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Opening Digital Scholarship: Library and Non-profit Collaborations Advancing Open Tools, Approaches and Values

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Presented at
Charleston Library Conference 2020

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Abstract

Scholars' research is increasingly dependent on digital sources and tools, a trend that is only expanding in light of the recent pandemic. Managing this shift can be a complicated job for even the most digital-savvy scholars, and comprehensive, dedicated support is needed. Libraries are ideally placed to offer that support, but rely on the availability of tools in the marketplace to do so. Further, there is an opportunity, and indeed a responsibility for libraries to develop solutions that centre researcher needs over commercial imperatives. Open source tools and mission-driven organizations provide viable alternatives, and by partnering with libraries, are able to respond directly to the realities of contemporary research practices. This session will consider these relationships from two angles. Brianna Marshall (Director of Research Services at UC Riverside) will share takeaways from her experience establishing a sustainable research and digital scholarship support strategy within an academic library, with a special focus on the open tools and methods her department has prioritized. Following this, Zoe Wake Hyde (Rebus Ink Project Lead and Assistant Director of the Rebus Foundation) will offer insights from the perspective of a non-profit organization seeking to support digital research practices, including library engagement, user research findings, defining and operationalizing “openness”, and the challenge of sustainability for a mission-driven project. The presenters will explore how openness operates at a both practical and philosophical level in their corners of the digital scholarship ecosystem, and why it is critical to embed principles of openness in the structures supporting scholars as they undertake their work in the digital sphere.

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All rights reserved.