The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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A life-changing experience: FSCI 2019

Thanks for the generosity of FORCE11 and its sponsors (UCLA and the UCLA Library, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the University of Padua, Computational Data Citation Project, and the Wellcome Trust) I was able to attend FSCI 2019 at UCLA. This was my first time attending FSCI and meeting FORCE 11 scholarly community. Attending this institute was an amazing experience. I met great people and learned so much from our instructors on a wide variety of hot topics in the area of scholarly communication.

Some of the topics that stand out to me during the institutes were: the future of OA vis-à-vis scholarly publishing, the need to decolonize knowledge globally to avoid that certain knowledge are privileged over others because of geographical location, insufficient infrastructure*, structural racism, and sexism, or the effects of colonialism.

Low bandwidth as an infractural barrier for access to information in African countries











Caption: Slide image from Samir Hachani from his presentation about the challenge of many African countries with low bandwidth trying to access and download information from the web.

The plenary speakers during the conference were also excellent and thought-provoking! I really like Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou excellent presentation “Coloniality of Knowledge in (Post)Colonial Universities”. His presentation reminds us that knowledge production is not a neutral process but it is shaped by experiences such as colonialism. Such historical processes and negative effects on these countries are still felt in the 21st century. He called on all of us to decolonize the scholarly communication process by starting acknowledging our role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem as producers and consumers of knowledge. He invited us all to think about ways that we can give visibility to knowledge that has been made invisible because of their position in the periphery of global capitalism.

Publishing and Capitalism: Graphic that show how Piron et al. (2007) adapted Wallerstein Theory (1996) on the restructuration of capitalism for academic knowledge.












Caption: Publishing and Capitalism- Slide from Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou keynote that showed how Piron et al. (2007) adapted Wallerstein Theory (1996) on the restructuration of capitalism for academic knowledge.

I really enjoyed the three courses that I participated during the institute: “When Global is Local: Open Scholarly Communication in the Global South”, “Digital Authoring in Scalar” and “Open Tools for Publishing Education: A Workshop on Pedagogy and Practice” because they helped me to contextualize the use of digital tools within broader philosophical discussions such as pedagogy and scholarly communication. The best part of attending these courses (besides the knowledge) was meeting such a diverse group of people. We have librarians, computer programmers, faculty from different disciplines and really feel that we have people from all five continents attending the institute!

Finally, one unique aspect of FSCI that I really enjoyed was the many opportunities to share ideas and call for actions regarding scholarly communication. For examples, calls for diversity and inclusion both at the institute and in our own practices, call for working groups to tackle the several issues affecting access to scholarly out in the Global South, and much more.

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to experience such a great institute and meet, what I hope would become, new friends and collaborators!


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