Main »

Building Partnerships To Transform Scholarly Publishing

Building Partnerships To Transform Scholarly Publishing is a gathering organized by Ray Siemens, the lead of the INKE project, with his team at the ECTL at the University of Victoria. The Twitter hashtag is #INKEWhistler14

Note that these conference notes are being written live and therefore are full of omissions, inaccuracies and typos. Please write me with corrections.

Day 1: Wednesday February 5th

Ray Siemens

Ray Siemens opened the gathering talking about Willard McCarty's map of humanities computing. He talked about how researchers are watching knowledge environments. He talked about how humanities computing approaches are now being seen in other contexts. Our research can connect to the broader community of communication. This "building partnerships" gathering is meant to connect researchers with the publishing and library community.

Janet Halliwell: Advancing Cyber-Scholarship Through Innovative Partnerships

Janet started by unpacking terms like "transformation." She talked about whether the humanities are in crisis. She thinks this is a time of opportunity as it is the human factors that matter in a world where the digital is changing everything. The types of evidence and what we can do with evidence are changing.

Janet talked about how she comes from "science policy" where "science" includes the humanities. She organized her talk around these headings.

Historical science policy context

She mentioned The New Production of Knowledge a book that described changes in how knowledge is generated, stored, transmitted and used. We are now in Mode II knowledge production which responds to things outside the field. Mode II exhibits trans-disciplinary characteristics. There are heterogeneous and diverse teams and there is social sensitivity and accountability. Finally there are modified approaches to quality assessment.

The book got mixed reviews, but it has turned out that the book was right about a lot. Even if things haven't changed, they predicted the anxieties about how they will change.

Larger national discussions on digital infrastructure

Then she talked about digital infrastructure and showed some of the slides from her talk at the Digital Infrastructure Leadership Council Summit. (See my [[ | Summit 2014 conference notes.) We have lots of good will, but no leadership, not policy, and weak data management. We have lots of stakeholders, but it isn't glued together. She focused on the lack of data stewardship - something SSHRC is trying to change. Chad Gaffield at SSHRC is working hard to get data taken seriously as infrastructure.

She mentioned that Research Data Canada (RDC) is taking the lead on partnering internationally. I realized I know little about RDC.

Convergences of data and publishing

OA (Open Access) initiatives have a lot of similarities with infrastructure initiatives, especially when we think of data as infrastructure. We need

  • Somewhere to put your data
  • Ways to control sharing and use of data
  • Ways for data to be integrated with publication
  • Ways to get credit for data
  • People/organizations to pay of costs of data availability and re-use

See for more on this.

We have all sorts of challenges. There are few standards, there are few ways to integrate and interoperate. There are few models for journals that publish research connected to data.

Collaborative Opportunities and Partnerships

She ended on the opportunities. Traditionally collaboration was not seen as virtuous in the humanities, but that is changing. She talked about how tool development is important to the digital humanities in ways that are not as obvious in other fields. This might be a site for partnerships, especially if we explore intersectoral partnerships. Could libraries be partners?

Then she talked about possible partnerships in the library/data community. CARL is developing a Research Data Management Network. There is "Tools and Technology" dimension to this.

Looking to the future

She talked about Jeff Kinder on "Science 4.0" where we combine the crowd and cloud (into the "clowd".) We need changed institutions where libraries are taken more seriously and where libraries partner with computing services. We have to look at the reward system.

We need to identify key metrics for novel outcomes and impacts. If DH doesn't define metrics then they will be defined for us. We also have to articulate the characteristics of effective evaluation of digital scholarship and data stewardship. This is what SSRHC needs after the TC3+ consultation - ideas about how data stewardship might be effectively evaluated.

There was an interesting discussion about tools and who will fund them. SSHRC seems to not be funding them, CFI funds their acquisition but not really the R&D that goes into them. Part of the problem for me is that we seem to be settling into a data/tool distinction that ignores all the interactive works (think of Rokeby's Very Nervous System) that are neither. Tools are also not tools until they are supported as production software. Prototypes are rarely useful to others and it takes a lot of work to turn a prototype into a production tool that others can use. Should academics do the production work? Should researchers support tools once the research is over.

There was also an interesting question about the relationship between the local and international. International is where research happens.

Something we also have to think about is how we will know what data (or interactives) to steward. Keeping everything in the age of exploding big data is impossible. I'm not sure we know what to steward beyond the format and standard questions. Is there stuff we should steward into forgetting.

Janet ended with a story about how the social scientists and humanists in CIHR committees were harsh on SSH proposals while the biomedical researchers were supportive. We humanists can be our own worst critics. This may be a good thing and may also be a lack of balance.

Ray asked what the digital humanities need to do. She responded that we have to do a better job of communicating what we do. We need examples that communicate what we are doing? We need to tell people how strong DH is in Canada. We should also think about how tools can be generalized to other fields.

Day 2: Thursday February 6

Brian Owen “The Software and System Development Lifecycle: From Prototype to Production”

Brian from the Public Knowledge Project, Simon Fraser U, talked about the shift from a prototype project to a production system that supports others. Open standards are crucial so you can support interoperability. He talked about software development methodologies and tools:

  • Community-based values - if you want the project to be open source then you need to support the community and its values.
  • Structured and documented code - you have to write code so it can be maintained over time.
  • Share and repurpose code, e.g. microservices - don't build everything - use stuff other people are building
  • Tools: wikis, bug reporting, version trackers, code repositories - use the tools out there

He talked about how calling something open source and putting code on sourceforge doesn't mean anyone looks at it. To be helpful you need to tell people about your project, listen to their feedback, and help them contribute.

He talked about monetization even when you are open. There are ways to offer services for a fee that can support the larger project. The PKP project, for example, offers hosting services for journals.

He closed with a discussion of orphans - tools that are no longer supported. How can we make sure we learn from these? He talked about Ohloh (Open Journal System example) which tracks activity on open source projects. You can see if a project is an orphan or full of beans.

Clare Appavoo “The Role of Academic Libraries in the Transformation of Scholarly Communication”

Clare talked about the Canadian Research Knowledge Network which licenses full text electronic databases and journals. She gave a quick history of how libraries have dealt with electronic scholarly communication. Before 2000 they were facilitors. Then they started buying site licenses and are now with CRKN we have a national consortium that negotiates on behalf of all of us and which provides a breadth of materials.

CRKN in 2007 got funding for social sciences and humanities. This project not only licensed content, but also digitized unique content like out-of-copyright monographs.

She then talked about IDSE (Integrated Digital Scholarship Eco-System) that would leverage existing tools and infrastructure like the Scholars Portal in Ontario. She talked about how better data management plans facilitated by libraries could be part of IDSE. If researchers involve libraries early on then the data can be better stewarded.

Session 1: The Shape of Data to Come

  • Stan Ruecker (INKE; Illinois Institute of Technology), “Digital Apparatus.”
  • John Simpson (INKE; CWRC; U Alberta) & Susan Brown (INKE; CWRC; U Guelph; U Alberta), “Inference and Linking of the Humanistʼs Semantic Web.”
  • William Bowen (Iter; U Toronto-Scarborough), Constance Crompton (INKE; U British Columbia-Okanagan), & Matthew Hiebert (U Victoria), “Iter Community: Prototyping an Environment for Social Knowledge Creation and Communication.”
  • Richard Lane (Vancouver Island U), “Innovation Through Tradition: New Scholarly Applications Modelled on Faith-Based Electronic Publishing & Learning Environments.”

Stan started by talking about how he is trying to promote what his team does better by sharing a 45 second YouTube video. John Simpson talked about the chaos of semantic web activity (even though very little web content is semantically marked up.). What can we despite technical complexity and cultural challenges? We do control the data stores/content. We can start by adding semantic content for tools that are coming. The web is a trap not a web. Links are one way and end up in repositories. Semantic web is entirely metadata. How do we recognize research contributions of the sort that taggers contribute when enriching work.

Matthew Hiebert and Constance Crompton talked about the Iter project and their social knowledge work. Richard Lane talked about e-Theology and how we can learn from all the cool biblical tools out there. He talked about de-crypting as an activity.

In the breakout discussions my table talked about standards and metadata. Can stand-off RDF be a way of sharing data.

Large-scale Digital Projects

  • Laura Estill (Texas A&M U), “Digital Bibliography, Then and Now.”
  • Laura Mandell (ARC; Texas A&M U) & Elizabeth Grumbach (ARC), “ARC, or the Advanced Research Consortium: A Model for Peer Review and Aggregation.”
  • Daniel Powell (U Victoria), “Building Alternative Scholarly Publishing Capacity: the Renaissance English Knowledge Network (REKN) as Digital Publication Hub.”
  • Brent Nelson (DRC; U Saskatchewan), “From Index to Interoperability: The Desideratum of Authority Files in Large-scale Editing.”

Estill talked about the Sharkespeare bibliography project - a project that in print form has been going for decades. She asked us some questions:

  • Should they be open in terms sharing search patterns?
  • Should they be open in sense of open access?
  • Should they link to pay-walled articles?
  • Should they switch to DOIs?

Mandell talked about the ARC (Advanced Research Consortium) which combines NINES and other field-specific projects. They peer-review digital resources and write letters to tenure and promotion committees. They ask if this is a digital resource for good reason?

Powell talked about the REKN and how they are trying to integrate tools into content. REKN is now part of ARC. The tools are out there, can they integrate them into one space?

Nelson talked about building the authority lists that can be used across projects.

There was a great conversation about dealing with pay-walls and access. It is hard to aggregate stuff when you can't cross walls. It is also hard to do text mining when you can cross.

Dugan O'Neil 'Compute Canada – More than Just 'Big Iron'"

Dugan is Chief Science Officer at Compute Canada and talked to us about the changes at Compute Canada. CC used to be a High-Performance Computing facility, now it is becoming an "Advanced Computing" facility. They provide infrastructure, but now more than cycles. They think of themselves increasingly as providing expertise.

He provided a bit of history. In the 1990s individual projects would buy clusters. Then they began to collaborate to get region based facilities. In 2006 CFI asked for a single national consortium - that is when Compute Canada was born. In 2012 CFI created the MSI program to fund operational costs. As a condition to funding CFI asked that CC become a not-for-profit corporation.

Of some 8000 users only 42 come from the humanities. We need to find a way to connect

CC has a lot of expertise and their experts are interested in our problems. Up to now, experts were living at particular places and could only support local needs.

CC has traditionally be log-in based batch scheduling. Now they are opening up to other types of use, but project by project.

They are now buying two cloud systems that will be available in 2014 and they are setting up a secure computing pilot.

How can CC best support our community? We need to speak up now. Dugan outlined a number of things CC might do including a easy-access storage service (like a drop-box for researchers.)

Here is what I would propose:

  • Hire some digital humanists
  • Outreach (marketing) is vital - our community doesn't know about CC
  • Provide workshop cloud computing
  • Connect to research librarians and computing services folk
  • Weave into grant writing
  • Provide fellowships and grant writing

Session 3: Evolving University Library Networks

  • Brent Roe (CARL), “Canadian Independent Journals in an Open Access Environment: Possible Stresses, Possible Supports"
  • Rowland Lorimer (CALJ; Simon Fraser U), “A Good Idea, a Difficult Reality: Towards a Journal/Library Open Access Partnership.”
  • Inba Kehoe (U Victoria Library), “ePublishing Primer for Authors.”
  • Jonathan Bengtson (U Victoria Library), “ʼEither this is Madness, or it is Hellʼ: New Horizons for Digital Scholarship.”

Roe talked about uneasiness in journal community about the open access trend. He talked about a CARL transition programme. Lorimer talked about open access and research. OA should be about research not the value of openness. Commercial sector is moving very fast too and they will develop products we use. OA initiatives outside Canada are encountering resistance and it isn't clear that OA initiatives are working. Sometimes deals with publishers may be better than researchers trying to do it alone. We need cost-effective publishing. Inadequate support for established journals is one of the greatest risks.

Kehoe is the copyright officer at U of Victoria. They don't have a university press so they are experimenting with various forms of electronic publishing. She talked to us about sites like LuLu where you can self-publish.

Bengston talked about adapting the Crivella West tools to his project. Crivella West makes a Knowledge Kiosk for the discovery phase of large trials. This is large-scale text analysis and management software from the legal community.

Session 4: Humanities-centred Design & Prototypes

  • Geoffrey Rockwell (INKE; U Alberta), “Gamification, Research and Writing.”
  • Jon Saklofske (INKE; Acadia U), “Humanities Scholarship in a Vast Universe: Modelling Integrated Scholarly Opportunities Between Scales of Digital Information and Meaning.”
  • Federica Giannelli (U Saskatchewan), Jade McDougall (U Saskatchewan), Ben Neudorf (U Saskatchewan), Xiaohan Zhang (U Saskatchewan), Jon Bath (INKE; U Saskatchewan), & the INKE Research Team, “Prototyping a Game-based Collaborative Bibliographic Environment.”
  • Alex Christie (INKE; MVP; U Victoria), “Interdisciplinary, Interactive, and Online: Building Open Communication through Multimodal Scholarly Articles and Monographs.”

I spoke about the challenges and opportunities of the transition between prototype to production system. Jon talked about the moving between different scales in the new radial tool. The chair talked about how in STS there is a lot of talk about scale that we can learn from.

Jon Bath talked about gamification in a bibliographic environment. They have a Zotero plugin at

Alex talked about creating a publishing system for interdisplinarity. He talked about Steam that is a content delivery environment for games and game discussion. He talked about Thingiverse and Github. All of these have community driven feedback. He talked about multimodal articles.

Session 5: Collaborative (Scholarly) Environments

  • Nina Belojevic (INKE; MVP; U Victoria) & Jentery Sayers (INKE; U Victoria), “Building Peer Review Personas.”
  • Susan Brown (CWRC; INKE; U Guelph; U Alberta) & John Simpson (CWRC; INKE; U Alberta), “The Culture of Humanities Scholarship: Iteration, Recursion, and Versions in Scholarly Collaboration Environments.”
  • Lynne Siemens (INKE; U Victoria), “Deepening Collaborations in INKEʼs Year 5.”24. Stephen Ross (MVP; U Victoria), “Expert/Crowd-sourcing for the Linked Modernisms Project.”
  • David N. Wright (Douglas C), “Peer Review or Production: Why ʻScholarlyʼ?”

At this point I ran out of steam and power.



edit SideBar

Page last modified on February 06, 2014, at 04:53 PM - Powered by PmWiki