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Opening-up digital platforms to community-based research

Faculty Advisor




community-based research, community engagement, open access, academic libraries, institutional repositories, digital preservation

Abstract (summary)

Canadian universities are striving to build stronger foundations in community engagement. Community-based researchers are doing this foundational work, conducting research alongside community partners. This work often results in non-traditional research outputs, which advance knowledge but are not disseminated through conventional publishers. Examples include reports, policy briefs, photographic exhibits, and video productions. While this work serves to inform policy, advance social change, and by extension, contribute to teaching and learning, it is often not shared widely online in ways that encourage discoverability, and long-term reuse. Notably, it is frequently absent from digital platforms maintained by academic libraries used to distribute scholarly and creative works in open and sustainable ways such as institutional repositories and web-publishing applications like Omeka and Pressbooks, and it is rarely shared under flexible Creative Commons licenses. Reflecting on recent data collected through surveys and interviews with Canadian librarians and community-based researchers, this presentation will provide insight into why this work is so often not shared on open access platforms. Participants will be asked to consider challenges and opportunities present at their own institutions to support the dissemination of community-based research outputs, and ways to enhance university services to help advance its impact and reach.

Publication Information



Presented on May 31, 2023 at the Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association (OTESSA) Conference held at York University in Toronto, Ontario.

Item Type




Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)