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The one about Open Scholarship

To the extent that scholarship is the creation and curation of human knowledge, scholarship is an open-source endeavor. The end product — human knowledge — is not a fixed product, it is distributed, has diverse manifestations, and belongs to no individual or entity.

Kris Shaffer (2013)

“Open” has become an increasingly relevant concept across almost all higher education domains, from open educational resources to open access journals, the ethos of openness is reshaping how we create, share, and consume information.

Open scholarship represents a paradigm shift in how we approach research, teaching, and the dissemination of knowledge. At its core, it’s about making academic work more transparent, accessible, and collaborative. Where research findings are freely available to anyone in the world, where teaching materials are shared and improved upon, and where students actively contribute to a global knowledge commons.

While I was preparing this newsletter, I went back through the archives of my personal blog to find the earliest mention of ‘open scholarship’. It was from a set of notes I took almost 11 years ago at a Digital University symposium. The presentation was entitled: The digital university: A place for the communication and circulation of thought? and my note was, “Digital does not necessarily mean Open. We are seeing the rise of Open Scholarship.” It’s a little disappointing that, more than a decade later, scholarship seems to be no more open than it was then.


Kane, J., & Mushtare, R. (n.d.). Open pedagogy (No. 55)

Imagine an academy that values a public knowledge commons and supports and recognizes the academic labor required to develop, maintain, build and evolve that commons. Imagine your students actively contributing to that commons. In this episode, Robin DeRosa joins us to discuss open pedagogy, free textbooks, and the building of such a commons.

I’ve been following Robin’s writing since I first came across her work during my PhD. Find out more here.


Schaffer, K. (2013). Open-Source Scholarship. Hybrid Pedagogy

The open-source movement can serve as a helpful model for liberal education, especially among those who value critical or hybrid pedagogy. Both open-source and critical pedagogy blur the boundary between creators and consumers. Both open-source and traditional liberal education build on — and critique — the past as they seek to advance their fields. Open-source, traditional liberal education, and critical pedagogy all are concerned with freedom and the good of the community. Where liberally minded scholars and pedagogues are seeking to create and curate human knowledge in a way that is more open, accessible, and valuable to the human community, we have a useful model in the open-source movement.

I first read this article several years ago and was struck with the idea of an academic/scholar as a hacker. It’s an idea that’s stuck with me and has deeply influenced how I think of my identity as an academic.


Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (2018)

Producer/Director Jason Schmitt highlights the current climate of scholarship in this anticipated documentary production focusing on the business of research and scholarship. Traveling the world to document the current scholarship climate, Schmitt and his video crew find unexpected twists to the publish or perish mindset of academics, scholarship, and philanthropy.

Watching this made a big impact on how I think about formal academic publishing. In some ways, it made me feel complicit in an exploitative system that sees academic publishers extracting an enormous amount of value, while contributing very little in return.

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