“Brown University Library has received a three-year $246,000 Implementation Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to establish a cross-organizational training and support program for HBCU library professionals seeking to gain or expand expertise in developing open access born-digital scholarship.
Born-digital publications create exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge by advancing scholarly arguments in ways not achievable in a conventional print format, whether through multimedia enhancements or interactive engagement with research materials. Combined with open access publishing models, these new scholarly forms are increasing the visibility and reach of humanities scholarship to global audiences both within and beyond the academy in unprecedented ways. Yet the majority of this innovative work is being generated at well-resourced, predominantly white institutions….”
“Brown University Library, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, has developed a training institute for scholars who wish to pursue interpretive projects that require digital expression and digital publication but may lack resources and capacity at their home institutions. Centered on inclusion and accessibility, Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Roadmaps – an NEH Institute on Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities provides multi-pronged, far-reaching support via an intensive summer program for scholars from less well-resourced institutions, and a digital hub that makes all course materials publicly available.”
“Is A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures—an interactive, open-access, born-digital monograph developed by Brown University Digital Publications and published in August by MIT Press—the monograph of the future? Asking readers to imagine Islam anew, as a vast web of interconnected traces seen through the prism of time, the book opens with a networked table of contents. Portals lead to different time periods across different parts of the world, inviting readers to explore Islam via a path of their choosing. In designing a one-of-a-kind trajectory that follows their own interests and queries, the reader, effectively, creates their own journey while traversing the world of ideas and evidence that has been curated by the author.
This groundbreaking interface, says author Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities at Brown, “performs, rather than simply states, the book’s argument—namely, that we see pasts and futures as fields of unlimited possibility that come alive through a combination of close observation and ethical positioning.” …
In working together to produce and disseminate essential knowledge for broad audiences, Brown University Library and the MIT Press are also addressing issues of scalability and sustainability. A critical goal of the series is to mobilize knowledge creation and sharing. To this end, On Seeing will comprise a publication suite that includes a multiplicity of forms. The print book, providing a revenue stream to help offset costs, will be offered at a reasonable price and distributed globally in order to reach the widest possible readership. The enhanced, open-access digital publication will be developed using the open-source publishing platform PubPub, which introduces a less bespoke approach to interactive design and development….
We are seeing the payoff from these investments through the expansive reach and impact that this approach to digital publication, together with presses gravitating to open access….”
“In an effort to take stock of the wide range of innovative practices and system-changing interventions that characterize a growing body of digital scholarly publications, Brown University and Emory University co-hosted a summit in spring 2021. The intention from the start was to call attention to the faculty-led experimentation that was taking place across a number of libraries and humanities centers, some of which already involved university presses. Shifting the focus away from tools and technology, as important as those discussions remain to the larger scholarly communications ecosystem, the summit emphasized author and audience needs and opportunities. As such, it highlighted the importance of investing in a people-centric, content-driven infrastructure.
Case studies of eight recently published or in-development OA works provided the basis for in-depth, evidence-based discussions among scholars, academic staff experts, and representatives from university presses: What models for publishing enhanced and interactive scholarly projects are emerging? What are the common challenges that remain and how do we address them? How can we encourage a shared vocabulary for these reimagined forms of humanities scholarship among the wider scholarly communications community? …”
“In spring 2021, Brown University Library and Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry co-hosted a summit on multimodal digital monographs – born-digital publications that offer unique capabilities beyond conventional formats, from multimedia enhancements and interactive navigation to community engagement and global reach. The objective was to survey faculty-led experimentation with new scholarly forms taking place across a number of libraries and humanities centers. Case studies of eight recently published or in-development works exemplified the spectrum and hybridity of innovation in this area and provided a lens through which to consider some of the most pressing questions around reimagined forms of humanities scholarship.
The resulting report, Multimodal Digital Publications: Content, Collaboration, Community, presents the summit findings — on matters of cross-institutional collaboration, community engagement, professional development, open access, peer review, metadata and discoverability, preservation, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion — and points to promising ways forward as the process of establishing best practices for the development, validation, and dissemination of multimodal digital monographs continues to unfold….”
“Brown’s$3.6-billion endowmentpermits it to support low-income students creatively, said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher-education policy and sociology at Temple University, who studies food and housing insecurity among students. “If you’ve got that kind of money,” she said, “I’d like to see how far they can go.”
That might not mean covering more and more student expenses, Goldrick-Rab said. Instead, it could mean questioning or even reducing those expenses. Colleges could move toward providing open course materials….”