[open-humanities] Introduction

Janneke Adema ademaj at uni.coventry.ac.uk
Mon Jul 19 16:46:08 UTC 2010

Dear all,

As an introductionary email I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and to kick off the discussion on the purpose of the Working Group on Open Resources in the Humanities (http://wiki.okfn.org/wg/humanities) and the potential projects we would like to pursue. Just as a first foundation, please permit me to start by presenting my own vision on what I feel the group might be about and some of the projects or themes we may want to develop further. I am very curious to hear your ideas and visions on these matters.

First a little bit about me. At the moment I am doing a PhD in Media and Communication at Coventry University. Before that I have been involved in the OAPEN<http://www.oapen.org/> project, where I did amongst others research on user needs and business models concerning Open Access monographs in the Humanities. I am heavily interested in discourses pertaining to digital monographs, informal, open and alternative communication and publication spaces, copyright, digital humanities and media and remix theory. I blog about these issues over at www.openreflections.wordpress.com<http://www.openreflections.wordpress.com/>.

About the ORH working group. After having a chat with Jonathan my vision is that this group will basically serve four main goals:
-          Creating lists and archives of openly available resources and free/open source software tools that fulfil a certain need for researchers in the (digital) humanities. This means finding a way to engage with researchers to find out what their research and educational needs are and connecting them to either already available resources or otherwise to the necessary (software) developers and/or research funders that can assist them with obtaining these.

-          Setting up a network of visionaries, or, as Jonathan coined them, a ‘super user group’, consisting of people who represent and can connect back to their communities. This group can identify projects and can brainstorm about innovative ideas to create a future agenda for open resources or an ecosystem of data within the humanities. This network can basically be similar to or based upon the group we are currently developing here.

-          Connected to the first point: creating a ‘space’ were objects, data and people can connect in an open and collaborative atmosphere by building upon already available resources in the public domain and by enabling possibilities to create new ones from them.

-          Informing researchers not only about which resources are openly available but also about how they can use them in their research and teaching. This includes information about licensing, legal aspects etc. but also guiding them to places where they can find information about how to use open source software and open educational resources.

What I am particularly interested in myself:

-          Paying special attention to or specifically reaching out to PhD students. These are the researchers of the future and I feel it is of the utmost importance to show them what the possibilities of openness and digital tools within the Humanities are. That they are by default younger scholars does not mean that they are automatically web-savvy and knowledgeable about these issues. This is also a group that could benefit very much from establishing connections and from working in collaborative environments.

-          The possibility of organizing some workshops to get Humanities scholars from various backgrounds together and get them to talk about their experiences with (working with and using) open resources and tools, open research, collaboratories, open access publishing and open education (just to name a few themes). This will give them the opportunity to discuss possibilities and drawbacks and will give them a chance to present their work and ideas in an informal setting.

-          Looking into the development and possibilities of open resources, tools and software within an institutional setting. How can we use open resources, the public domain and open access publishing tools to create connections on campus between researchers, research groups, publishers and librarians to enhance research, education and communication? At Coventry University we are in the middle of setting up an Open Media Group which is investigating these matters more closely. I will report more about these developments as they evolve.

That’s it for me for now, looking forward to hearing other ideas and suggestions. I hope it will be a fruitful discussion!

Best wishes,

Janneke Adema | Email: ademaj at uni.coventry.ac.uk<mailto:ademaj at uni.coventry.ac.uk> | Mobile: ++31 (0)642157996 | www.openreflections.wordpress.com<http://openreflections.wordpress.com/> | http://twitter.com/Openreflections
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