Where is the Open in DH?

Wouter Schallier (wouter.schallier@un.org), UN/ECLAC, Chile y Gimena del Rio Riande (gdelrio@conicet.gov.ar), CONICET, Argentina y April M. Hathcock (april.hathcock@nyu.edu), New York University y Daniel O’Donnell (daniel.odonnell@uleth.ca), University of Lethbridge

When it comes to promoting the importance of open scholarship, Latin America and the Caribbean stand out in a sense that the concept of “openness” is generally accepted all over the region. Several countries, such as Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, have shown real advances in terms of national laws that seek to make knowledge produced with public funds a common good, managed by the academic community. We can also highlight regional projects such as SciELO and redalyc.org that have played a unique role to make the production published in Ibero American and Latin American journals available free of charge. Open access is now established in Latin America and the Caribbean as the most extended communication model in the academic community, giving visibility and value to scientific production at a regional and global level.

Nevertheless, the question remains to what extent this wide acceptance of openness has influenced the work of digital humanists in Latin America and the Caribbean and beyond. Much of the most well-known digital humanities (DH) work in the world tends to focus on projects coming out of North America and Western Europe. And despite efforts by groups such as Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (GO::DH) and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations more broadly, DH still remains a very English language centric interdiscipline (Fiormonte y del Rio Riande, 2017).

What would it take to bring DH into a more global openness, not only in terms of access but also in terms of methods, best practices and opportunities for collaboration? And what could this openness look like set against the backdrop of the long-standing and highly developed open access movement in Latin America and the Caribbean?

The workshop will analyse these challenges, as well as highlight initiatives and explore options to advance open in DH in Latin America and the Caribbean. It will begin by examining the aforementioned national laws and specific cases that illustrate the progress and challenges of open access as a movement in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in the global context and present a practical approach to deal with the «different open accesses in the world» (Curry, 2017; Babini, 2013). The workshop will then shift to focus on the ways these various infrastructures for open can be deployed to build a more globally open DH.

Furthermore, the workshop will highlight particular existing DH projects that have begun building openness, in access, methods, and collaboration. Instructors and facilitators will help attendees to explore examples from the Global North and South, such as the LEARN project (
http://www.learn-rdm.eu/), CLACSO’s activities (
https://clacso.org.ar/), Red Argentina de Educación Abierta (AREA.
http://a-rea.org/), Cientópolis (
https://www.cientopolis.org/), Acta Académica (
https://www.aacademica.org/), Humanities Commons (
https://hcommons.org) , OpenCon (
http://www.opencon2017.org/), FORCE11 (
https://www.force11.org/), DARIAH (
https://www.dariah.eu/), among others, to begin building a set of good practices, including examples of institutional policies and practical recommendations from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean devoted specifically to DH projects. We will give examples of Open projects in DH, in this set of good practices, institutional policies and practical recommendations that will address project work, digital objects, Open Access publishing and research collaboration.

Finally, the workshop will place DH output modes, from collaborative web projects to traditional publications to research data, in the context of the larger open access movement, which is changing the face of academic research and society in a very profound way. This vision of open access is creating a global environment where researchers, innovators, and citizens can publish, find, use and reuse each other’s data, tools, publications and other outputs for research, innovation and educational purposes.

In addition to people interested specifically in the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, this course will be of comparative interest to people working in other regions in both the Global South and the Global North. We will encourage participants to engage reflectively with the material, bringing the own experiences to bear.

Appendix A

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  2. Alperin, J.P. (2015). The Public Impact of Latin American’s Approach to Open Access.
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  3. Babini, D. (2013). Open access initiatives in the Global South affirm the lasting value of a shared scholarly communications system.
    London School of Economics and Political Science Impact Blog
    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2013/10/23/global-south-open-access-initiatives/ (last visit: 27 April 2018)
  4. Curry, S. (2017). Why I don’t share Elsevier’s vision of the transition to open access
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  5. Fernándes, P. and Vos, R. A. (2017). Open Science, Open Data, Open Source.
    https://pfern.github.io/OSODOS/gitbook/ (last visit: 27 April 2018)
  6. Fiormonte, D. and del Rio Riande, G. (2017). Por unas Humanidades Digitales Globales.
    https://infolet.it/2017/10/09/humanidades-digitales-globales/ (last visit: 27 April 2018)
  7. Packer, A. L. et al. (2018). Los criterios de Indexación de SciELO se alinean con la comunicación en la ciencia abierta.
    SciELO en Perspectiva.
    http://blog.scielo.org/es/2018/01/10/los-criterios-de-indexacion-de-scielo-se-alinean-con-la-comunicacion-en-la-ciencia-abierta/#.WocMbujwaM9 (last visit: 27 April 2018)
  8. Suárez, A. V. and McGlynn, T. (2017). The fallacy of Open-Access Publication.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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