The Elephant Roundup (March 2023)

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

Scholarly Research & Academic Freedom

Karin Fischer, Slamming the Door on Scholarship, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2023.

  • While research travel halted during the pandemic, the Russian-initiated war in Ukraine slammed the door shut on research and collaboration with foreign scholars. China is slowly closing the door on foreign scholars.

Ryan Quinn, Index: Academic Freedom Declining for Over Half the World, Inside Higher Ed, March 2, 2023

  • The 2023 update to the Academic Freedom Index, released Thursday, paints a bleak picture for the U.S. and the world.

Guy Geltner, Academic Publishing in a Global Age of Extremes, Inside Higher Ed, March 16, 2023

  • Scholars may increasingly have to balance dialogue with censorship when publishing their research in other countries.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Who’s Afraid of Black History? New York Times, February 17, 2023.

  • Gates, who consulted with the College Board on its AP African American history course, responds to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to prevent the course from being taught in Florida.

Keith E. Whittington, DeSantis’s Terrifying Plot Against Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2023.

  • “Florida is breaking new ground in insisting that state universities convey the government’s favored message in its classes,” writes Whittington, who breaks down what Florida HB 999 could mean for higher ed.


Labor in the Academy

Kate Marijolovic, Work Stoppages Increased Last Year. Higher Ed Played a Key Role. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2023.

  • The education sector, which includes both higher ed and K-12 educators, accounted for the majority of labor action in 2022. What will 2023 bring?

Ryan Quinn, Lacking Collective Bargaining Rights, but Organizing Anyway, Inside Higher Ed, March 1, 2023

  • Faculty and staff are forming unions even in states that lack collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. These recent actions are part of a long history.

Ryan Quinn, Monthlong Temple Strike Enters Possibly Pressing Week, Inside Higher Ed, March 6, 2023

  • The Temple University graduate student workers’ strike for better pay and benefits has entered its second month, but this coming week could increase pressure on both sides to settle.

Julian Roberts-Grmela, A Six-Week Strike Yields a Big Pay Raise for Temple’s Grad Students. But Rifts Remain. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 10, 2023.

  • The graduate student union will soon vote on the second agreement reached with the university after voting down the first. During the strike, Temple administration withdrew health care and tuition benefits from striking students.

Ryan Quinn, Chicago Will ‘Bargain in Good Faith’ After Grad Workers Vote to Unionize, Inside Higher Ed, March 20, 2023

  • University of Chicago graduate student workers have voted 1,696 to 155 to unionize, the National Labor Relations Board announced Thursday evening.


Libraries in the News

Nicola Johnson, Students reimagine future of academic library through architectural design, UCalgary News, March 6, 2023

  • UCalgary library collaborates with School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape in work-integrated learning studio

Johanna Alonso, UC Berkeley to Close 3 Libraries, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2023

  • The University of California, Berkeley, will shutter the anthropology, physics-astronomy and mathematics statistics libraries in the next few years as part of a long-term plan to save money.

Diane Bell, Local rare book bibliophile donates huge Joseph Conrad collection, The San Diego Union-Tribune, March 7, 2023

  • La Jollan gives 220 works to his alma mater, Georgetown University

Dave Hansen et al., The Internet Archive Is a Library, Inside Higher Ed, March 17, 2023

  • A lawsuit against the Internet Archive threatens the most significant specialized library to emerge in decades, say a group of current and former university librarians.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Sylvia Izzo Hunter, Kasia Repeta, Amanfa Rogers, and Damita Snow, Guest Post — Advancing Accessibility in Scholarly Publishing: Fostering Empathy, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), March 1, 2023.

  • Although research shows that scholars with disabilities encounter numerous accessibility issues, publishers have been slow to address the issue. In this opening article of a three-part series, the authors discuss how empathy can be used to foster solutions.

Sylvia Izzo Hunter, Jocelyn Dawson, Amanda Rogers, and Nicola Poser, Guest Post — Advancing Accessibility in Scholarly Publishing: Building Support, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), March 2, 2023.

  • Nearly 26% of Americans identify as having a disability, something that scholarly societies need to address as they share research by and for their memberships. The authors discuss economic and technical barriers to accessibility and how to address them.

Sylvia Izzo Hunter, Nicola Poser, Kasia Repeta, and Damita Snow, Guest Post — Advancing Accessibility in Scholarly Publishing: Recommendations for Digital Accessibility Best Practices, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), March 2, 2023.

  • Publishers have a legal responsibility to make their websites accessible. What is required? How can your organization keep up to date and respond to users needs?

Dianndra Roberts, What Have You Done for DEIA Lately? Scholarly Kitchen (blog), February 24, 2023.

  • Now that the world has started moving again [after the murder of George Floyd], the concern has arguably been minimized on a global scale,” writes Roberts, who provides 


AI and the Academy

Martin Stanberry, Jack Bernard, and Joseph Storch, In an AI World, Let Disability Access Lead the Way, Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 1, 2023.

  • Will trying to limit the use of ChatGPT and AI in the name of academic honesty disproportionately hurt students with disabilities?

Roy Kaufamn, Some Thoughts on Five Pending AI Litigations — Avoiding Squirrels and Other AI Distractions, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), March 7, 2023.

  • Five pending lawsuits against AI companies center on AI technology being “trained” with copyrighted materials.

Craig Griffin, Guest Post — ChatGPT: Applications in Scholarly Publishing, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), March 14, 2023.

  • Although ChatGPT is flawed, its strengths for scholarly publishing lie in its ability to quickly summarize text. Plus, it can also provide those summaries as a commercial transcript, a rap song, and more!


Scholarly Communications

Philip Shaw, Angus Phillips, Maria Bajo Gutiérrez, The Future of the Monograph in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Publisher Perspectives on a Transitioning Format, Publishing Research Quarterly, February 22, 2023

  • A web-based survey of academic publishers was undertaken in 2021 by a team at Oxford International Centre for Publishing into the state of monograph publication in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Robert Harington, Chefs de Cuisine: Perspectives from Publishing’s Top Table — Jasmin Lange, Scholarly Kitchen (blog), February 27, 2023.

  • Check out the latest in a series in which the chefs of the Scholarly Kitchen sit down with the leaders of academic publishing in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.

Roger C. Schonfeld, Will Humanities and Social Sciences Publishing Consolidate? Scholarly Kitchen (blog), February 27, 2023.

  • Focusing on commercial primary publishers in the US, UK, and EU, Schonfeld considers what “consolidation is pursued largely through market-driven acquisitions and strategic partnerships” could mean for the industry.

Andrew Berzanskis, Jane Bunker, and Rebecca Colesworthy, Building Up Books, Inside Higher Ed, March 6, 2023

  • New guidelines from the Association of University Presses aim to make peer review more inclusive while also acknowledging the stresses on the peer-review process.

Jack Grove, Quality questions as publisher’s growth challenges big players, Times Higher Education, March 15, 2023

  • Analysis shows Swiss publisher MDPI set up almost 56,000 special issues with a closing date in 2023

John Sherer, Open Access for Monographs is Here. But Are we Ready for It?, Scholarly Kitchen, March 23, 2023.

  • Reporting on a Mellon-funded open access monograph pilot, UNC Press Director John Sherer notes successes and remaining challenges.

Susan D'Agostino, New Recommendations for Encouraging Open-Access Publishing, Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2023

Andrew Albanese, In a Swift Decision, Judge Eviscerates Internet Archive’s Scanning and Lending Program, Publishers Weekly, March 25, 2023

  • In an emphatic 47-page opinion, federal judge John G. Koeltl found the Internet Archive infringed the copyrights of four plaintiff publishers by scanning and lending their books under a legally contested practice known as CDL (controlled digital lending). And after three years of contentious legal wrangling, the case wasn’t even close.

Dana M. Polanichka and Aubrey Westfall, Why Your College Needs a Faculty Writing Room, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2023.

  • The idea of coming together to write is not new, but two scholars share what they learned has worked best for increasing productivity.

Ryan Quinn, USC Professor Recalls Book After ‘L.A. Times’ Finds Plagiarism, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2023

  • A University of Southern California professor has recalled his new book after the Los Angeles Times found at least “95 instances of plagiarism.”


ICYMI on the Elephant

John Randolph, Joe Lenkart, and Kit Condill, Sustaining U.S. Based Scholarly Research and Communications a Year Into Russia's War in Ukraine, March 1, 2023.

Alex Gupta, Book Review: Joanna Russ's How to Suppress Women’s Writing, March 8, 2023.

Dawn Durante, Call for Posts: Scholarly Communication and Libraries, Librarianship, and Information Sciences, March 15, 2023.

Elisabeth S. Maselli, Social Media and Fair Use in Scholarly Publishing, March 22, 2023.

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