local content • Criteria for legitimation of knowledge set by the Global North • Knowledge from the Global South has been rendered invisible • Exclusion from participation is still the norm
  25. 25.
  26. 26. “Weeds” or Vegetables?
  27. 27. africa%E2%80%99s-food-crises
  28. 28. publication-top-19-young-innovators-and- entrepreneurs-from-uganda/
  29. 29.
  30. 30. The Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental, CRIA (Reference Center on Environmental Information)
  31. 31. 36 : Bioline Journals graphed with Google Maps.
  32. 32. But why Journals?
  33. 33. “Is the scientific paper a fraud?” “I mean the scientific paper may be a fraud because it misrepresents the processes of thought that accompanied or give rise to the work that is described in the paper. That is the question and I will say right away that my answer to it is ‘yes’. The scientific paper in its orthodox form does embody a totally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of the nature of scientific though”. Sir Peter Medawar (From a BBC talk, 1964)
  34. 34. 1888
  35. 35. Format of a scientific article • Title • Abstract • Introduction • Materials and Methods • Results • Discussion • Conclusions • Acknowledgments • Literature Cited
  36. 36. Fig 4. Percentage of papers published by the five major publishers, by discipline of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1973–2013. Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P (2015) The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0127502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127502
  37. 37. “We editors seek a global status for our journals, but we shut out the experiences and practices of those living in poverty by our (unconscious) neglect. One group is advantaged, while the other is marginalised.”Richard Horton, THE LANCET • Vol 361 • March 1, 2003
  38. 38. “Research or reviews that cover diseases unlikely to be encountered in the western world will not gather the citations that some editors seek. But if this commercial environment does seriously skew content away from what matters to those people the journal claims to serve, as it surely does at some journals, the culture of medicine is distorted, even harmed.” Richard Horton (2003)
  39. 39. Berners-Lee
  40. 40. Scholarly Primitives and Reputation? Discovering Annotating Comparing Referring Sampling Illustrating Representing “…basic functions common to scholarly activity across disciplines, over time, and independent of theoretical orientation.” John Unsworth. "Scholarly Primitives: What Methods Do Humanities Researchers Have in Common and How Might Our Tools Reflect This?" "Humanities Computing, Formal Methods, Experimental Practice" Symposium, Kings College, London, May 13, 2000.
  41. 41. Scholarly Primitives and the Research Life Cycle Discover GatherCreate Share
  42. 42. The Scholarship of Engagement and Open Access
  43. 43. Boyer’s Scholarship of Discovery Integration Application Teaching Engagement PUBLIC
  44. 44. "The scholarship of engagement means connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and to our cities..." Boyer, Ernest (1996) The Scholarship of Engagement. Journal of Public Outreach. 1(1): 11-20.
  45. 45. Opportunities for Engagement Public outreach and engagement New forms of “impact” Data sharing New scholarly practices Experimentations Interdisciplinary and Collaborative research Professional development Personalization Curation Student training Service
  46. 46. CUE (Community-University Engagement) Factor – Edward Jackson calls on universities across Canada to “increase their CUE factors by deepening and broadening their teaching, research and volunteering activities with the external constituencies that have the greatest need for sustainable solutions to the challenges they face every day”
  47. 47. Participedia
  48. 48. convergences-reconciliation-june-12-16-2017-cartagena-colombia/
  49. 49. Broadening the definition of “success”, “impact”, “value” and “capital” Business value monetary return, financial capital, efficiency, competiveness Scholarly value Reputation and citation; trust; symbolic capital Institutional value Public mission, community outreach, intellectual capital Social value Equity, participation, diversity, social capital Political value Evidence based policy, transparency, accountability, civic capital
  50. 50. Concluding remarks… • Access to Knowledge is essential for a healthy democracy • The Rights to Research is central for sustainable developent • Universities as centers of knowledge need to reclaim its role in sustaining the public sphere for the public good • Open Access is a contestation over power and control over the production of knowledge • We don’t need more metrics but alternative to metrics
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  52. 52. Thank You! @lesliekwchan