Open Scholarship Opportunities

In June, our guest editors are the facilitators of the 2023 Program for Open Scholarship and Education (POSE), to provide an introduction to open scholarship and share some resources and trends happening in this area. POSE program facilitators are Will Engle, Erin Fields, Rie Namba, Stephanie Savage, Craig Thompson, Trish Varao-Sousa, and Jens Vent-Schmidt.

What is open scholarship?

Open scholarship is the application of open practices throughout the teaching, learning, and research environment. These practices include the use of open copyright licenses, collaborative efforts, and networked technologies to lower barriers to knowledge by making the processes and products of scholarship more distributed, transparent, and accessible.

Open scholarship is a broad and somewhat loose term that has emerged to include open access publishing, open research, open education, open data, and more. As an umbrella term, open scholarship is based on the idea that knowledge creation and dissemination should be understood as social practices, and that barriers to participation in – and the sharing of – scholarly outputs and processes should be lowered or removed. In recent years, there has also been increased emphasis on open methods to advance the speed, sharing, and integrity of scientific discovery.

Examples of open scholarly practices include:

  • The use of open copyright licenses that grant permission for others to freely access, reuse, redistribute, or build upon one’s scholarly work.
  • Making research processes, data, and code transparent in order to increase the reproducibility and accessibility of research.
  • Creating and using educational resources that are free of costs and copyright restrictions in order to lower student costs and access barriers for learning materials, such as textbooks.
  • Engaging in pedagogical practices where learners are creators of knowledge and have agency in their own education.
  • Connecting and engaging with communities, networks, and the broader public.

The values of open scholarship

While there are a variety of objectives associated with the different aspects of open scholarship, there are also commonly held values that operate across different areas. These values include:

  • Openly sharing the results of research to enhance reproducibility and credibility in results.
  • A social justice commitment to reducing access barriers to information sources.
  • Transparency through the open sharing of grant proposals, research, protocols, and data.
  • Engaging the users of knowledge in the process of knowledge production.
  • Community and collaboration to support open knowledge creation.
  • Speed and efficiency in sharing research findings.

Additionally, at the 2023 POSE kick-off session earlier this spring, Dr. David Gaertner, assistant professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies, suggested that critique is integral to open and that “attending to the fraught histories of knowledge mobilization and thinking critically about who and what open serves” is a core value of open scholarship.

Some of these values are more prevalent in specific open scholarship areas (e.g. transparency and reproducibility in open science). However, the core values of participation, community building, and free and unrestricted access to research outputs are fundamental to all facets of open scholarship.

Resources and trends

POSE is a three-month self-paced program. While the 2023 POSE cohort is at the halfway mark, in this section, we will share links to the open access POSE modules, as well as resources for exploring different aspects of open scholarship.

Open access

The term open access was first clearly articulated in 2002 in the Budapest Open Access Initiative. In its simplest expression, it refers to academic research that is freely accessible “on the public internet” and available for the public to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to.” Today, multiple forms of open access – Green, Gold, Platinum etc. – provide researchers with a variety of paths and approaches that allow them to achieve varying degrees of openness.

The POSE Unit on Open Access examines the current economics of the publishing ecosystem and the impact on academia, authors’ rights, and models for open access. Additionally, you may want to explore the following:

Open research

According to UNESCO, open research and science is a movement that “involves opening up the processes of creating, evaluating, sharing, exploring and storing scientific knowledge, practices and perspectives.” It supports the scientific community and the advancement of scientific discovery by promoting transparency and in turn supporting reproducibility and credibility. The POSE Unit on Open Research explores the importance of transparency for replicability and reproducibility of research, including open workflows, the use of open software to support the research life cycle, and what makes data open and fair. Additionally, you may want to explore the following:

  • In this recorded POSE talk, Dr. Ben Motz, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, ties a lot of themes of open scholarship together. In the talk, Dr. Motz describes that, for applied research in higher education, a challenge is the variability of learners and learning settings, and that there are legitimate questions about whether any one finding might be expected to generalize across classes. His ManyClasses research approach tests the generalizability of educational interventions in real classrooms and relies heavily on transparency in their methods and findings.
  • In this article, you can read how some researchers are taking the replication crisis as an opportunity to improve scientific production via open practices.
  • OSF is a free and open source workflow management tool that supports researchers throughout their entire research lifecycle and encourages best practices for research reproducibility. Learn more from the UBC Library OSF guide and browse UBC-affiliated users. UBC’s Research Data Management site also provides information about resources and services for the life cycle of research projects including the storage, sharing, and preservation of research data.
  • Watch a TEDx talk by Kristin Briney, a data services librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who discusses some of the reasons open data can be so valuable in research and society.

Open education

Open education encompasses a set of practices directed at making the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all people. These practices often include the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), which are teaching and learning resources that are free of cost and access barriers which anyone can freely use, adapt and share. It can also include open pedagogies where the concepts of open are applied to the practices and processes of learning. The POSE Unit on Open Education looks at finding and creating OER, understanding the variety of Creative Commons licenses, and engaging students as open knowledge creators through open pedagogy. Additionally, you may want to explore the following: