Activity Clusters

The INKE Partnership pursues its work through 4 interrelated clusters: Connection, Training, Community, and Policy.

Each cluster is led by a team of co-facilitators and pursues key questions through research, experimentation, and development. Each cluster also has a key output: the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons (Connection), the Open Social Scholarship training program (Training), the Public Digital Scholarship Prototypes & Initiatives (Connection), and the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory (Policy).


Participants at the annual INKE winter gathering in Victoria, 2020. Photo by Lynne Siemens


Co-facilitated by Ray Siemens (UVic) and Alyssa Arbuckle (UVic), the Connection cluster is dedicated to strengthening the open communication of research through innovative interaction and engagement among humanities and social sciences researchers, organizations, and the public. 

The key research question of the Connection cluster is How can an open, online space for the humanities and social sciences build community and accelerate academic research, while also benefiting an engaged public and contributing to the common good?

To pursue this question, the Connection cluster focuses on the research and development of the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons, a national-scale, online research commons in both Canadian official languages.


Co-facilitated by Constance Crompton (U Ottawa) and Laura Estill (St. Francis Xavier U), the Training cluster focuses on how best to grow expertise by training community members to create, use, and mobilize knowledge effectively.

The key research question of the Training cluster is What innovative training strategies and approaches improve digital literacy, information-seeking, and knowledge production for students, researchers, industry, and engaged members of the public within a theoretical framework of open scholarship? 

The Training cluster coordinates the Open Social Scholarship Training Program, and, in doing so, consults on and hosts major open scholarship training initiatives in Canada through the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). DHSI has the largest dedicated DH curriculum in the world and a specialized open social scholarship stream focused on public engagement, social issues, and creative approaches to scholarly communication via aligned workshops at Congress and partnerships with the Atlantic-based training initiative DHSI-East. The Training cluster also collaborates with Western Sydney U’s Digital Humanities (DH) Research Group and its annual training offering, DH Downunder, to incorporate open social scholarship approaches into their curricula.


Co-facilitated by Jon Bath (U Saskatchewan) and Jon Saklofske (Acadia U), the Community cluster researches and develops Public Digital Scholarship Prototypes & Initiatives in order to explore open publishing, scholarly communication, and citizen scholarship. 

The key research question of the Community cluster is Which models for collaborative, open scholarly practices can effectively meet the interests and needs of an engaged public for humanities and social sciences research in particular, and why?

The Community cluster is developing a scholarly communication research foundation across a number of Public Digital Scholarship projects, including those in community building, game studies, digital humanities, digitized literature, linked open data, storytelling, and library resource.


Co-facilitated by Tanja Niemann (Érudit) and Lynne Siemens (UVic), the Policy cluster is dedicated to collaborating with stakeholders to study, influence, and implement policy on evolving open scholarship in Canada.

The key research question of the Policy cluster is How can policy actively enhance the wider academic, social, and economic possibilities for open scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, and what are the benefits of this type of engagement for those who create and implement policy as well as all individuals who are impacted by it?

In large part, this question is pursued through the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory, which collects, tracks, and builds understanding of open social scholarship and reflects this back to local institutions, associations, consortia, and government bodies for analysis and education.