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This observation was written by Caroline Winter.

At a glance:

TitleCARL’s Advancing Open Event and Report
CreatorCanadian Association of Research Libraires (CARL)
Publication DateApril 2020
Keywordsopen access, INKE Partner activities, scholarly communication

On May 6 and 7, 2019, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL–ABRC) hosted Advancing Open, an unconference-style gathering for Canadian scholarly communication practitioners to discuss ways to advance open scholarship in Canada. In April 2020, CARL published a report based on the event: Advancing Open: Views from Scholarly Communications Practitioners, written by Lindsey MacCallum, Ann Barrett, Leah Vanderjagt, and Amy Buckland (2020).

Advancing Open summarizes the discussion from the event, outlining the state of open scholarship in Canada and the barriers to its advancement as well as ideas and recommendations about moving forward. The report is intended as a starting point for discussing and developing a common strategy for supporting and advancing open scholarship in Canada and the local and national levels. The report features five key themes, points from which are summarized below:

  • Open Policy
  • Open Technology
  • The Human Element
  • Open Outreach
  • Open Workflow and Operations

Notes from the unconference event are available, as are several event recordings. The event also inspired a lively discussion on Twitter, accessible by searching the hashtag #openlibreCAN.

Open Policy

Although Plan S and other international policies provide useful models, Canadians need a “made in Canada,” community-led approach developed through collaboration among researchers, librarians, institutions, organizations, funding agencies, learned societies, scholarly communications professionals, and other stakeholders (MacCallum et al. 2020, 8–9; see also “Plan S and cOAlition S”).

Open Technology

In order to reduce duplication of work and ensure sustainable, equal access across the country, Canada needs a national, federally funded open scholarship infrastructure, whether centralized or distributed.

The Human Element

In order to decolonize open scholarship, we must acknowledge the colonial nature of existing institutions and technologies, collaborate with Indigenous and other marginalized communities, and move forward with transparency and accountability. Workload and labour are also pressing concerns, since the demand for open scholarship expertise is growing, but institutional staffing and funding practices have not changed in response.

Open Outreach

Advancing open scholarship requires a cultural shift, which can be accomplished through a combination of organizational leadership; changing institutional practices including research, tenure, and promotion guidelines; developing and supporting OA policy, and improving communication and collaboration among scholarly communication and resource librarians and between librarians, faculty, and administration.

Open Workflow and Operations

Greater clarity is needed about core competencies and expectations for scholarly communications professionals, as well as robust professional development opportunities, including well aligned library and information science programs and a professional association or other organization to facilitate communication and collaboration.

Advancing Open and the INKE Partnership

Since the INKE Partnership works in support of open social scholarship, advancing open scholarship and around the world is a key goal for its partners and members, who are working in various ways to address the challenges raised in the report.

Several INKE Partnership members were involved in Advancing Open. It was led by CARL’s Open Repositories Working Group and sponsored by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN–RCDR).

The event featured a keynote address by Juan Pablo Alperin, Associate Director of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP).

Advancing Open and Open Scholarship

The Advancing Open event brought together 70 participants from across Canada, indicating strong interest among the scholarly communications community in moving open scholarship forward and the need for more mechanisms and opportunities for collaboration.

The report discusses open scholarship in Canada in the context of related Canadian policies and initiatives, such as the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications and the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy (5) and OA policies for research institutions (see “Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications,” “Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management,” and “Partner Response to Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management”).

The report also situates the event’s discussion in relation the international open scholarship movement, including policies such as Plan S, Projekt Deal and Foundations for Open Scholarship Strategy Development (5), and notes that it makes its recommendations with the aim of helping Canada take its place alongside the UK and Europe as a leader in open scholarship.

Work Cited

MacCallum, Lindsey, Ann Barrett, Leah Vanderjagt, and Amy Buckland. 2020. Advancing Open: Views from Scholarly Communications Practitioners. Canadian Association of Research Libraries–Association des Bibliothèques de Recherche du Canada. April 2020.