FSCI 2020 Course Abstracts

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FSCI Course Abstracts 

FSCI Course list with links to individual abstracts posted here.


AM1 - Inside Scholarly Communication Today

Instructor: Cameron Neylon, PhD, Professor of Research Communications, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This course will provide an overview of the scholarly communication landscape of today, how we got here, and what we can tell about the current state of the field and how it is changing. The course will provide participants with a broad background on key topics along with knowledge of additional information sources to investigate issues further. 

The course will provide a history of scholarly publishing and discussion of the information landscape, data availability, the economics of publishing, and issues surrounding peer review. We will offer a broad overview of major trends into the future, but the focus is primarily on how things are.

There will be four half-day sessions offering a mix of lecture and practical work, particularly information gathering and analysis. The emphasis will be on providing frameworks within which information can be gathered and understood rather than on “fact teaching.”

Level: Beginner

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at people wanting an overview of the scholarly communication landscape and how it has evolved as a starting point for further exploration. This includes those interested in careers in scholarly communications in libraries, publishing or other areas; final-year undergraduates and early PhD students in general; research leaders who need an overview of our existing system; and researchers looking to expand their view from their existing disciplinary experience.

Requirements: There are no specific requirements. Readings will be given and some work will be done in documents during the course, so laptops or other devices will be useful but not essential.


AM2 - Author Carpentry: Writing a Research Compendium and the Future of Scientific Reporting


Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Almost two decades ago, computational biologists Robert Gentleman and Duncan Temple Lang proposed a new paradigm for research communication – the research compendium combining text, data, and the code used for analysis (https://biostats.bepress.com/bioconductor/paper3/; https://github.com/ropensci/rrrpkg). They envisioned that a digital compendium of scientific outputs, packaged for inspection, reuse, and publication, could replace the static paper (whether analog or PDF) as a more meaningful and useful research report.

In this workshop, we will explore the paradigm of the reproducible research compendium in three ways: 

  • by reading and discussing work of Gentleman and Temple Lang;
  • by hearing from modern-day followers of the compenium movement (the rOpenSci community, among others);
  • by creating a sample mini-compendium in the R environment and publishing it to the web.

R Markdown is an open, powerful, and easy-to-use authoring syntax for combining text, code, figures, and other document features needed for publication, presentations, and websites. Researchers across the disciplines are shifting to this approach, allowing them to “author once” and output to many, and also to create fully open and reproducible reports for human and machine reading and reuse. Participants will gain proficiency authoring a mini-compendium in R Markdown using packages created or adopted by the rOpenSci community, as well as “container technology” such as Docker and Binder.

Combining presenter demonstrations, hands-on sessions, and expert guest lectures, the interactive sessions will take authors step-by-step through a workflow using readily available applications and proven recipes.

Level: Intermediate

Intended Audience: This course is aimed at researchers who are interested in trying new techniques for publishing their work. The course may also be of interest to librarians and others who offer publishing services to researchers. Participants should be proficient in Windows, Mac, or Linux OS. They should also be able to locate and install pre-compiled open-source software; have experience authoring and publishing research communication; be familiar with the command line; and be fearless about learning enough about the R software environment to follow step-by-step instructions.

Requirements: Students will be required to bring a laptop with R and R Studio installed, along with some R packages. Detailed installation instructions will be provided.


AM3 - Research Reproducibility in Theory and Practice (Examples and Focus on Biological Sciences)


  • Anita BandrowskiPhD , SciCrunch and University of California, San Diego
  • Daniel S. Katz, PhD, Assistant Director for Scientific Software and Applications, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Research; and Research Associate Professor in Information Sciences, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Susanna-Assunta Sansone, PhD, Associate Director and Associate Professor, FAIR Data Science, Oxford e-Research Centre
  • Tracey Weissgerber, PhD, Mayo Clinic and QUEST (Quality, Ethics, Open Science, Translation), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This course will focus on issues of reproducibility in research from a broad perspective. It will include an introduction to the differing types of reproducibility, and a discussion of new grant review guidelines and the philosophy that underpins them. 

The course will look at reproducibility in several contexts, including collecting and communication in experimental research, providing a robust record of computational research, and the limitations and debates around these approaches. We will introduce several tools and approaches to support reproducible research practice, including the RRID portal, Zenodo, Jupyter Notebooks, and best practice in research and data management, communication, and open sharing.

There will be four half-day sessions offering a mix of lecture and practical work, particularly information gathering and analysis. The emphasis will be on providing frameworks within which information can be gathered and understood rather than on “fact teaching.”

Level: Beginner

Intended Audience: The target audience is researchers seeking a deeper understanding of reproducibility in a variety of contexts, as well as those with a need to support researchers – for example, staff from research offices, libraries, service providers, or publishers. Participants should be seeking an introduction to working toward reproducibility in practice and to the tools that can support them in doing this.

Requirements: Participants should have basic computer skills and a laptop.


AM4 - Carpentries Instructor Training


  • Tim Dennis, Director, Data Science Center, University of California Los Angeles Library 
  • Juliane Schneider, Team Lead, eagle-i, Harvard Catalyst, Clinical and Translational Science Center 

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Over the last hundred years, researchers have discovered an enormous amount about how people learn and how best to teach them. Unfortunately, much of that knowledge has not yet been translated into common classroom practice, especially at the university level. In this workshop, you will learn evidence-based best-practices of teaching and how to create a positive environment for learners at your workshops. You will have multiple opportunities to practice and build your teaching skills, and we will help you connect to the Carpentries community and prepare you to use these skills while teaching Carpentries workshops. 

The workshop will be hands-on with individual and group practical exercises, including practice teaching sessions. Those who complete the workshop and some short follow-up exercises online will become certified to teach Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry workshops.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is designed for anyone who wants to improve their teaching and will be particularly useful for those who teach computational and data analysis skills.  

Requirements: There are no prerequisites for this training, but participants will benefit from having attended a Data, Software, or Library Carpentry workshop either as a learner or helper so that they are familiar with our teaching techniques and the style of our workshops.


AM5 - FAIR Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle

Instructors: ​

  • Natasha SimonsAssociate Director, Skilled Workforce, Australian Research Data Commons
  • Christopher Erdmann, User Engagement, Support and Training Expert (RENCI), University of North Carolina

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This course will focus on FAIR research data management and stewardship practices. It will provide an understanding of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data and how it fits into Scholarly Communication workflows. Through hands-on exercises, group discussions and presentations, participants will learn about the FAIR Data Principles and how they can be applied in practice.

Good data stewardship is the cornerstone of knowledge, discovery, and innovation in research. The FAIR data principles address data creators, stewards, software engineers, publishers, and others to promote maximum use of research data. In research libraries, the principles can be used as a framework for fostering and extending research data services.

This course will begin with an overview of the FAIR Data Principles and the drivers behind their development by a broad community of international stakeholders. Over four half-day sessions, we will explore a range of topics related to putting FAIR data into practice, including how and where data can be described, stored, and made discoverable (e.g., data repositories, metadata); methods for identifying and citing data; interoperability of (meta)data; best-practice examples; and tips for enabling data reuse (e.g., data licensing). Along the way, we will get hands-on with data and tools. There will be opportunities for participants to learn from each other and to develop skills in data management and expertise in making data FAIR.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at individuals working with or expecting to work with data as researchers, publishers, librarians, or in research support, especially those seeking to develop their skills in managing FAIR data in practice and to understand the tools that can support them in doing this.

Requirements: There are no special requirements for the course.


AM6 - When Global Is Local: The South of Open Scholarly Communication ​


  • Gimena del Rio Riande, PhD, Researcher, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas y Crítica Textual (IIBICRIT), National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Daniel O'Donnell, PhD, Professor of English, University of Lethbridge, Canada

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: What is the South? A cardinal point, a group of countries with emerging economies, or an area defined by inequalities, where languages, ethnicities, identities, traditions and geographies coexist and produce unique epistemologies? Are we speaking about the South as understood from the North or from the many “Souths”? This course will focus on the practices and experiences of open scholarly production and knowledge exchange in the so-called Global South, focusing especially on open initiatives in Latin America.

The course will analyze challenges, highlight initiatives, and explore options to contextualize the open movement from a southern perspective. The course will also analyze and debate Open Access laws and specific cases that illustrate the movement’s progress and challenges, and will present a practical approach to deal with the different open scholarly communication ecosystems in the world. Finally, the course will put Open Access to publications and research data in the context of the larger Open Science movement.

The emphasis will be on the local contexts and relevancies of participation and impact, including those related to language(s), publication, technologies, access and reuse, dissemination and outreach, funding, credit and attribution, and evaluation.  

The course will support a critical examination of the epistemological, linguistic, geopolitical, spatial, technological, and economic status of the South(s)/Global South(s), as well as strategies for positively transforming and opening scholarly communication on a global scale in ways that eliminate systematic and biased understandings of participation and success. As we examine local and global questions about scholarly communication, we will use the South as a framework for critical episteme and reflection.

There will be four half-day sessions offering a mix of lecture and practical work, particularly information gathering and analysis. The emphasis will be on providing frameworks within which information can be gathered and understood rather than on “fact teaching.” We will encourage participants to engage reflectively with the material, bringing their own experiences to bear. 

Level: Beginner

Intended Audience: Scholars, librarians, researchers, students, and anybody interested in innovation in scientific information from all disciplines are invited to participate in this workshop. The course may also be of interest to those who want to build an understanding of Open Science outside the Global North, digital hegemonies, diversity and multilingualism, and postcolonial approaches to scholarly communication.

Requirements: No previous knowledge or experience in the topic is needed. Preparatory work won't be required, but we will offer suggested material for participants to read and watch before the course. Students don't need any special equipment, just laptops and access to the internet.


AM7 - How To Introduce and Implement Policy in Your Institution and Still Have Friends Afterwards


Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: We face multiple challenges as we develop and implement institution-wide policies to help support an open and information-rich future within our universities. Our ability to work across multiple complex units within the university, to align our priorities and interests, and to understand how decisions are made within our institutions is critical to the success and sustainability of policies and the infrastructure needed to support them.

This course offers an opportunity to engage deeply in how policies and supporting implementing structures are developed, agreed upon, and sustained. The participants will share practice and experiences to broaden the discussion and help find commonalities. Throughout the course, we will be using a range of teaching and workshop tools that can be repurposed by participants for sessions they might wish to run subsequent to the course.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: There are no prerequisites for this course. We believe the course will be useful for a range of roles and participants – anyone who wants to reflect on and improve how policy is set and implemented at the organizational level. 

Requirements: We will ask that participants do some pre-work identifying their own institutional structures and workings.


AM8 - Join the Culture Club: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Building Community in Your Team, Organization, and Institution ​


  • Lou Woodley, Director, CSCCE (Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement), American Association for the Advancement of Science 
  • Bruce Caron, PhD, Research Director, New Media Research Institute, Santa Barbara

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: We frequently hear about the need for culture change to make science more accessible, reproducible, and collaborative. These moves toward open science may occur at a grassroots or local level, within the institutions where we work, and more globally across the academy. Wherever it occurs, at the heart of culture change is the adoption of new behaviors that become increasingly supported and reinforced by the group or community. So culture and community are tightly linked.

In this course, we’ll explore what it takes to guide culture change in your workspace, drawing on thinking about culture, community, teamwork, and systems thinking. If you’ve ever been frustrated by attempts to co-create with others, been puzzled about why new ideas aren’t implemented more rapidly, or struggled to gain stakeholder buy-in, this course is for you! Via discussions, sharing of models, and practical group activities, participants will explore how culture manifests in their own professional lives as well as considering ways of working together more collaboratively. The goal is to learn to be an active, reflective agent to improve and maintain a healthy, happy culture in your work. 

Topics covered will include:

  • How do I locate culture and community practices in my organization?
  • What does community participation look like – and are we using the most effective modes of engagement to involve one another in our decision making?
  • How do I (with others) intentionally change institutional cultural practices to foster a happier workplace?
  • What role can I play in brokering trust, building engagement, and reviewing success of a community-based project?
  • How do I identify the factors that may be blocking a group project – and understand why?

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at anyone interested in thinking about culture and community.

Requirements: Participants are expected to have read the Force11 Manifesto: https://www.force11.org/about/manifesto.


MT1 - Advancing FAIR Data Stewardship: Fostering Institutional Planning and Service Development


  • Christine Kirkpatrick, Division Director, Research Data Services, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego
  • Natalie Meyers, E-Research Librarian, Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame
  • Melissa Cragin, PhD, Chief Strategist, Data Initiatives, Research Data Services, San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: As funders move toward requirements that research outputs be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), some academic institutions are organizing service points around scholarly communications and “digital stewardship competency” that include data and software. This course aims to further expert capacity related to FAIR data initiatives at academic institutions, including for those working in academic-industry research and development programs. 

Topics will include:

  • A comparative overview of current FAIR initiatives, organizations, and projects around the globe.
  • Navigating the differences in funding agency calls for FAIR data.
  • Discussion of what FAIR means to individual researchers, repositories, and other community resources, and the implications for institutions and planning.
  • Considerations for planning coherent services for open and non-open (or restricted) data.
  • Anticipating FAIR compliance checking at the institution and impacts of FAIR evaluation.
  • Tips for how to navigate the way FAIR can be interpreted by funders and other stakeholders with conflicting assumptions, intentions, and expected outcomes, which can in turn hamper mutual understanding, planning, and service development. 

The session structure will include several presentations; open discussion to share/compare local contexts, examples, and challenges; and short group exercises. Participants will gain an advanced perspective on how FAIR-oriented services can be organized and implemented at the institutional level, and will have state-of-the-art information in support of broader and coherent “Stewardship Competency.” 

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is for anyone who is part of local, organizational, or campus-wide effort to assess, design, and implement data policies and services for the management, access, and use of data that may be acquired, held, and maintained by an institution, or scholarly communication professionals dependent on the same. The course will also be useful to those who wish to be FAIR champions and implementers but who struggle to make sense of the myriad FAIR offerings and which ones might be applied in the context of their group or institution.

Requirements: A basic awareness of FAIR principles will be helpful so that we can arrive easily at a shared understanding of this context. We will provide two to three short papers or reports for reading ahead of the session.


MT2 - Losing Our Scholarly Record and What To Do About It

Instructor: Martin Klein, PhD, Scientist, Research Library, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Most aspects of scholarly communication happen on the web. The dissemination speed of scholarly knowledge has dramatically increased because of the publishing and accessing of information on the web. However, this environment also poses challenges, as, increasingly, authors reference “web at large” resources such as project websites, scholarly wikis, ontologies, online debates, presentations, blogs, and videos in their scholarly articles. 

While these resources are referenced to provide essential context for the research, they are, just like any other web resource, subject to the dynamic nature of the web and hence likely to disappear or significantly change over time. For scholarly journal articles, we enjoy the benefits of archival systems such as LOCKSS and Portico, but we have no orchestrated preservation infrastructure for “web at large” resources. These observations raise significant concerns regarding the long-term integrity of the web-based scholarly record. 

This course aims at outlining the extent of this reference rot problem and how it impacts our ability to revisit web content cited in scholarly articles some time after their publication. The course will also provide participants with an overview of and hands-on experience with approaches and tools available to authors, archivists, librarians, publishers, and others to address this problem.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is targeted at scholars, librarians, archivists, and publishers at all levels.

Requirements: The course does not require any special technical equipment or software. However, participants will benefit from having internet-connected laptops or desktop computers available.


MT3 - Pathways to Incentivizing Open, Public, and Equitable Research

Instructor: Nicky Agate, PhD, Assistant Director, Scholarly Communication and Digital Projects, Columbia University Libraries

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: The Openness of the future is open in more ways than access: it’s open as in equitable, humble, transparent, and accessible – it’s open to challenge and to change, to listening to new voices, to actively and intentionally decentering the center to make space for epistemological diversity, for other ways of knowing, other forms of expertise. To get there, though, we need to work together to reshape the culture of higher education, beginning with the scholarly practices and behaviors we incentivize and reward. Why are single-authored articles in closed-access publications and citations in scholarly literature currently rewarded above collaborative, innovative projects: open-access writings, projects that bring traditionally underrepresented voices to the table, publicly engaged scholarship, and inclusion in syllabi?

As they currently stand, our reward systems fetishize the quantifiable end products of research, incentivizing and reinforcing some thoroughly pernicious behaviors. We end up valuing what we can count: number of articles, number of citations, number of theses directed; rather than making what our institutions and our scholars purport to value count. As such, we actively discourage scholars from engaging in the kind of collaborative, transparent, reproducible work necessary to maintain flourishing scholarly communities and a more open, FAIR, and ethical academy.

The first day of this course will be a combination of lecture and discussion that allows the class to explore recent research about the ways in which current research assessment practices incentivize perverse behaviors and anchor our academic communities in a stagnant status quo. We will then look at recent initiatives that seek to redress the inequities of article-slanted impact factors and citation scores in favor of more transparent, diverse, and ethical indicators of research assessment (DORA, EvalHum, HumetricsHSS), and we will discuss the merits and drawbacks of each approach across the disciplines.

On Day 2, participants will be asked to put their cynicism aside and to consider the academy as a locus of shared, if debatable, values. Using the HuMetricsHSS framework as a guide, participants will work together to discuss, negotiate, and reformulate both their own values and those espoused by their institutions to emerge in a space of productive compromise and their own shared framework that could form the basis of a new, localized kind of research evaluation.  

In small groups, they will interrogate how that negotiated framework might be used to guide and incentivize scholarly practices and research methods, and even extended to reward other forms of scholarly labor (mentoring, course creation, event planning, journal editing) that are often undervalued if not altogether ignored.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: The course is intended for librarians, researchers, faculty members, chairs, and deans. It will be of particular interest to those involved with research evaluation, reforming tenure and promotion, recognition of digital and nontraditional forms of scholarly communication, and transforming the culture of higher education.

Requirements: Some advance reading will be required.


MT4 - Working with Scholarly Literature in R: Pulling, Wrangling, Cleaning, and Analyzing Structured Bibliographic Metadata

Instructor: Clarke Iakovakis, Scholarly Services Librarian, Oklahoma State University

Course Syllabus (link to come)


Developers have created a number of packages for accessing the scholarly literature in R over the last several years, among them rcrossref, rorcid, and roadoi. These packages make use of the APIs in their systems to allow users to execute specific queries and pull the structured data into R, where it can be reshaped, merged with other data, and analyzed. This session will be based on the workshop I provided at last year's FSCI, available at https://ciakovx.github.io/fsci_syllabus.html. The course will assume no experience with R; however, a thorough explanation of the R programming language will not be provided. 

Students will create a free account with Microsoft Azure Notebooks at https://notebooks.azure.com/, which will provide an environment in which we can run R scripts written in Jupyter Notebooks without having to download R and R studio. Students will then download an IPNYB (Jupyter Notebooks) file containing the scripts for the workshop, and will open that notebook in Azure. The file will include executable code alongside descriptions of what the code is doing. Students can therefore run code that has already been written, but will also write and execute their own R scripts within the Azure environment.

We will begin with a general orientation of the Jupyter Notebooks environment. We will then discuss R and provide a basic overview of how it works. This introduction will include reading data into R, installing packages, and some functions for cleaning and restructuring data. We will also discuss Crossref, ORCID, and Unpaywall, and the packages developed by the rOpenSci organization to access the API services of these organizations. We will then walk through the tasks outlined at https://ciakovx.github.io/rorcid.html and https://ciakovx.github.io/rcrossref.html

rorcid interfaces with the ORCID API, allowing users to pull publication data based on a specific ORCID iD, or to input names and other identifying information to find a specific individual’s identifier. 

rcrossref interfaces with the CrossRef API, allowing users to pull article metadata based on ISSN, filter queries by publication date and license information, running queries by title and author, getting funder data, getting citation counts, and exporting to BibTeX, RIS, and CSV. This can be immensely powerful for collecting citation data, conducting literature reviews, creating bibliographies, and more.

roadoi interfaces with Unpaywall, allowing users to input a set of DOIs and return publication information along with potential locations of open access versions.

As we work through the tutorials, Students will continue to learn R functions for working with data, including dplyr, purrr, and tidyr. 

By the conclusion of the session, students will be able to work with and analyze data in R. On a deeper level, they will have more powerful tools for gathering subsets of the scholarly literature in clean and structured formats based on specific parameters. Because they will be walking away with executable scripts, they will be able to modify those and collect data based on parameters they are interested in.

Proposed Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is intended for scholarly communications librarians, repository managers, research funders, publishers, bibliometricians, and managers of Research Information Management Systems (RIMS).

Requirements: Students will be required to bring a laptop with internet access and a free Microsoft Azure Notebooks account. It will not be necessary to download R or R Studio. In the event that wireless access becomes unavailable, I will have digital files available on USB for students to save to their computers so that we can continue the exercises.


MT5 - Looking Beyond the Journal Article: A Guide to Building Your Open Research Toolkit


  • Ariel Deardorff, MLIS, Data Services Librarian, University of California San Francisco
  • Ibraheem Ali, PhD, Sciences Data Librarian, UCLA Biomedical Library

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: The last decade has seen an unprecedented boom in interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Along with this, there has been a significant effort to create robust platforms that streamline the research and publication process. In this course, we will take a look at the scholarly communication landscape for STEM researchers and highlight key areas where new open publishing platforms streamline the research workflow. We will provide hands-on experience with research and data-publishing platforms to help scholars create collaborative protocols, manage research data and code, and learn preprints best-practices in competitive research environments. The goal of this course is to expand on FAIR data and reproducibility topics discussed in the morning sessions that apply to competitive STEM and biomedical research fields. 

This course will start with an overview of planning an open research workflow from the perspective of STEM researchers and then dive into key tools and publishing platforms, including:

  • Open access publishing and preprints best practices
  • Methods and protocols publishing with OSF and protocols.io
  • Code archiving with Zenodo
  • Data publishing in general and discipline-specific repositories

The course will consist of short lectures followed by discussion and hands-on practice with the tools. Active learning activities will give participants a chance to try out new practices and consider how these new methods apply to their own research. 

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at individuals working as researchers, librarians, or staff who offer support to researchers in academic, nonprofit, and industry settings. Hands-on training will allow learners to gain skills using the platforms so they can integrate these tools into their research workflow or into train-the-trainer sessions.

Requirements: We recommend that participants bring a laptop in order to fully participate in the hands-on components of the course.


MT6 - A Decolonized Approach to Scholarly Communication: Foundations, Challenges, and Perspectives in Practice and Research

Instructor: Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, PhD student in Public Communication, Université Laval, Canada, and President, Association for the Promotion of Open Science in Haiti and Africa (APSOHA)

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Openness and the fast growth of information technology have contributed to reducing many injustices in knowledge diffusion. However, due to the immaterial nature of information, benign threats are still present in practices, research, infrastructure, and policies in academia. That means, once you are dealing with scholarly communication, whether you are a librarian, a researcher, a funder, a policymaker, or a software designer, what you are doing has impact everywhere across the world. But if you are not aware of soft domination, exclusion, and inequities led by knowledge, this impact can be negative. That is why it is so important to learn how to identify and avoid such bad effects. 

Postcolonial theory seems to offer a good framework to tackle these threats and educate people involved in scholarly communication. That is the raison d’être of this course: to teach how to identify and avoid colonial practices in scholarly communication. The first day of the course is more theoretical and aims to provide participants with basics on postcolonial theory. We will present and discuss some texts previously shared with participants. The second day is based on practical activities to scan the landscape of scholarly communication under the lens of postcolonial theory. Then we will focus on best practices we need to adopt to avoid an unconscious colonial impact in scholarly communication.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is suitable for all involved in scholarly communication, including researchers, librarians, publishers, policymakers, infrastructure designers, and funders.

Requirements: No technical skills or prerequisites are needed other than familiarity with activities related to scholarly communication. The course will require a laptop and an internet connection.


MT7 - Getting Buy-In: How to Plan Inclusive Open Access Sessions 


  • Barbara Bordalejo, PhD, Sessional Lecturer, English, University of Saskatchewan 
  • Emily Kilcer, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University at Albany, State University of New York 
  • Amanda Page, Digital Curation Librarian, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Advocacy is a core element of scholarly communication (SC) work, particularly when it comes to promoting open scholarship and new modes of communication. SC officers must know their audience and strike the right balance between educating their community and advocating for transformations the community may not be ready to embrace. A fundamental understanding of matters related to advocacy, negotiation, diversity, and inclusion is essential both to reach varied audiences and to encourage richer, more open and more accessible resources. 

This course presents strategies for developing effective SC-related communications ranging from “elevator” pitches to full-length workshops. We implement a variety of pedagogical methods, including lectures, active participation through in-class discussion and live polls, and group and individual exercises. Students are invited to bring examples of real-life scenarios to try with communication strategies covered in class. The class includes dynamic exercises and discourse, and encourages active participation based around the development of soft skills. This course presents strategic solutions to problem-solving, including relevant programs, tools, and technologies.

Part 1: Advocacy-based Meetings, Conversations, and Project Work
The course begins with an introduction to strategic thinking in communication, the foundation for all forms of scholarly communications outreach and advocacy. We cover the different types of crucial outreach activities and how to apply strategic thinking to these modalities, and discuss how advocacy work is contextual. Class conversation includes topics related to diversity and inclusion, implicit bias, privilege, accessibility, and negotiation. Exercises and discussion will include concepts of understanding how cultural constructs impact advocacy, relationships, behavioral change, privilege, and buy-in. 

Part 2: Advocacy-based, Inclusion-Focused Events, and Technical Labor
This part of the course builds upon Part 1 by introducing students to more in-depth techniques to strategically customize communications and advocacy-driven messages, and to include deliberate methods in presentations and public communications. Additional considerations for facilitating events with audiences of various sizes will be covered,, as well as tips for building and tracking campus champions and partners, use of technology platforms, and rights and legal frameworks for use in advocacy or inclusion work. During this session, discussion and exercises will include strategic solutions focused on technologies, tools, and platforms that help scaffold advocacy-based initiatives.

Level:  Beginner to intermediate

Intended Audience: The course is intended for individuals who are new to working in scholarly communication and open access or who are already engaged in the work and are looking to increase their skills in advocacy, education, and stakeholder outreach. Librarians, early-career researchers, administrators, publishers, and graduate students are encouraged to register. This course is also intended for anyone looking to increase their cultural awareness competencies and perspectives on inclusion and diversity or negotiation.

Requirements: This course requires a minimal amount of optional advance preparation, which involves students being asked to think about their home institutions and bring with them examples of scenarios relevant to their work. Shared discussion and activities will occur, respecting confidentiality and consent. A basic understanding of scholarly communication and  open access is recommended. Optional, non-required opportunities will be provided to class participants who are interested before and during FSCI2020 (such as pre and post class surveys, and optional suggested readings).


MT8 - FAIR for Data and Texts Not in the Open: Overcoming Legal, Technological, and Economic Barriers ​


  • Ye Li, PhD, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
  • Laura Hanscom, Scholarly Communications and Licensing Librarian, MIT Libraries
  • Katie Zimmerman, Director of Copyright Strategy, MIT Libraries

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: The rise of applied data science, digital humanities, machine learning, and artificial intelligence has resulted in an increased need for computational access and reuse of research data and publications. Researchers have begun to build FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and open data practices for data they are generating; however, much research requires access to existing structured and well-curated texts and data from proprietary sources that don’t currently meet the FAIR standard. To accomplish this, many researchers are partnering with libraries, which frequently have long-term subscription access to such resources, to gain computational access and rights to reuse for text and data mining (TDM) and machine learning purposes. 

Negotiating for such access and rights poses technical, economic, and legal challenges. In some cases, researchers have to negotiate access and reuse at the individual research group level. In this course, we will interactively explore these issues through case studies from real-life examples and share resources and tips that will help researchers, librarians, and vendors to “move the needle” toward FAIR data. The joint effort of researchers, librarians, and vendors will be required to sustainably ensure that resources move towards FAIR standards, and that researchers can share their own research output FAIRly.     

Class activities include:

  • Small-group critique of license terms for computational access and reuse of publications and databases.
  • Mock negotiation between researchers/librarians and vendors.
  • Hands-on practice accessing a database through publicly available API services (e.g., Crossref, PubChem) and comparison with other access models.
  • Group discussion of cutting-edge questions on computational access and reuse.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at science and engineering researchers, digital humanities scholars, librarians, and vendors of subscription products interested in computational access; administrators interested in understanding the risks and challenges, including intellectual property issues and commercial interests, of providing access to these resources; and technical and support staff who may be called upon to set up access to these resources and provide storage and security.

Requirements: Participants should have an interest in and basic awareness of issues related to computational access and reuse of texts and data not in the open.


MT9 - All Must Have Research Data Policies!​

Instructor: Fiona Murphy, Fiona Murphy, DPhil, Scholarly Communications Consultant, STM Association

Course Syllabus (link to come)


Using community-driven outputs, such as the Research Data Alliance Data Policy Framework, the FORCE11 Data Citation Roadmap, the STM Year of Research Data website, and the Belmont Forum Data Publishing Policy Template, this course takes the researcher as its central focus and equips attendees to choose and implement appropriate research data policies for their users. Journal and publication data policies are at the core of this course, so researcher, funder, and institutional contributions will be critical. 

Different stakeholders, such as funders, publishers, and institutions, will be brought into the conversation and provided with toolkits for use after the course. Materials will include workflow roadmaps, “How to have the conversation” cheat sheets, and information about working with Crossref, DataCite, and SCHOLIX, as appropriate. 

The first session will set the scene, ensuring that all attendees are brought up to speed on the data policy rationale, challenges, and achievements to date. How much is it a technical rather than a social issue? What are the specific challenges for those working in social sciences and humanities (SSH), non-English language settings, low and middle income countries (LMICs)? Where does FAIR Data fit? What about Data Availability Statements (DASs)?

The second session will be practical and hands-on. Using real-life or closely relevant case studies, students will work in small groups to devise and plan the implementation of appropriate data policies and DASs. These will take into account the funder/institution/publisher/subject requirements and will include soft skills (as in, difficult conversations) as well as technical questions. 

Finally, participation in this course will also provide an opportunity to inform the debate and state of knowledge in this field. Publishers, funders, and players like the STM Association and the Research Data Alliance are continually seeking to improve their practices and support for data policies and DASs, and the outcomes from this course will – subject to student approval and contribution agreement – provide the basis for briefing materials to so inform them, with contributors acknowledged as appropriate. 

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is aimed at publishers, researchers, funders, and research support managers.

Requirements: No previous experience or knowledge is required apart from a general understanding of open scholarship issues. It would be helpful for students to bring real-life data policy examples and challenges to be worked through.


WT1 - Putting Data to Work: How to Utilize FAIR Principles in Geoscience

Instructor: Erin Robinson, Executive Director, Earth Science Information Partners

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: We have heard all about making research workflows FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), but how exactly do you get started? This two-day afternoon course will provide domain-specific hands-on experience for the general methods laid out in the morning course AM5 - "FAIR Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle." On Day 1, we will utilize training developed by the Pangeo community, JPL PODAAC, and others, to break into teams and utilize a variety of geoscience tools developed by NSF EarthCube awards. We will have both introductory tutorials and advanced examples used in peer-reviewed research in the fields of oceanography, hydrology, and solid earth geophysics. On Day 2, we will utilize training developed by Dr. Yolanda Gil (https://www.scientificpaperofthefuture.org/sessions.html) as we use the analysis from Day 1 to build a draft Scientific Paper of the Future that implements the FAIR principles. 

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at those involved in Earth and geoscience domain science and informatics.



WT2 - Supportive Partnerships for FAIR Data and Open Research in Faculty Grantsmanship

Instructor: Nina Exner, Research Data Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This session is for those who support campus researchers – such as librarians, research administrators, program and panel members, and faculty mentors – to discuss open access and FAIR data in grant-funded research. Federal funding agencies in the U.S. and many other regions are expecting faculty to move toward FAIR data and open scholarly communications. But faculty principal investigators (PIs) are not always able to incorporate open access and FAIR data into their workflows. Faculty PIs need to be connected to supports for addressing FAIR and open principles in their grant-writing and grant compliance. 

Librarians, faculty mentors, research administrators, and others offer robust support for faculty transitions to FAIR practices in their funded research. Nevertheless, these support teams are not always able to change grant outcomes. It can be hard for these groups to align with each other and with the funders. Partnerships are the key to bringing faculty support sectors together to reach faculty more effectively! But partnering is not always easy. Jargon, differences in epistemology, and other factors get in the way. This session addresses building partnerships around scholarly communications support across the university “research enterprise” – university structures for applying to and complying with funders. Participants will share their perspectives and jargon, and learn how federal agencies, campus research administrators, and faculty PIs each discuss the funded research process. By focusing specifically on campus grant infrastructures, this session intends to complement, not replace, other sessions on FAIR data and open access in policy and community. 

In this session, the composition of the attendees will drive the group’s priorities. We will discuss different views of the funded research workcycle. The presenter will share examples of how federal funding agency priorities align with the university grant cycle and library and other professionals’ scholarly communications activities. As a group, we will discuss how support offerings align with research administrator and funder priorities. We will then work on partnership plans for how campus units can work together to support faculty in transitioning to FAIR practices as guided by funder expectations.

Level: Beginner

Intended Audience: The course is aimed at librarians, faculty development professionals, program officers, research administrators, and other personnel interested in building supports for early career and developing researchers. Faculty scholars interested in partnering with the research enterprise to improve mentoring of scholars and the role of FAIR data in funded research are also welcome.

Requirements: Participants will need a device with internet access. A laptop or tablet is preferred, but a phone is acceptable.


WT3 - Global Overview of the Scholarly Publishing Market: Differences Between the North and the South and Possible Consequences of Plan S


  • Tom Olyhoek, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Ivonne Lujano, DOAJ Ambassador for Latin America
  • Miho Funamori, Associate Professor, National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, Japan

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This course will focus on the publisher-dominated scholarly publishing system in the North – subscription and open access, maintained by publisher-controlled metrics and ranking – versus the community-controlled open access publishing system in Latin America and the society-based subscription system and governmental infrastructures in Japan and other Asian countries. Publishing in Africa is much less developed, but we will discuss steps that have been made there toward a community-controlled infrastructure. The various indexing  services that provide lists of quality journals will be compared and discussed.

The course will examine the role that Read and Publish agreements between publishers and governments or institutes play in the transformation to a 100 percent open access publishing system. We will also emphasize the dangers of Plan S-linked transformative agreements, which are meant to be a feasible way to help journals flip to open access, but which may eventually lead to a very costly global open access publishing system with very high article processing charges replacing an expensive subscription system that produced high profit margins of over 35 percent.

Finally, we will present reasons why we think that  adoption of Plan S guidelines in the North and other areas of the world, notably Latin America and Japan, may lead to a global publishing market again dominated by a handful of Northern publishers who will continue to make very high profits.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intended Audience: The course is intended for all scholars, librarians, funders, policymakers, editors, university administrators, graduate students, and other parties with interest in open access who want to keep abreast of the newest developments.

Requirements: Participants should bring a laptop computer.


WT4 - Reveal, Don’t Conceal: How to Avoid Common Data-Visualization Errors and Create More Informative Figures

Instructor: Tracey Weissgerber, PhD, Mayo Clinic and QUEST (Quality, Ethics, Open Science, Translation), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This short course will focus on creating informative visualizations for scientific publications. Participants will learn to identify common problems with visualizations in small sample size studies in the basic biomedical, translational, and biological sciences. For example, we’ll discuss the problems with using bar graphs to show continuous data and learn what types of graphs to use instead and how to determine which option is best for your dataset. We’ll talk about strategies for making informative and transparent alternatives to bar graphs, and experiment with free tools for creating better graphs. We will also discuss best practices for other types of graphs, including line graphs and scatterplots. We’ll learn why it’s important to use study design diagrams and flow charts and how to design these types of figures.

We’ll also discuss free online tools that allow users with no programming expertise to create interactive visualizations. These figures allow readers to gain additional insight by exploring a dataset. We’ll learn strategies for creating informative figures based on images, including photographs, microscopy or electron microscopy images, or images obtained using clinical techniques such as ultrasound or MRI. We’ll test free tools that you can use to determine whether images or figures are color-blind safe. Finally, we’ll discuss how to use figures and infographics to emphasize the message of your paper and simplify the writing process.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: All levels are welcome, including students and junior and senior faculty. The course is aimed at those with experience in conducting research and reading publications on small sample size studies, such as basic biomedical science or preclinical studies.

Requirements: Participants who bring a laptop may be able to experiment with online tools for creating more informative graphics during the course.


WT5 - Toward a Feminist Framework for Radical Knowledge Collaboration


  • Sharon Farb, PhD, Associate University Librarian for Distinctive Collections and Chief Policy Strategist, UCLA Library
  • Sandra Enimil, Copyright Services Librarian, The Ohio State University Libraries
  • Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Gleeson Library, University of San Francisco
  • April Hathcock, Director of Scholarly Communications and Information Policy, New York University Libraries

Guest Instructors:

  • Gimena del Rio Riande, PhD, Researcher, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas y Crítica Textual (IIBICRIT), National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ivonne Lujano, Directory of Open Access Journals Ambassador for Latin America

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: The scholarly communication ecosystem communicates the prevailing modes of thought, knowledge creation, and knowledge sharing of the time. Building a scholarly communication project or program that is truly inclusive of existing voices, thoughts, and perspectives takes time, critical reflection, and iterative thinking. 

This intersectional feminist team – which includes six women who stand at the forefront of the scholarly communication work in their respective regions, institutions, and fields – comes together to explore what it means to build a truly inclusive, feminist-centered scholarly communication agenda rooted in a foundation of equity. In this course, we will interactively explore how feminist principles embodied in our Femifesto, a multilingual (Spanish, English, and Portuguese, as of this writing) feminist-centered framework for collaborative scholarly communication, can be used to explore scenarios and use cases that arise in a variety of international as well as local scholarly communication contexts. Working with peers from around the world, we will explore how to  enact an ethic of care to ensure that marginalized voices and perspectives are given the space they deserve and that invisible emotional labor is recognized and valued. 

We will also go into deeper discussion on three main components: building and empowering relationships, developing anti-oppressive description and metadata, and engaging in ethical and inclusive dissemination and publication. We will examine use cases provided by participants and use them to further build out the framework and expand guiding principles that focus on true equity, inclusiveness, and shared values of labor. 

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is for anyone (researchers, librarians, faculty, or students) actively engaged with scholarly communications who seeks a framework for radical knowledge collaboration that supports that work.

Requirements: There are no prerequisites or formal training required. We will provide readings that will assist and support what will be the focus of the course.


WT6 - Open Source Tools for Everyone: A Train-the-Trainer Course for Teaching Four Open Research Tools


Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: An ecosystem of free open source tools for improving the rigor and reproducibility of research is thriving. Information professionals at research institutions must stay informed about what tools are available and how they compare. Ideally, information professionals can also onboard researchers to kickstart adoption of these tools. However, developing quality curriculum to train researchers on new tools requires expertise in the tool itself, which leaves many researchers without training on tools that may benefit their research.

This course will train participants to run hands-on, quality modules designed to onboard researchers to four free open source tools. Participants will experience each module, practice the exercises, and explore the training material needed to run the module themselves. An instructor guide that includes the module outline, objectives, description, frequently asked questions, pre- and post-participant surveys, target audience, and instructions for running a successful module is provided for each tool taught.

This course will train participants to run modules on unique aspects of four free open source tools for researchers:

  • Binder: Share your computational environment, code, and research notebooks.
  • Renku: Document and share your analysis pipelines.
  • Open Science Framework: Create a centralized, structured workspace for your research materials.
  • KnitR with holepunch: Knit your R code with your analysis narrative in one executable research notebook and capture your dependencies.

Many FSCI participants already run short-duration training events at their institutions. This course is ideal for those FSCI participants who wish to improve the quality and variety of the training they already offer to researchers. Participants who do not currently run short-duration training events at their institutions will benefit from the course by learning an accessible and efficient way of getting started with these four modules.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is ideal for information professionals or researchers who wish to improve the quality and variety of the trainings they offer, or who wish to start running trainings at their institution.

Requirements: There are no prerequisites for this course. Participants should bring a laptop that can connect to wifi to fully participate.


WT7 - Managing, Exploring, and Sharing Data with Dataverse


  • Gustavo Durand, Technical Lead and Architect, Dataverse, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University
  • Julian Gautier, Product Research Specialist, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: As data becomes more critical in today’s research, institutions need to provide services that ensure that data is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable, the four cornerstones of the FAIR guiding principles. These principles, as the GO FAIR Initiative explains, “emphasize machine-actionability because humans increasingly rely on computational support to deal with data as a result of the increase in volume, complexity, and creation speed of data.”

Dataverse is an open source web application platform to share, preserve, cite, explore, and analyze research data. It facilitates making data more FAIR, increasing data discoverability and availability and allowing researchers to replicate others’ work more easily. Researchers, journals, data authors, publishers, data distributors, and affiliated institutions all receive academic credit and web visibility.

This course will introduce the Dataverse Project, discussing the project to date and highlighting several recent and upcoming features: support for Make Data Count standards, uploading of data and code as “capsules” to facilitate reproducibility, functionality for working with big data, the modular tool framework for exploring data with external tools, and sensitive data support with Data Tags.

The instructors will also discuss the Dataverse Community as a whole and how anyone can contribute to the project, from documentation to bug fixes to new functionality. Lastly, the class will discuss what data repositories of the future, and Dataverse specifically, should look like. 

The course will combine lectures and hands-on work to walk participants through the process of managing, exploring, and sharing datasets with this framework. At the end of this course, each participant will have a clear understanding of the benefits of using a data sharing platform and direct user experience with Dataverse’s approach to addressing these needs.

Proposed Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is for researchers, publishers, and repository managers. It does not require any specialized knowledge.

Requirements: Students should bring their own laptops; no special software is needed besides a browser.


WT8 - Educating the Next Generation of Open Scholars: Approaches, Tools, and Tactics

Instructor: Robyn Hall, Scholarly Communications Librarian, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: Those who teach and work with students at both the undergraduate and graduate level can play an important role in shaping the future of scholarly communications. Drawing students’ attention to the various ways that research and scholarship can be shared openly online can provide valuable opportunities for them to disseminate their own work, engage with the work of others, and develop copyright literacy and improved academic writing and communication skills. Additionally, exposing students to the socioeconomic processes that shape access to knowledge can influence how these budding academics approach scholarly activity and where they choose to publish in their future careers.

On the first day of this course, we will explore and discuss a variety of assignment designs and initiatives from across disciplines that have engaged students with areas of scholarly communications, open pedagogy, and open science. We will also review and assess some free software tools and platforms that can facilitate these activities.

On Day 2, participants will have the opportunity to begin planning and discussing their own assignment, initiative, workshop, or lesson plan that aims to give students experience with open practices and educate them on scholarly communication topics and issues. By the end of this course, participants will have constructed a comprehensive and actionable plan to involve students with open research practices that can benefit student learning, and contribute positively to the future of academic publishing and research dissemination.

Proposed Level: All levels

Intended Audience: This course is intended for academic librarians, instructional faculty, early-career academics, and the open education community. 

Requirements: Participants will need to bring a web-enabled device, preferably a laptop or a tablet. There are also some optional preparatory online readings and activities for this course that do not require any special software or technical skills. 


WT9 - Tools and Best Practices for Publishing an Open Access Journal: A Workshop for Beginners


  • Justin Gonder, Senior Product Manager, Publishing, California Digital Library
  • Rachel Lee, New Publications Manager, California Digital Library; 

Course Syllabus (link to come)

Description: This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to open access journal publishing with a specific focus on cultivating the tools and practices necessary to develop a high-quality, sustainable publication.

We’ll discuss the benefits and potential challenges of starting a new OA journal or converting an existing subscription journal to open access. Attendees will learn how one established library publishing program (California Digital Library’s eScholarship) evaluates potential journal proposals and supports editorial teams as they develop their journal and publish their first issue. Touchpoints include: establishing an Editorial Board; sustainability planning; licensing; marketing and outreach; and selecting the appropriate publication schedule for your journal. After learning about best practices, attendees will evaluate a selection of sample OA journal proposals, then engage in a group discussion of strengths and areas of improvement for each. Armed with a better understanding of how to develop a robust publishing strategy, attendees will apply what they have learned from this activity by drafting their own journal proposal for discussion the following day.

The second day will open with a live feedback session for participants who drafted journal proposals, and afterwards will focus on workflow and sustainability issues. Instructors will demonstrate two open source workflow management systems for journals: Open Journal Systems (OJS) and Janeway, which will be followed by an opportunity for participants to test-drive these systems by moving a sample article through the publishing process. The session will conclude with an overview of best practices for drafting sustainability and marketing plans as well as pointers on how to maximize impact and discoverability by ensuring the journal’s public site includes key elements that are required for inclusion in databases (in particular the Directory of Open Access Journals), indexes, and search engines.

Level: Beginner

Intended Audience: This course is primarily for those interested in starting, developing, or editing scholarly journals, or those supporting journal hosting or publishing services in libraries, higher education institutions, or scholarly societies. No previous experience is required.

Requirements: A laptop or tablet will be required for full participation in some activities. We will create user accounts on Open Journal Systems to use during the course. Students may bring any documents they may be developing, such as scope or vision statements, submission or author guidelines, peer review statements, or workflow outlines. We will discuss the development of these during the workshop.