Historical Reminiscents EP 37: Practicing Open Access

Open sign hanging in a window. Right side reads' Episode 37: Practicing Open Access."

I’ve been thinking a lot about the implications of where I publish my work, the accessibility of my work to community members, and open access. In today’s episode I talk about peer reviewed journals, popular publishing, and finding open access outlets.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the intersection of history, publishing, and open access initiatives. Leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter.

Mentioned in this episode:
-“Doing the working: Editing Wikipedia as act of reconciliation.
Outrage over University’s $999 online textbook
-Thomas Peace, “Open Pedagogy: The Time is Now

Download or listen now.

Peer Mentors and Peer Nurturing

PeerLetters to a Young Librarian recently had a great post on the idea and importance of peer mentors.  Jessica Olin makes a great point about the value of having a support network and peers who you can turn to for support and honest feedback. Mentors can provide advice.  But sometimes having those close relationships that you can openly discuss challenges with are more valuable than unsolicited advice.

Similar to peer mentoring I like the idea of peer nurturing.  Anyone who has written for academic publications has probably revived a soul crushing, want to crawl into a hole peer review. These devastating reviews have a tendency to cause a whole lot of doubt — particularly in new scholars.

I get that we need standards and that bad research shouldn’t be published.  Peer review has a place and purpose. But I think the idea of peer nurturing is also valuable.  Helpful honest feedback that allows new scholars to gain skills and grow professionally is part of peer nurturing.  Creating environments that allow people to correct mistakes, learn, and be part of an engaged conversation around their work is important.

A quality peer mentor relationship can provide this type of feedback in a safe space.  Having that group of supportive colleagues can be crucial for new scholars.

Peer Review: Letting Go Of Doubt

During the month of December I am participating in #reverb14 as a means of getting my writing habits back on track. I will be altering the prompts as needed to fit within the scope of this blog. Today’s prompt: Letting go: Next year I’m letting go of…

A couple of longstanding project I’ve been working on have wrapped up this year.  I finished an article on community archives that uses the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre archives as a case study.  It took me a long time to address the peer review comments on this article. Procrastination combined with fear of the revisions not being adequate made it easy to avoid working on this project.

 I found a session Jo VanEvery offered on dealing with criticism particularly helpful in getting myself motivated to address the peer review comments. It helps to have an outsider remind you that you are capable of doing good work and that you should take reviewer comments with a grain of salt while still responding to them in a meaningful way.

This past year taught me a lot about letting go of self doubt and the importance of believing in your work.  Imposter syndrome is fairly common amongst academics and tends to be even more prevalent amongst women. Building supportive communities which provide criticism in a nurturing way can be extremely valuable. Finding good role models and supportive peers can be invaluable and provide much needed sounding boards in times of self-doubt.