In this environmental science #ResearchRoundup, we are pleased to highlight 8 new articles—including select articles trending on Altmetric—published across Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene‘s comprehensive, interdisciplinary Knowledge Domains. All Elementa articles are published #OpenAccess, so be sure to visit us at elementascience.org to read more of the latest articles.
Cynthia Wei is a Section Editor for the Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation section of UC Press’s new peer-reviewed journal, Case Studies in the Environment, as well as Associate Director of Education at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), based in Annapolis, Maryland.
We caught up with Cynthia as she made her way to the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), held this year in Portland, Oregon.
Cynthia, not only are you a Section Editor for an environmental journal which takes a case study approach, but you also developed and lead SESYNC’s short course, Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies. What is your background and how did that lead to an interest in case studies?
Cynthia: My background is in animal behavior, and when I used to tell people about my research on honeybees and birds, I found it easy to engage with non-scientists about what I did. But inevitably, the conversation would circle around to the question: “So how does your work help humans?” With some degree of exasperation, I’d often shrug and say: “Why does everything have to be about humans?!” I would have a different response now as I’ve come to realize that the human dimension is inescapable; we are hard-pressed to think of an environmental issue, ecosystem, or species that is not influenced by humans in some substantive way. These days, my work focuses more on helping students to learn about the relationships between humans and nature, particularly through the use of environmental case studies in the classroom. For me, case studies are a natural fit for teaching in the environmental arena. Understanding and addressing environmental problems involves many complex, abstract theories and concepts, and case studies help students to learn these by providing detailed examples that tangibly illustrate these difficult ideas. Furthermore, the problems presented in cases are often very compelling to students.
Why are case studies important for ecology?
Cynthia: As an experimental biologist, as many ecologists are, the concept of publishing a case study was somewhat foreign to me, and the idea of publishing a single example of a phenomenon ran counter to my trained instincts (i.e. that’s an anecdote!) However, like natural history monographs, I think there is great value in publishing research-based, detailed descriptions of a single subject, event, or issue. Because environmental problems are often deeply complex and require a systems perspective, case studies illuminate the roles and relationships between various factors in a socio-environmental system or problem in a detailed, nuanced way. Thus, case studies that can illustrate the roles of ecological factors and their relationship to other factors in a system are important for helping us understand and address a particular environmental problem involving that system.
Would you encourage ecologists to submit their own case studies to Case Studies in the Environment?
Cynthia: Absolutely! In the section that I am responsible for (along with Martha Groom, University of Washington, and Tuyeni Mwampamba, UNAM) we have already published some interesting case studies, including material on Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco, a dry tropical forest reserve in Ecuador; on an Australian woodland rehabilitation project; and an analysis of a massive data set on human-bear conflicts in New Jersey; with additional case studies coming soon on an eco-hotel in Costa Rica and on environmental justice, indigenous peoples, and development in British Columbia. I would encourage any colleagues at ESA to talk with me about case studies (you can likely find me at the SESYNC booth in the exhibit hall), or to get in touch via the journal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case Studies in the Environment is a journal of peer-reviewed case study articles, case study pedagogy articles, and a repository for editor-reviewed case study slides. The journal aims to inform faculty, students, educators, professionals, and policymakers on case studies and best practices in the environmental sciences and studies.
Through December 31, 2017, all Case Studies in the Environment content is available free. To learn more about the journal, including guidelines for prospective authors, please visit cse.ucpress.edu.
“With our shared focus on rigorous science and improving norms for publishing practices, and an increasing cross-over of people involved with both, it feels natural to formally affiliate Collabra: Psychology and SIPS. Both entities’ missions are amplified by this collaboration.”
Simine Vazire, UC Davis, and Chair, SIPS Executive Committee also says of the partnership:
“We are thrilled that Collabra: Psychology will be the official journal of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. This joint project will be vital to helping us fulfill our mission. Collabra: Psychology provides an outlet for psychological research that exemplifies the values of SIPS, and presents an opportunity for SIPS to help change norms and incentives in the field of psychology .”
Collabra: Psychology and SIPS are excited to unite in a shared mission to improve psychological science, and scholarly communications broadly, through policies that support transparency, openness, diversity, and rigorous, ethical scientific research practices. To learn more about how Collabra: Psychology currently reinforces these values, check out our website at collabra.org.
The recent annual conference of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) featured a panel on open access monograph publishing. UC Press Interim Director Erich van Rijn spoke about the Luminos program and reports on the session below.
Open access monograph publishing has become a topic of much discussion within the scholarly publishing community, so it should come as no surprise that it was one among many topics covered during concurrent sessions at the 2017 annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses in Austin, Texas. This year, my contribution to the meeting included participating in a panel discussion on open access monograph publishing entitled, “Four Case Studies, Four Ways: Highlights from AAUP’s Review of OA Projects.” The focus of my presentation was UC Press’s Luminos publishing program, and our moderator, Hope LeGro, the Assistant Director at Georgetown University Press had specifically, asked me to focus on the unique model that Luminos utilizes to publish OA monographs cost effectively.
Luminos’sunique hybrid model which includes funding from an author’s institution, library membership funding, unit sales of print-on-demand editions of books, and a subsidy from UC Press was of much interest to attendees. In fact, my fellow panelists and I presented to a capacity crowd, which perhaps provides some indication of the level of interest in open access publishing in the university press community. Luminos’s funding model has been held up as a model of how open access can work, and we are very proud to have pioneered it. However, not unpredictably, larger questions emerged during a lively Q&A from the audience about the extensibility of the Luminos model to other publishers. After all, as an increasing number of publishers compete for scarce library funds to help offset the costs of publishing monographs, how will libraries be able to choose among the various programs? Can the Luminos model scale, and if so, how? As the number of presses offering open access as a publishing option grows, libraries will eventually need to make difficult decisions about which they can help support and which they can’t.
These are important questions with which we at the press and in the wider scholarly communications community must grapple as Luminos and other initiatives aimed at open access monograph publishing continue to evolve. In the meantime, we are very pleased to continue to publish some excellent new books through the program, and we look forward partnering with increasing numbers of authors and libraries to grow the program and watch it flourish as Luminos takes a seat at the table amongst other important efforts to create a sustainable path for the open access monograph of the future.
Interested in your institution becoming a Luminos Member Library? See luminosoa.org for details, or email us at email@example.com.
Big Daddy is a highly engaging biography that tells the story of an American original, California’s Big Daddy, Jesse Unruh (1922-1987), a charismatic man whose power reached far beyond the offices he held. Unruh became a larger-than-life figure and a principal architect and builder of modern California—first as an assemblyman, then as assembly speaker, and finally, as state treasurer. He was also a great character: a combination of intelligence, wit, idealism, cynicism, woman-chasing vulgarity, charm, drunken excess, and political skill. Bill Boyarsky gives a close-up look at this extraordinary political leader, a man who believed that politics was the art of the possible, and his era.
In True to Life, Weschler chronicles David Hockney’s protean production and speculations, including his scenic designs for opera, his homemade xerographic prints, his exploration of physics in relation to Chinese landscape painting, his investigations into optical devices, his taking up of watercolor—and then his spectacular return to oil painting, around 2005, with a series of landscapes of the East Yorkshire countryside of his youth. These conversations provide an astonishing record of what has been Hockney’s grand endeavor, nothing less than an exploration of “the structure of seeing” itself.
In Sidewalking, Ulin offers a compelling inquiry into the evolving landscape of Los Angeles. Part personal narrative, part investigation of the city as both idea and environment, Sidewalking is many things: a discussion of Los Angeles as urban space, a history of the city’s built environment, a meditation on the author’s relationship to the city, and a rumination on the art of urban walking. Exploring Los Angeles through the soles of his feet, Ulin gets at the experience of its street life, drawing from urban theory, pop culture, and literature. For readers interested in the culture of Los Angeles, this book offers a pointed look beneath the surface in order to see, and engage with, the city on its own terms.
Black Elephants in the Room considers how race structures the political behavior of African American Republicans and discusses the dynamic relationship between race and political behavior in the purported “post-racial” context of US politics. Drawing on vivid first-person accounts, the book sheds light on the different ways black identity structures African Americans’ membership in the Republican Party. Moving past rhetoric and politics, we begin to see the everyday people working to reconcile their commitment to black identity with their belief in Republican principles. And at the end, we learn the importance of understanding both the meanings African Americans attach to racial identity and the political contexts in which those meanings are developed and expressed.
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program for monographs.
In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. This book argues that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in America’s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.
Nonstop Metropolis, the culminating volume in a trilogy of atlases, conveys innumerable unbound experiences of New York City through twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays. Bringing together the insights of dozens of experts—from linguists to music historians, ethnographers, urbanists, and environmental journalists—amplified by cartographers, artists, and photographers, it explores all five boroughs of New York City and parts of nearby New Jersey. We are invited to travel through Manhattan’s playgrounds, from polyglot Queens to many-faceted Brooklyn, and from the resilient Bronx to the mystical kung fu hip-hop mecca of Staten Island. The contributors to this exquisitely designed and gorgeously illustrated volume celebrate New York City’s unique vitality, its incubation of the avant-garde, and its literary history, but they also critique its racial and economic inequality, environmental impact, and erasure of its past. Nonstop Metropolis allows us to excavate New York’s buried layers, to scrutinize its political heft, and to discover the unexpected in one of the most iconic cities in the world. It is both a challenge and homage to how New Yorkers think of their city, and how the world sees this capital of capitalism, culture, immigration, and more.
Los Angeles in the 1930s returns to print an invaluable document of Depression-era Los Angeles, illuminating a pivotal moment in L.A.’s history, when writers like Raymond Chandler, Nathanael West, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were creating the images and associations—and the mystique—for which the City of Angels is still known. Many books in one, Los Angeles in the 1930s is both a genial guide and an addictively readable history, revisiting the Spanish colonial period, the Mexican period, the brief California Republic, and finally American sovereignty. It is also a compact coffee table book of dazzling monochrome photography. These whose haunting visions suggest the city we know today and illuminate the booms and busts that marked L.A.’s past and continue to shape its future.
In So How’s the Family, a new collection of thirteen essays, Hochschild—focuses squarely on the impact of social forces on the emotional side of intimate life. From the “work” it takes to keep personal life personal, put feeling into work, and empathize with others; to the cultural “blur” between market and home; the effect of a social class gap on family wellbeing; and the movement of care workers around the globe, Hochschild raises deep questions about the modern age. In an eponymous essay, she even points towards a possible future in which a person asking “How’s the family?” hears the proud answer, “Couldn’t be better.”
Water and Los Angeles:A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program for monographs.
Los Angeles rose to significance in the first half of the twentieth century by way of its complex relationship to three rivers: the Los Angeles, the Owens, and the Colorado. The remarkable urban and suburban trajectory of southern California since then cannot be fully understood without reference to the ways in which each of these three river systems came to be connected to the future of the metropolitan region. This history of growth must be understood in full consideration of all three rivers and the challenges and opportunities they presented to those who would come to make Los Angeles a global power. Full of primary sources and original documents, Water and Los Angeles will be of interest to both students of Los Angeles and general readers interested in the origins of the city.
Stranger Intimacy: In exploring an array of intimacies between global migrants Nayan Shah illuminates a stunning, transient world of heterogeneous social relations—dignified, collaborative, and illicit. At the same time he demonstrates how the United States and Canada, in collusion with each other, actively sought to exclude and dispossess nonwhite races. Stranger Intimacy reveals the intersections between capitalism, the state’s treatment of immigrants, sexual citizenship, and racism in the first half of the twentieth century.
Black and Brown in Los Angeles: The first book to focus exclusively on the range of relationships and interactions between Latinas/os and African Americans in one of the most diverse cities in the United States, the book delivers supporting evidence that Los Angeles is a key place to study racial politics while also providing the basis for broader discussions of multiethnic America. Readers will gain an understanding of the different forms of cultural borrowing and exchange that have shaped a terrain through which African Americans and Latinas/os cross paths, intersect, move in parallel tracks, and engage with a whole range of aspects of urban living. Tensions and shared intimacies are recurrent themes that emerge as the contributors seek to integrate artistic and cultural constructs with politics and economics in their goal of extending simple paradigms of conflict, cooperation, or coalition. The book features essays by historians, economists, and cultural and ethnic studies scholars, alongside contributions by photographers and journalists working in Los Angeles.
Hard-Boiled Hollywood:The tragic and mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of Elizabeth Short, or the Black Dahlia, and Marilyn Monroe ripped open Hollywood’s glitzy façade, exposing the city’s ugly underbelly of corruption, crime, and murder. These two spectacular dead bodies, one found dumped and posed in a vacant lot in January 1947, the other found dead in her home in August 1962, bookend this new history of Hollywood. Short and Monroe are just two of the many left for dead after the collapse of the studio system, Hollywood’s awkward adolescence when the company town’s many competing subcultures—celebrities, moguls, mobsters, gossip mongers, industry wannabes, and desperate transients—came into frequent contact and conflict. Hard-Boiled Hollywood focuses on the lives lost at the crossroads between a dreamed-of Los Angeles and the real thing after the Second World War, where reality was anything but glamorous.”
Sundance to Sarajevois a tour of the world’s film festivals by an insider whose familiarity with the personalities, places, and culture surrounding the cinema makes him uniquely suited to his role. Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, writes about the most unusual as well as the most important film festivals, and the cities in which they occur, with an eye toward the larger picture. His lively narrative emphasizes the cultural, political, and sociological aspects of each event as well as the human stories that influence the various and telling ways the film world and the real world intersect.
12:00pm: Gabriel Thompson, author of America’s Social Arsonist, in conversation in Lost Stories of the West
Raised by conservative parents who hoped he would “stay with his own kind,” Fred Ross instead became one of the most influential community organizers in American history. His activism began alongside Dust Bowl migrants, where he managed the same labor camp that inspired John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. During World War II, Ross worked for the release of interned Japanese Americans, and after the war, he dedicated his life to building the political power of Latinos across California. Labor organizing in this country was forever changed when Ross knocked on the door of a young Cesar Chavez and encouraged him to become an organizer. Until now there has been no biography of Fred Ross, a man who believed a good organizer was supposed to fade into the crowd as others stepped forward. In America’s Social Arsonist, Gabriel Thompson provides a full picture of this complicated and driven man, recovering a forgotten chapter of American history and providing vital lessons for organizers today.
In 1930 the Olmsted Brothers and Harland Bartholomew & Associates submitted a report, “Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region,” to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. After a day or two of coverage in the newspapers, the report dropped from sight. The plan set out a system of parks and parkways, children’s playgrounds, and public beaches. It is a model of ambitious, intelligent, sensitive planning commissioned at a time when land was available, if only the city planners had had the fortitude and vision to act on its recommendations.
“Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches” has become a highly valued but difficult-to-find document. In this book, Greg Hise and William Deverell examine the reasons it was called for, analyze why it failed, and open a discussion about the future of urban public space.
Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?
Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, he wields his multicultural sensibility to parse how the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism—an idea widely misunderstood as American superiority. While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. They also shed light on the intriguing ideological evolution of American conservatism, which long predated Trumpism. Exceptional Americadissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.
Sidewalking: “In this brief but engaging book, Ulin chronicles his wanderings through the streets and his conversations with friends, entrepreneurs, and officials, and he makes it clear that he has read every book and seen every movie on his subject. Those who know the city will have the advantage, but Ulin casts his net widely, so most readers will enjoy his observations of Los Angeles in literary and popular art as well as his thoughtful personal views.”—Kirkus
Black and Brown in Los Angeles: “Exceeds [its] categories and adds to an emerging corpus of comparative knowledge . . . the book shows what interdisciplinary scholarship can do for America’s understanding of itself, especially when it comes to culturally promiscuous, ethnically heterogeneous megapolises like LA.”—Ryan Boyd The Los Angeles Review
Are you a scholarly society, or other community or collective, with an OA journal idea that you would like to develop with UC Press?
Are you involved with an OA journal that you are in a position to consider publishing with UC Press?
Are you an editor, or on an editorial board, considering starting a new OA journal?
Then please consider reaching out to us. Our aim is to facilitate, and not control, and we acknowledge the primary importance of the scholarly community in the value of a journal. Contact: Dan Morgan, Publisher, UC Press, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collabra’s transition to Collabra: Psychology, a journal devoted to psychology, was not an exit from other fields but a focus on a specific community in which it gained great traction. When the opportunity to publish Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene came along, we realized the best way forward for our OA efforts would be to work with specific communities on specific journals.
And now our intention is to have “Collabra” be an overarching brand for more Open Access journals—which will all feature the core values of:
Fairness in pricing and business practice, with revenue sharing models if appropriate
Scientific and scholarly rigor
Transparency and openness, in data, methods, interests—defined by each community
Putting the academic community first—which community primarily creates and maintains a journal’s profile and identify
We look forward to working with you! Please reach out to Dan Morgan, Publisher, UC Press, at email@example.com.
UC Press is proud to be part of the AAUP’s fifth annual University Press Week. Check out our blog and social media channels through Nov. 19th (plus follow hashtags #ReadUp#UPWeek), and learn how we, along with 40 of our scholarly press colleagues, work diligently to publish vital works benefitting educational, specialized research, and general interest communities.
We invite you to submit your work in developmental psychology to Collabra: Psychology, the mission-centric, value-sharing open access (OA) journal from University of California Press.
If you’ve already heard of us, you will know that Collabra: Psychology is different. It is not just another OA journal, but a journal that actually gives back to the research community through a novel mechanism that recognizes and shares the value contributed by editors and peer reviewers. This mechanism shares earnings with editors and reviewers for any journal work (not just work leading to acceptance), and allows them to make decisions as to what happens with this value, with options to “pay forward” that value to institutional OA budgets, or to an author waiver fund subsidizing APCs for other researchers. This page explains it in full.
Additionally, Collabra: Psychology is focused on scientific, methodological, and ethical rigor. Editors and reviewers do not attempt to predict a submission’s impact to the field, nor employ any topic bias in accepting articles — they will check for rigorously and transparently conducted, statistically sound, adequately powered, and fairly analyzed research worthy of inclusion in the scholarly record. The bar is set high.
We encourage you to submit your work to us, and to know that you will be supporting one of the first journals that shares actual value with all of the people who do the work and help create a journal’s brand. With our first papers now published and receiving over 25,000 views collectively, we look forward to continued publishing success. Any questions, please contact Dan Morgan.
There are many more innovative features at Collabra: Psychology, including optional open peer review, article-level metrics, article annotation and commentary from hypothes.is, and an article-sharing partnership with Kudos, to name just a few. Please do check out the website for the full story: www.collabra.org.
To see more Calls for Papers from Collabra: Psychology, click here.
In October, JSTOR announced the inclusion of sixty-three open access monographs, including those from UC Press’s OA program Luminos, on their aggregated content platform, Books at JSTOR. In the following Q&A, Books at JSTOR Director Frank Smith talks about why this is an important development for disseminating the long-form research of faculty in the humanities and social sciences.
What is the role of JSTOR in the discovery process for students and researchers?
JSTOR is one of the most heavily used online resources at universities and colleges. Students and researchers know—or at least we think they know—that the journals and books presented on JSTOR have been carefully chosen by JSTOR staff for their high academic quality. A very high percentage of the searches for content on JSTOR are from students, faculty, and other researchers who actually start on JSTOR, as opposed to coming in from the library catalog or Google.
Further, librarians have told us that they’re unlikely to catalog OA books because they’re worried about the quality of some OA titles “in the wild,” and it is too much work for them to “opt-in” even OA books from respected publishers if they are not able to do so at scale. Books at JSTOR seems to be one good solution to those problems: JSTOR is a trusted source for content, and having OA titles delivered at greater scale gives librarians incentive to opt-in to cataloging those titles via MARC records and their web-scale discovery partners, so that OA book metadata is available to their patrons not just via search, but also through libraries’ own discovery systems.
Why did you decide to host open access books on JSTOR?
The open access books we are hosting come from publishers who we know employ high standards, including peer review, in their publishing decisions. So in one sense the open access books we are hosting are the same as books for which we sell licenses, which is to say we think they will be valuable for anyone doing academic research. A second reason to host open access books is to try to make JSTOR a more valuable resource for researchers who may not have university affiliations or may be in developing countries. (Through the generosity of many publishers, we also offer “read only” access to many journals for researchers without affiliations.) Third, OA books increase the amount of high quality content on JSTOR and we think thereby will make it a more valuable research platform.
What do you hope the future will hold for open access books on Books at JSTOR?
We hope of course that the books will be valuable to researchers. We also hope that by collecting data on the use of the books we can contribute in a meaningful way to discussions about the growth of open access publishing.
Also, the systems for books that are sold—publishing systems, library cataloging systems, and discovery systems—are ill suited to maximize the distribution of OA content. We’re facing a new version of trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. Books at JSTOR plays an important role then in being one of the first for-purchase content aggregators to incorporate OA books into our workflows and collections, which will ultimately help OA book publishing and readership as a whole.
Rachael G. Samberg is UC Berkeley’s first Scholarly Communication Officer, and is leading the charge in developing their scholarly communication program. A Duke Law graduate, Rachael practiced intellectual property litigation at Fenwick & West LLP for seven years before spending six years at Stanford Law School’s library, where she was Head of Reference & Instructional Services and a Lecturer in Law. She joined UC Berkeley in June 2016.
What is your mandate at UCB?
I’m here to build a world-class program supporting scholars throughout the entire knowledge lifecycle. Our mission is to help faculty, staff, and students use, create, publish, and manage scholarly information by providing guidance and training as they research, publish, and teach. This could mean anything from: answering copyright and licensing questions about what scholars include in their publications, helping authors protect their IP rights once they publish, promoting discoverability and recognition of scholars’ research and writing, shaping funding models that will sustain open access scholarly communication, making data and text more available for research and analysis, incentivizing the creation of open educational resources—and much more.
We’ll do all of this with an eye toward helping scholars navigate and maximize their research impact in the changing scholarly publishing landscape. The UC System performs nearly one-tenth of all the academic research and development conducted in the United States, and produces approximately one-twelfth of all U.S. research publications. So, our program’s ability to bring added visibility and support for UC Berkeley scholars’ research and publishing can thus have tremendous global impact, and potentially help us shape national and international policies and practices in scholarly publishing.
Why is OA important to you?
The books, periodicals, and journals in which scholars publish (and that researchers and students around the globe need to access) are nearly out of reach for well-funded institutions, let alone smaller campuses or individuals. They’re expensive and often behind insurmountable subscription paywalls. This publishing system stymies idea exchange.
Open Access publishing—like the kind that UC Press is doing with Luminos, Collabra, and Elementa—helps ensure that scholars can discover and utilize the information they need, and have their work found and used by others—all of which promotes innovation and progress.
What initiatives do you have planned?
Our program’s first year priorities will be to:
Provide support for OA publishing. This means expanding library funding and support for OA publication of all types (monographs, journal articles, data, etc.), supporting national and international initiatives to migrate publishing to OA, promoting UCB scholarship that’s published OA, and conducting outreach and training about OA and scholarly impact.
Provide intellectual property rights education. I’m providing both wide-scale and discipline-specific campus education and guidance about the use of licensed and IP rights-protected materials in research, scholarship and instruction. I’m also offering education and guidance on post-publishing author rights retention, and supporting consultations as to all.
Explore opportunities to further affordable course content and open educational resources (OERs). We’ll be looking into ways to encourage creation of OERs, and provide education and training regarding incorporating them into instruction and syllabi. We’re also working on promoting library-licensed resources to reduce student course pack and textbook costs.
Establish a scholarly communication program website. I’ve been creating a lot of guidance materials in support of all the different educational initiatives for the program. For instance, I’ve developed a copyright and publishing guide for dissertation writers, a workflow for addressing copyright issues in course content, and much more. I’ll be establishing a unified program website that pulls together information about all of the program’s services, and includes this rich, comprehensive content to support scholars and students.
We’ll also be exploring adoption of a profiles system (or, research information management system, as they’re sometimes called) to promote faculty scholarship and encourage OA publishing, and revising library special collections policies to reduce access barriers for publishing and reuse.
What has faculty reception been?
As one indicia of the great need for scholarly communication services on many campuses, I’ve discovered it’s possible to strong relationships with faculty members even without “the campus” as a whole knowing what our program is yet. I’m so grateful that, from the moment I arrived, library staff and various academic departments and programs began referring faculty to me for guidance related to copyright and licensing issues. Even without a program website, I’ve been able to conduct outreach through these individual consultations. If you can provide excellent service—which I aim 1000% of the time to do—word will spread, and you can become an important resource in the academic community.
Any lessons learned to share with other institutions?
Build relationships, listen, and learn. I hit the ground running when I arrived to meet with as many individuals and campus departments as I could, and figure out what services they need. Of course, on a campus this size, that type of work is always ongoing. But from the beginning, by focusing on building relationships, I’ve been able to organize and hold a wide array of trainings to help the scholarly communication program become integrated into the network of campus support services.
For instance, during this OA Week, we have partnered with the UC Berkeley Graduate Division to provide workshops on copyright and publishing issues with dissertations and first books (at which UC Press’s Reed Malcolm spoke), and training on how to track and increase scholarly impact. We have also worked with the D-Lab (data lab) and Digital Humanties@Berkeley to offer unique sessions related to data publishing and DH project preservation. And, we’re looking forward to ongoing partnerships with UC Press to promote OA publications by UC scholars.
Probably like many academic authors, we were initially concerned that open access might be viewed by others as meaning low quality—after all, if it was really good, why would it be “free”? Of course, we knew the standards that we had applied to ensure rigor, as well the reviews from which our manuscript benefited, and the exacting process that UC Press and Luminos have put in place to ensure a high quality series. But would others glean all that background?
It was the thinking about others that actually made it clear. We realized that we have long valued our role as public intellectuals who are willing and indeed, eager, to bring ideas into the messy real world and participate in the debates that change lives—and this open access model is perfectly suited to that sort of effort.
More specifically, the open access model UC Press and Luminos are helping to pioneer totally fit the central messages of our book—that equity and opportunity are key for sustainable growth, that cross-sector conversations can bring new common ground, and that data deliberations in knowledge communities can forge productive solutions. We quickly became committed to this effort to democratize access to scholarship of consequence.
And here is what we’ve learned since publishing. First, that free access doesn’t seem to shrink the market for hard copies but rather it helps to build it. People still want the “feel” of a book but they get more convinced that a volume should be on their shelf when they get a downloaded taste.
Second, you can’t assume the market is there for your work. We have gotten out and spoken about the book in multiple settings, particularly to non-academic audiences, and we also created a website with some of the key messages and data, helping to drive interested readers to the Luminos download.
Finally, this really is the wave of the future. Your work can get out more quickly and touch infinitely more people. It is easier for others to assign significant portions of a book in a class without worrying about running afoul of copyright laws. Open access is where publishing is headed—and we’ve been proud to be working with the first-movers in this new learning space.
Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, including regional labor markets and restructuring of work and employment. His most recent book, coauthored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. Other books include This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America, and Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley.
Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as Director of USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Codirector of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). His most recent book, coauthored with Chris Benner, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. He is also the coauthor of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America.