The Canadian Social Knowledge Institute (C-SKI) actively engages issues related to networked open social scholarship: creating and disseminating research and research technologies in ways that are accessible and significant to a broad audience that includes specialists and active non-specialists. Representing, coordinating, and supporting the work of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership, C-SKI activities include awareness raising, knowledge mobilization, training, public engagement, scholarly communication, and pertinent research and development on local, national, and international levels. Originated in 2015, C-SKI is located in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab in the Digital Scholarship Centre at UVic.
C-SKI’s partners, through INKE, include: Advanced Research Consortium (ARC), Canadian Association of Learned Journals (CALJ), Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing (CISP), Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), Compute Canada, Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC), Canadiana, Digital Humanities Research Group (DHRG; U Western Sydney), Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL), Edith Cowan U, Érudit, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Iter: Gateway to the Renaissance, J.E. Halliwell Associates, Public Knowledge Project (PKP), Simon Fraser U Library, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP), Scholarly and Research Communication (SRC), U Victoria Libraries, and Voyant Tools, among others.
Current Initiatives (details below)
- Open Knowledge Practicum program
- Open Social Scholarship stream at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute
- Annual INKE Partnership Open Scholarship gatherings
- Humanities and Social Sciences Research Accelerator
- Open Scholarship Policy Observatory
- Honorary Resident Wikipedian
- Social Media Engine
Launched in January 2017, the Open Knowledge Practicum puts networked open social scholarship into action by inviting members of the community, as well as university faculty, staff, and students, to pursue their own research projects. C-SKI and the ETCL supports fellows by providing access to various resources, library materials, and archives; offering consultation and guidance; and pairing fellows with specialists in the field, among other project-specific assistance. To date, practicums have spanned a wide array of topics, ranging from discipline-specific foci to local public history and research on the broader community. One of the primary outcomes of this initiative is that research is made available in a public, online venue, as well as made discoverable to both general and more targeted communities. All Open Knowledge Practicum fellows contribute their research outcomes to Wikipedia, either by editing or adding to existing information, or by creating entirely new pages. We consider Wikipedia to be a prime example of the type of scholarship and online culture that is developed and sustained by citizen scholars. The Open Knowledge Practicum is a step toward more publicly engaged scholarship that supports research proposed by its fellows. More info: http://etcl.uvic.ca/?page_id=1919
The Open Social Scholarship course stream at the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) comprises courses that are purposefully focused on public engagement, social issues, and creative approaches to scholarly communication. 2017 courses included: “Digital Public Humanities,” led by Mia Tootill (Cornell U); “Open Access and Open Social Scholarship,” led by Alyssa Arbuckle (U Victoria); “Accessibility and Digital Environments,” led by George H. Williams (U South Carolina, Upstate) and Erin Templeton (Converse C); “Ethical Collaboration in the Digital Humanities,” led by Daniel Powell (King’s C London); “Feminist Digital Humanities: Theoretical, Social, and Material Engagements,” led by Elizabeth Losh (U California, San Diego) and Jessica Johnson (Michigan State U); and “Digital Games as Interactive Tools for Scholarly Research, Communication and Pedagogy,” led by Jon Saklofske (Acadia U).
DHSI offers the largest digital humanities curriculum in the world as an ETCL-led pedagogical partnership of some 30 institutions and academic organizations plus an expanding international training network. For 2018 (June 3rd–14th), DHSI will welcome over 850 faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library, and Archives communities—as well as independent scholars and participants from industry and government sectors —for 52 courses, led by an instructional team of over 70. DHSI’s alumni group is some 3,500 large, and it mobilizes just under $1 million in training funding annually.
We organize INKE Partnership gatherings with open social scholarship themes. These gatherings bring together INKE partners, researchers, research assistants, and other interested stakeholders to discuss current and future work in the area. The 2018 INKE Partnership gathering is titled “Beyond Open: Implementing Social Scholarship,” and will be held on January 10th-11th in Victoria, BC. This event is open to all upon registration. More info: http://inke.ca/projects/victoria-gathering-2018/
Previous open scholarship-themed gatherings include “Networked Open Social Scholarship” (January 2017, Victoria BC), “New Knowledge Models: Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production” (January 2016, Whistler BC), “Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production” (January 2015, Whistler BC), and “Building Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Publishing” (January 2014, Whistler BC). Other related INKE gatherings have been held in Sydney (Australia, 2014), Chicago (USA, 2014), New York (USA, 2013), Havana (Cuba, 2012), Kyoto (Japan, 2011), and The Hague (Netherlands, 2010).
The Humanities and Social Sciences Research Accelerator fosters an environment for Canadian humanities and social science researchers to share, access, re-purpose, and develop scholarly data, tools, and resources. This network adapts the extant Modern Language Association Humanities Commons platform as a developmental base, along with other Canadian-based research tools and infrastructure. The HSS Research Accelerator links various INKE Partnership tools, prototypes, services, and projects, as well as integrates institutional repositories, project development, and user profiles and interactions. By making Canadian humanities and social science research data and tools visible and accessible, we encourage a culture that builds on already-developed applications and information rather than repeatedly re-inventing the wheel.
The HSS Research Accelerator builds on conversations and consultations over the last few years with INKE Partnership members, including the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Canadiana.org, Compute Canada, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Edith Cowan University, the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, Érudit, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Iter: Gateway to the Renaissance, and the Public Knowledge Project. The network also has a basis in several co-developed research prototypes existing on Canadian research infrastructure.
The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory is made up of INKE Partnership members and stakeholders who collect research, track findings and national and international policy changes, and facilitate understanding of open social scholarship across Canada and internationally. Building from these activities, we work as an aid to influence and implement policy around knowledge mobilization. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory reflects findings back to other partners and stakeholders, along with local institutions, associations, consortia, and government bodies, in order to assist these groups with developing timely and responsive policies.
This initiative is undertaken in collaboration with the following INKE Partnership members: the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing, Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, Compute Canada, Digital Humanities Research Group, Edith Cowan University, Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, J.E. Halliwell Associates, Public Knowledge Project, Simon Fraser University Library, and the University of Victoria Libraries.
Dr. Constance Crompton (U Ottawa) is the ETCL / U Vic Libraries Honorary Resident Wikipedian for 2017-18, sponsored by INKE and the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This role was previously held by Dr. Christian Vandendorpe from 2014–2016. Dr. Crompton suggests that some of the greatest social knowledge creation initiatives, from the Longitude Prize to the Oxford English Dictionary, have been collective efforts. We are, however, separated from those initiatives by an important cultural shift, the move from information scarcity to information abundance. In the age of abundance, the ability to curate information has emerged as a key twenty first-century skill. Taking collective information curation as a starting point, she reflects on the opportunities for members of cultural and academic organizations to share, and perhaps more importantly, create, new knowledge with and alongside members of Wikipedia’s existing editorial communities.
In 2017-18, Dr. Crompton will situate her work in the C-SKI, ETCL, and UVic Libraries and contribute to the local research and library communities at U Victoria, as well as within the INKE Partnership, which she has been associated with since 2011. As Honorary Resident Wikipedian, Dr. Crompton gave the opening presentation, “Curation to Creation: Wikipedia’s Contribution to Open Knowledge.” at the ETCL/UVic Libraries Wikipedia edit-a-thon on April 3rd 2017. Dr. Crompton’s dedication to open social scholarship aligns with INKE’s own commitment to the same set of concepts and practices.
The ways in which we share and engage research today are in a state of change. Following the move from print- to digitally-based resources – a change in the way in which we represent and convey our research materials – we’re also engaging in new patterns of conveyance and interaction, some of them ‘social’ in nature even as we locate specific materials in larger collections of research. Partnered with Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project in the CFI-funded “Open Science SSH Cyberinfrastructure” project, Dr Luis Meneses and his colleagues carry out work in developing a Social Media Engine to aid these activities. This engine and its underlying framework relies on the affordances found in Open Access Repositories, and it aims to instigate public engagement, open social scholarship, and social knowledge creation by facilitating the matching of readers with relevant publications. For this purpose, in our work we focus on different techniques and technologies that we use for extracting relevant features from social media. Additionally, we also use our work to enrich an ongoing discussion by analyzing the results that we gathered from the alignment of these social media indicators with the models that we have extracted from our document corpus. These features, and others, will be the foundation of the Social Media Engine, which will be available as a working prototype in mid-2018.