The Elephant Roundup (May 2022)

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A monthly newsletter from Feeding the Elephant: A Forum for Scholarly Communications.

Academic Freedom 

  • Jeffrey Aaron Snyder, What Are the Limits of Academic Freedom?, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 5, 2022.

    • In It’s Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom authors Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth’s take notice of attacks against academic freedom from beyond academe, most notably in the form of “proposed state bans on critical race theory.” Still, they contend that the “bigger threat to the future of academic freedom follows from the refusal to think more deeply about the way academic freedom can be and has been weaponized in ways that undermine democracy,” especially by protecting the appointments of “tenured white supremacists.”

  • Hannah Natanson. The next book ban: States aim to limit titles students can search for, The Washington Post, May 10, 2022.

    • Republican lawmakers across the country are proposing legislation that would target online library databases and library management technology — tools built by a half-dozen large companies that catalogue millions of books, journals and articles that students peruse for assignments.

  • Colleen Flaherty, ‘Retract or Attack?’, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2022.

    • The African Studies Review is facing calls to retract a recent article by two white Africanists promoting “autoethnography,” or research incorporating one’s own personal experiences.



  • Josh Moody, Texas A&M Librarians Lose Tenure in Reorganization Plan, Inside Higher Ed, May 25, 2022.

    • “Nearly 30 librarians at Texas A&M University have lost either tenured or tenure-track status after the administration opted to reorganize the system’s 10 libraries. [...] The move comes at a time when librarians are increasingly under attack across the U.S., caught in the crossfire of a culture war that has led to increased calls to ban and even burn books in some cases.”

  • Annie Johnson and Ana Maria Jimenez-Moreno, Guest Post — What Do Library-Publisher Relations Look Like in 2022?, Scholarly Kitchen, May 12, 2022.

    • "Back in the mists of time, it’s easiest to see publishers’ relationships with libraries begin with publishers recognizing libraries as a key customer group and as descriptive metadata creators and users. Individual university libraries and university presses have long been engaged in management and reporting relationships as well. All of these relationships have continued over time, of course, and they also have been impacted more recently by the possibilities for increased digital cooperation and collaboration among publishers, libraries, and scholars as campus partners."


Copyright Quandary

  • Rick Anderson, Q: Can You Revoke a Creative Commons License? A: No. Er… Sort Of? Maybe?, Scholarly Kitchen, May 11, 2022.

    • “This is the story of a surprisingly difficult journey: my attempt to understand* whether it’s possible for a copyright holder, once having made her work available under a Creative Commons (CC) license, to revoke the license and then distribute the work under different terms (or halt its distribution altogether).”


Labory & Open Access Pedagogy


The Future of the Academic Conference


ICYMI on the Elephant

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Categories: Roundup