Building JSTOR’s Offline Solution for Prison Education

“I am thrilled to share with you a new JSTOR Labs report, Supporting the Academic Research Needs of Incarcerated Students: Building JSTOR’s Offline Solution for Prison Education.  This report documents our work, beginning in 2018, to develop and pilot an improved, offline version of JSTOR for use in prisons and jails. …

Report Abstract

Incarcerated students often lack access to the resources and conditions, both physical and digital, that make self-directed research and research skill-building possible. Due to technical constraints – most notably the lack of internet access in most prison environments – few incarcerated students have access to research databases commonly used by students to discover scholarly content that is relevant to their coursework, research projects, and broader learning pursuits. Not only does lack of research experience have an impact on students’ ability to engage with academic work, but it also leaves students without the fundamental information and digital literacy skills that are increasingly essential for future work and continued learning. Since 2007, JSTOR, a digital library of scholarly resources, has been making strides to amend this gap in available scholarly resources and research tools by providing JSTOR access to incarcerated learners. This paper describes the work undertaken by JSTOR Labs, an experimental product development team at JSTOR, to develop an offline index of scholarly resources designed to serve the research needs of incarcerated students. Supported by the Mellon Foundation, this project yielded lessons regarding how to scale access to digital scholarly resources given the changing landscape of technology in prison, and continues to shape JSTOR’s work to help improve higher education in prison and reduce barriers for student research.”

Say Hello to Anno : Hypothesis | 18 Aug 2022

“It’s been 11 years since we launched Hypothesis. It’s gone by so fast. During this time, we’ve accomplished many things: We defined a vision for open web annotation, we built an open source framework to implement it, we helped form and lead the working group that shipped the W3C standard, and we launched a service that’s now used by over a million people around the world who have made nearly 40 million annotations. In higher education, more than 1,200 colleges and universities use Hypothesis. And we’ve grown from a handful of people into a team of more than 35 passionate web builders. We’re not stopping here.

We’ve always had our sights set on the bigger idea: that this still-nascent effort can blossom into a true network of interoperable services — a rich ecosystem of collaboration, conversation and community over all knowledge. We believe that when incentives are aligned toward quality and away from monetizing attention, we can produce something of profound social importance. A utility layer for humanity. Since launch, the Hypothesis Project has been incorporated as a nonprofit. And while our nonprofit was an excellent home for our mission, it also limited us to grants and donations. Though we were beginning to provide services that we could charge for, we still needed capital to expand. Frustratingly, while our needs were growing, several of the key funding sources we’d relied on were no longer available to us as they shuttered programs or changed strategies. In 2019, we and others formed Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI), an “initiative to dramatically increase the amount of funding available to open scholarly infrastructure.” We recruited Kaitlin Thaney to that effort, and she has been doing a terrific job laying the foundation for this. But all this would take time we didn’t have.

In response, and to better position us to achieve our long-held mission, we’ve formed Anno, a public benefit corporation (aka “Annotation Unlimited, PBC”) that shares the Hypothesis mission as well as its team. We’ve done this so that we can take investment in a mission aligned way and scale the Hypothesis service to meet the opportunity in front of us. Anno is funded by a $14M seed round that includes a $2.5M investment from ITHAKA, the nonprofit provider of JSTOR, a digital library that serves more than 13,000 education institutions around the world, providing access to more than 12 million journal articles, books, images and primary sources in 75 disciplines. Also participating in the round are At.inc, Triage Ventures, Esther Dyson, Mark Pincus and others. ITHAKA’s president, Kevin Guthrie, has joined Anno’s board as an observer….”

ITHAKA invests in open-annotation leader Hypothesis – ITHAKA

“ITHAKA is investing in the leading open annotation service Hypothesis. Hypothesis—developed with funding from the Sloan, Mellon and other foundations—allows users to make private, semi-private, or public annotations on any webpage, PDF, or document. This $2.5 million investment—made to Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis—furthers ITHAKA’s mission to expand access to knowledge and education by supporting a key component of open higher education infrastructure: interoperable teaching and learning tools that positively impact student learning outcomes.

Hypothesis is available as a free browser extension as well as a fee-based enterprise service that integrates annotation functionality directly into college and university learning management systems. It has a million users globally and more than 200 institutional customers. Faculty and students are using Hypothesis in the classroom to annotate course material, generating asynchronous discussion around specific texts. This relatively simple activity of coming together virtually around an assigned reading, known as social annotation, is making an impact. At Wake Forest University, Hypothesis is now being used by over 60% of all students across all disciplines. Recent case studies, like this one analyzing social annotation in three undergraduate courses at a Canadian university, are also showing evidence of its potential….”

ITHAKA invests in open annotation leader HypothesisA letter from Kevin Guthrie – News – About JSTOR

“I am excited to share today that we have invested $2.5 million in Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis.

As you may know, Hypothesis is a tool that enables people to annotate documents and webpages. Its free browser extension is in use by a million people globally, with a version that integrates with learning management systems now installed at 200 colleges and universities. We see tremendous potential for tools like Hypothesis that are open and interoperable to improve teaching and learning.

In addition to the investment, we are working on a pilot project with Anno to enable the use of Hypothesis with the text-based materials on JSTOR through learning management systems. As an organization with a mission to expand access to knowledge and education, ITHAKA’s investment and this collaboration will support the use and study of the materials you and we have worked so hard to produce, preserve and make accessible. I encourage you to read our public announcement as well as Anno’s blog post for more details….”

ITHAKA invests in open annotation leader HypothesisA letter from Kevin Guthrie – News – About JSTOR

“I am excited to share today that we have invested $2.5 million in Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis.

As you may know, Hypothesis is a tool that enables people to annotate documents and webpages. Its free browser extension is in use by a million people globally, with a version that integrates with learning management systems now installed at 200 colleges and universities. We see tremendous potential for tools like Hypothesis that are open and interoperable to improve teaching and learning.

In addition to the investment, we are working on a pilot project with Anno to enable the use of Hypothesis with the text-based materials on JSTOR through learning management systems. As an organization with a mission to expand access to knowledge and education, ITHAKA’s investment and this collaboration will support the use and study of the materials you and we have worked so hard to produce, preserve and make accessible. I encourage you to read our public announcement as well as Anno’s blog post for more details….”

Growth of open content in 2021 – About JSTOR

“By combining rapidly expanding open and free primary sources with our continuously growing journal archives, we strengthen the depth of your patrons’ research and enhance the value of your investment in JSTOR.

We introduced new functionality and more diverse types of open content from publishers, libraries, archives, and museums, including more open images from Artstor and open primary source collections. These resources are complemented with essential Open Access scholarship and address the increased needs for remote teaching and learning….”

Sustainable eBook Acquisition and Access: The not-for-profit Perspective – Charleston Hub

“…We launched an OA eBook program in 2016 that has grown to include more than 7,700 titles. Libraries can use free MARC records or activate the OA titles in their discovery service, and users can cross-search all OA and licensed eBooks with all other content types on our platform. The ease of discovery on JSTOR has led to strong usage of the OA titles. In 2021 alone, there were more than 11 million uses of the OA eBooks worldwide.

A Learning Journey

While some publishers have eagerly experimented with OA models, others fear being left behind. These publishers share the mission to make scholarship more accessible but worry that the lack of grant support and viable business models are not well understood by the government agencies and funders that are creating OA mandates. The potential for libraries converting to models such as “subscribe to open” could alleviate these concerns, but few of our smaller and medium-sized publishers have the ability to undertake such a change themselves. They lack the resources and bandwidth to design new business models and advocate for funding. We have been working on various Open Access models in support of our publishers and to meet the demand from libraries and researchers for more OA content. First, in our “Convert to Open” model, publishers have identified eBooks already available for sale on JSTOR to convert to OA without incurring any additional costs to do so. The usage data for these titles shows the strong impact of opening up backlist scholarly content and making it discoverable to researchers around the world. We reviewed 336 titles from 30 publishers that were converted from licensed eBooks to OA in 2019 and 2020 and documented the usage for each title one to two years prior to being converted to OA and an equivalent one to two years after. The usage for these titles increased by 3,279% after being converted to OA. We have also developed a “Publish as Open” model in collaboration with libraries and publishers to support the publication of new titles directly as OA. In 2019, the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP, a CRL initiative) approached JSTOR to support a low-cost OA pilot for new titles from Argentinian publisher CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. To date, this collaboration has made 340 CLACSO titles freely accessible on JSTOR. The titles have been used more than 940,000 times by users across 195 countries. Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell and President of SALALM, described the project’s importance for bridging a critical gap in the scholarly communications system. “Despite established OA publishing models for scholarly works in Latin America, monograph discovery and preservation infrastructure for this important content in U.S. libraries is virtually nonexistent. This multi-partner, horizontal, and librarian-led pilot is testing out sustainable partnerships that take into account the monograph lifecycle from publisher to library” (JSTOR, 2021). Based on the success of this pilot and ongoing support to fund future OA titles for CLACSO, we are working with LARRP to expand our collaboration and support other selected Latin American publishers. In the coming years, we plan to expand this model to other publishers in partnership with the academic community….”

Serving our community in difficult times: a letter from Kevin Guthrie – ITHAKA

“At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, we promised that fees would not increase for JSTOR participants through 2023. We also introduced a year-long program that provided participating academic institutions with access to all Archive Collections at no additional cost. Since then, we extended that program for another year, and to date nearly 5,000 institutions have taken advantage of it….

Consistent with our mission-driven aspirations, and considering the current public health, economic, and political environment, we have decided to extend the expanded access program to participating higher education institutions for a third year, through June 2023….”

 

Knowledge Unlatched Presents Open Access Heroes 2022

Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce OA Heroes 2022, highlighting the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines and scholarly titles seeing the most usage worldwide. The number of total user interactions (including downloads and views) for KU titles has grown year on year by 16 percent and now stands at a total of 16.2 million. On average, each title unlatched through KU gets 5,450 user interactions.

Mellon Foundation awards ITHAKA $1.5 million to make JSTOR accessible to incarcerated college students – ITHAKA

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded ITHAKA a new $1.5 million grant to provide incarcerated college students with access to JSTOR, a digital library of journals, books, and other materials. Our aim is for every incarcerated college student in the United States to have access to JSTOR, along with the research skills to use this and other digital resources.

One of the most significant educational challenges that incarcerated college students face is easy, reliable access to high-quality library resources to support their learning. Prisons often do not provide internet access to individuals or offer only limited access to digital resources, sometimes at high cost. This challenge has only grown in the last 12 to 18 months as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up the need for digital learning solutions and higher education became more accessible to incarcerated individuals through financial aid expansions, including Second Chance Pell….”

Open Community Collections marks over 100 contributors – News | About JSTOR

“JSTOR’s Open Community Collection initiative has surpassed the 350 collection mark and is steadily growing, with more than 100 current contributing partners at libraries, museums, universities, and other institutions around the world….”

JSTOR Companion to the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List | JSTOR Daily

“To meet the need for content related to racism, anti-racism, and Black voices, JSTOR has created a complementary, extensive open library to support readers and scholars seeking to engage with BIPOC+Q-authored reading lists, starting with a unique set of resources related to the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List….”

Expanded access to JSTOR and Artstor further extended: a letter from Kevin Guthrie and Rebecca Seger – ITHAKA

“The challenges faced by the higher education community due to COVID-19 are deep and lasting. We are all affected and need to respond. At ITHAKA, our not-for-profit mission is to make access to knowledge and education more accessible for all. We have asked ourselves what it means to fulfill that mission during these difficult times and have discussed with our trustees creative ways we can respond. Through these discussions we decided to establish a $4 million fee relief program and to develop a range of expanded access offerings to help schools and universities that have had to rapidly pivot to online instruction.

Our expanded access offerings for JSTOR-participating institutions in response to COVID-19 include access to unlicensed JSTOR Archive and Primary Source collections as well as Artstor at no cost. Participation in these programs has been remarkable; to date this content has been accessed more than 24 million times by users at nearly 12,000 institutions….”