Photo of SCI 2019 participants

SCI 2019 highlights

The 2019 Scholarly Communication Institute was held from October 13 to October 17, and this year’s theme was “Equity in Scholarly Communication”.

Five teams convened to work on projects they proposed in the spring, and to work across teams to better understand the structural and situational issues that present challenges to a more equitable scholarly communication and publishing ecosystem. During the course of the institute they explored ideas, developed initiatives, and launched projects aimed at promoting positive change.

Once the five days of the Institute, we collected highlights in the blog post below – featuring tweets, photos, links, and other information that reflect what was going on at the Institute.

You can join in the conversation too. Each year many SCI participants have been active on Twitter during the program, using the #TriangleSCI hashtag. Follow along there or in this list gathering tweets from the SCI 2019 cohort, send us questions, give us your suggestions, and engage with us as we further develop and implement ideas and projects.

If you’re interested in participating in person in SCI 2020, look for the next theme and request for proposals on this site in January. We’re happy to announce that we’ve received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue TriangleSCI for three more years. We’re grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their ongoing support of this program, and look forward to 90+ more people being able to participate in the next 3 years!

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Feminist-Centered Collaborative Scholarly Communication Living Toolkit / Caja Viva de Herramientas para la Comunicación Académica, Colaborativa, y Feminista

This is the fifth and final in a series of posts about each of the teams that will be attending SCI 2019, and their projects. This one was submitted by Sandra Aya Enimil.

Photo of protest march with sign reading "The Future is Still Female"

The scholarly communication ecosystem reflects in large part the prevailing modes of thought, knowledge creation, and knowledge sharing of the time. Building a scholarly communication project that is truly inclusive of existing voices, thoughts, and perspectives takes time, critical reflection, and iterative thinking. Building a feminist-centered framework for collaborative scholarly communication projects requires enacting an ethic of care to ensure that marginalized voices and perspectives are given the space they deserve and that invisible emotional labor is recognized and valued. This team of six women, who stand at the forefront of the scholarly communication work in their respective regions, institutions, and fields, comes together to explore what it means to build a truly inclusive, feminist-centered scholarly communication agenda, rooted in a foundation of equity.

Given the focus of our individual work and our collective proposal for this project, we are delighted by this year’s theme of “Equity in Scholarly Communications.” Each of us has experienced the inequities inherent in the scholarly communication landscape on a number of fronts. We know what it means to operate in a scholarly communication system rooted in inequity and oppression, and we are committed to bringing an intersectional—taking account of multiple levels of oppression (Kimberle Crenshaw, 1991)—feminist approach to bear in our work.

We recognize the need for a framework of practical tools to help fellow colleagues build scholarly communication projects, at all stages of the process that focus on true equity, inclusiveness, and shared value of labor. We seek to begin building an iterative, living, multi-lingual, crowd-sourced toolkit that focuses on best practices for the conceptualization, creation, and completion of inclusive scholarly communication projects. Whether the project involves interacting with marginalized communities to curate and manage collections of materials, developing decolonized and anti-oppressive descriptions and methods for discovery, or creating culturally sensitive publication and dissemination strategies for these materials and resulting research output, our goal is to begin the process of creating a living document that will address best practices for any of these scenarios across cultural and disciplinary contexts.

Our goal is to create and disseminate the first ever multilingual feminist centered living (read iterative living document) toolkit to address challenges and opportunities regarding Scholarly Communications that has practical use in local contexts


  • The Team will discuss, identify and frame the misconceptions of what feminism is and what feminisms exist around the world.
  • The Team will discuss and identify definitions of diversity and equity, that can be very different based on perspective, place, culture, politics, and context.
  • The Team will discuss definitions of global – attempting to make this an honest project and sitting with the reality that “global” often used as a term without meaning.
  • Importance of living document that solicits ongoing work from scholars in different areas and at different times.
  • Cómo construir algo global cuando hay diferencias locales → necesitamos una caja de herramientas que pueda ser transculturado, no sólo traducido.
  • The Feminist Toolkit is designed and intended to be transculturated and not just translated.
  • El objetivo es crear algo muy práctico.

Graphic of feminist toolkit

How we plan to share our work:

The members of the Team represent North, Central and Latin American and are eager to solicit contributions from other areas of the world that are not represented on our Team. Toolkit content will be open to be reused and remixed and customized for use in local contexts.

The Toolkit would utilize Open Source and ethical technologies, software, tools, and dissemination plan. In keeping with the requirement and spirit of structural and sustainable Openness, our Team’s deliverable of the Feminist Toolkit living document will be designed and built utilizing open
software such as etherpad. Following ethical educational technology practices:

We will:

  • Promote the Toolkit via social media, international conferences and other venues
  • Solicit and recruit additional contributions to the Toolkit from areas of the world that have not received the attention and that require languages beyond English
  • Present, draft and share the results of the Team’s research broadly
  • Continue monthly calls to discuss the project proposal and next steps

Project Member Bios:

Gimena del Rio Riande is an Associate Researcher at IIBICRIT-CONICET and Professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is interested in building an Open Digital Humanities community in Argentina. During the last five years she created the first DH Lab in her country, HD CAICYT Lab, and she worked on the publishing of the first Spanish Digital Humanities OA journal, the Revista de Humanidades Digitales, the organization of the Asociación Argentina de Humanidades Digitales, and the Argentinian OA Repository Project, Acta Académica. She also collaborates with many DH projects and consortia around the world (Force11, TEI, Pelagios Commons, DARIAH). Gimena brings her experience working with different academic communities (Anglophone, Spanish), where she has explored transculturation and decolonization approaches in the Humanities. She also brings her experience in OA policies and the DH and digital humanities scene in Latin America, this will help the team in expanding this framework to the Spanish-speaking community and to Global South perspectives.

Sandra Aya Enimil is the Copyright Services Librarian and Head of Copyright Services at The Ohio State University Libraries. At Ohio State, Sandra provides information and resources on using copyrighted materials and assists creators in protecting their own copyright. Sandra works with individuals and departments within the Libraries and across campus. She works closely with colleagues in various academic units, Legal Affairs, and the Libraries’ Special Collections and Digitization & Reformatting departments to name a few. She has also given numerous presentations on various aspects of copyright for faculty and staff at Ohio State and several other institutions. Sandra will contribute her knowledge and work regarding collections and the way libraries and archives interact with marginalized communities.

Sharon E. Farb is the Associate University Librarian for special collections and international collaborations and the chief policy strategist for the UCLA Library. She leads the units that enhance and unlock the Library’s rare and unique materials and guides the Library’s government relations and public policy efforts. Farb is a national leader on the role of the public research library in organizing and preserving knowledge and spearheaded the Library’s development of its Open Scholarship and Collections Policy and an active member of IFLA’s Copyright and Legal Matters Committee.

April Hathcock is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at New York University, a large research institution with a global footprint. Hathcock educates her campus community on issues relating to rights, access, and ownership of scholarly material across the research lifecycle. She spent her previous career as a practicing lawyer and interrogates her current work through the lens of legal infrastructure and how it relates to knowledge creation and sharing. Her scholarly research focuses on the feminist intersectionality, information justice, scholarly (neo)colonialism, and global inclusivity and representation. She is an active member of the Force11 Scholarly Commons Self-Critique Working Group and can bring her work on building a globally inclusive scholarly infrastructure to this Triangle SCI project.

Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit university with a social justice mission. She received her master’s in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign School of Information Sciences, and completed a scholarly communications residency with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her background is in academic publishing with companies such as Taylor & Francis and Oxford University Press, and she continues to edit freelance. Charlotte works at the intersection of scholarly communication and social justice, specifically in library publishing, open education resources, copyright and fair use, author rights, and institutional repositories. She has published on diversity and representation in scholarly publishing. Charlotte brings her experience in publishing and open access, as well as her critique of how the academic community (librarians, publishers, scholars, and activists) sometimes uses open access to replicate the existing colonial structures that disadvantage certain communities.

[ Photo by Miawicks9 from Pixabay. Image accessed July 25, 2019 and has been altered from the original. Used under Pixabay free license.]

[ Edited August 5 to remove one team member who is no longer able to attend. ]

Bringing Equity and Diversity to Peer Review

This is the fourth in a series of posts about each of the teams that will be attending SCI 2019, and their projects. This one was submitted by Daniela Saderi.

Illustration of peer review

The current system of scientific peer review is flawed. Research is evaluated by a handful of unpaid reviewers selected by journal editors as “experts” in the field. Two or sometimes three reviewers are chosen opaquely, often through personal connections. Behind closed doors, they decide the fate of a research article, largely basing their evaluation on subjective criteria. Paradoxically, while peer review is a key component for scientific dissemination, very few scientists receive any formal training in it.

This arcane process is not only slow and inefficient – with waiting periods from submission to publication of six months or more – but also disadvantages researchers from under-represented groups or under-resourced institutions. When they submit their research for peer review, their work is evaluated using standards developed for research groups with vastly more resources and connections. The gatekeepers of scholarly publication are disproportionately male (Helmer et al. 2017; Lerback, American Geophysical Union, and Brooks Hanson 2016; “Nature’s Sexism” 2012; Fox, Sean Burns, and Meyer 2016) and from North America or European countries (Chawla 2018; Murray et al. 2018). Rarely is research evaluated by a diverse pool of reviewers who can provide a comprehensive and context-appropriate evaluation of the science. Thus, we need better ways to find, train, and engage researchers in peer review, and, importantly, we need to be intentional about including researchers from groups sunder-represented in scholarship in the design and leadership on any potential solutions.

Preprints are early, yet complete, versions of scientific manuscripts made freely available online before journal-organized peer review. They offer multiple opportunities to both train and diversify the pool of peer reviewers: 1) research is available immediately, instead of being delayed for months; 2) community peer review allows for the feedback of a larger and more diverse pool of experts; 3) writing and sharing reviews helps train early-career researchers in the norms of constructive peer review; and 4) as citable objects, preprints and their reviews can be used as proof of productivity and engagement for career advancement.

Our team is working to support PREreview, a grassroots initiative aimed to facilitate the uptake of preprints and community discussion around them. The idea is that all researchers should be able to engage in constructive conversations around new scientific output and be recognized for that contribution. However, in order to ensure this effort succeeds at its mission of diversifying peer review and meaningfully engage all research communities, we need to better understand the assumptions made, current workflows, and reward systems in the context of scientific publishing en large.

The 2019 Scholarly Communication Institute will allow our team to come together and discuss ways to reach a more equitable and inclusive peer-review process by fostering open practices and building infrastructures explicitly designed to fit or be adapted to different cultural contexts.

Our team aims to achieve the following goals:

1. Understand publication workflows and cultural contexts that may influence the involvement of under-represented groups and countries in the peer-review process in general and in the review of preprints in particular.

We will begin by reviewing the workflows related to scientific peer review and the publishing systems familiar to our team members. We will highlight known incentives and rewards, both overt and covert, associated with engaging in peer review and with the posting of preprints in these different contexts.

We will challenge the assumption that preprints are a valuable and safe method of sharing research for researchers from under-resourced institutions and under-represented countries in the elite landscape of scholarly communication.

We will discuss rewards and incentives that can be set in place to encourage researchers to engage with preprints, share feedback, and participate to journal-organized peer review.

In addition to our personal experiences and professional knowledge, to inform these discussions we will review anonymized results from open surveys run by groups such as ASAPbio, bioRxiv, and the Center for Open Science.

2. Challenge/test existing strategies, and brainstorm new ones to grow and nurture a diverse community of preprint reviewers.

We will focus this part of the discussion on providing contextual feedback to the following initiatives:

    • A new PREreview open-source platform is almost ready to be launched and will be ready for wide user testing during the TriangleSCI event. Some key features designed to address the concerns and needs of vulnerable research communities include: optional pseudonymity with trackable contributions that can be shared with selected parties; a strong and visible code of conduct with anonymous reporting and clear community expectations and consequences for its violation; constructive peer-review templates; specific feedback solicitations (e.g., help with language, statistics, etc.); contribution recognition badges linked to ORCID IDs. What features/resources could help make this or similar tools useful and safe for communities from under-represented groups? What unexpected consequences might emerge? How can we best monitor community interactions to minimize intended or unintended harm?
    • The PREreview team is developing a cohort-based peer-review mentorship program based on the successful Mozilla Open Leaders. Researchers with little to no experience in peer review will be paired with more experienced reviewers and invited to engage in community calls, webinars, and one-on-one calls. The curriculum includes critical evaluation of preprints, strategies to help researchers provide constructive feedback, and training in unconscious bias, licensing, and leadership. How can this program support researchers from groups under-represented in scholarship? What additional topics and resources should be included in the program? How should the mentors be selected?
    • The team is implementing live-streamed preprint journal clubs, topic-centered, interactive preprint journal clubs that are live-streamed via video conference. These events are designed to be inclusive of all researchers by allowing structured and constructive discussions around preprints and encouraging diverse methods of participation. Researchers from all over the world can join to build their network, meet globally-renowned experts, and collaborate on improving a preprint. What unseen cultural contexts may prevent global participation? How can we ensure everyone is included? How can we design these events such that they are easily adapted to fit language- and discipline-specific needs?

Output plan

The output of this work – including methods, process, and resources for user research with under-represented communities – will be published and openly shared in multiple forms:

  • As a detailed report shared with the team’s associated organizations: the African Science Initiative (ASI) executive board, eLIFE Ambassadors and early-career advisory committee, the Mozilla Foundation and related Open Science groups, the steering committee of INArXiv, and the PREreview advisory committee.
  • As a chapter in the Open Source Alliance for Open Scholarship Handbook, a project led by the PREreview fiscal sponsor organization Code for Science & Society (CS&S) and aimed at sharing knowledge across communities active in the global open scholarship movement.
  • As a presentation at regional and international conferences including possibly OpenCon 2020 (international and satellite meetings), Force11 2020, and WACCBIP Research Conference 2020.
  • As a series of blog posts published across platforms including but not limited to ASI, PREreview, Mozilla Pulse, Medium, and shared with our networks through social media.

Photo of colored pencils

Team Members

  • Richard Abdill
    Rich is a PhD student from the United States studying computational biology at the University of Minnesota, where his research is focused on host–microbe interactions in the human gut. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a software developer at Target, USA Today, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. In addition to his work on the microbiome, Rich is also interested in meta-research, especially bibliometrics and the growing use of preprints in biology. He helped build the tool for searching and filtering bioRxiv preprints, and he advocates for open science practices as an ambassador for ASAPbio. He is particularly interested in understanding how different groups interact with the scientific publishing system and improving methods to quantify trends and patterns in the use of preprints. At TriangleSCI, Rich is excited to learn from different perspectives on open science and how people use scientific communication in their careers.
  • Yaw Bediako
    Yaw is a Ghanaian immunologist with a broad interest in investigating immune functions to better address immunopathology associated with infectious and non-infectious diseases among African populations. His post-doctoral research (most recently at the Francis Crick Institute) focused on understanding the immunological mechanisms by which naturally acquired immunity to Malaria is acquired and maintained. In April of this year, Yaw accepted an appointment as a research fellow at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana. He is one of five African scientists to receive a Career Accelerator Award from the Crick African Network. Yaw is passionate about developing sustainable research infrastructure and human capacity on the African continent, especially leveraging indigenous expertise in the diaspora to strengthen local academic institutions. As part of this effort, he co-founded the African Science Initiative, an online platform aimed at facilitating networking and collaboration between African scientists all over the world.
  • Ruth Gibendi
    Ruth is an academic librarian from Kenya with interest and experience working with scholars to use the variety of open resources and tools in their research. She previously worked at Strathmore University where she helped establish the Institutional Repository (IR) and open access mandates before joining Meru University of Science and Technology as head librarian. Her Master’s thesis at Moi University focused on understanding how faculty organize and disseminate the digital grey literature they produce in their academic undertakings (preprints, conference papers, working papers). Ruth is passionate about open access. She is currently exploiting a retrogressive model that seeks to help faculty showcase their profiles through Google Scholar, so as to increase the deposit of preprints in the institutional repository. At TriangleSCI, Ruth looks forward to meeting a diverse and talented team of experts from whom she will learn more about open review models and how these can integrate with existing models of open access in scholarly dissemination.
  • Vinodh Ilangovan
    Vinodh is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany. He is an early career advisor for the non-profit, open access journal eLife Sciences and an ASAPbio ambassador advocating for preprints among peers. As an early-career researcher in the biomedical sciences, he strongly advocates for responsible behavior in research through engagement with preprints and transparent practices in data sharing among peers and institutional leaders. His long-standing interests lie in changing the cultural practice around research evaluation using metrics. In order to create a community driven research output indexing system, as a Mozilla Open Leader he initiated integrated inclusive indexing, a project built on open principles. He has experience facilitating webinars and workshops on innovative forms of research outputs and creating incentives. Through TriangleSCI, Vinodh aims to bridge the dichotomy between early and late adopters of preprints and learn diverse disciplinary practices surrounding open and equitable scholarship.
  • Daniela Saderi
    Daniela is the co-founder of PREreview and a Mozilla Fellow for Science 2018/2019. At PREreview she leads the development of the new open source platform and works on the growth and sustainability of the project. She has recently earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland OR, USA. During her time as a student, she became increasingly interested in how open practices can be used to empower early-career researchers in taking ownership over their work, and to facilitate collaborations within and across teams. Engagement with global communities such as OpenCon and Mozilla Science, and her participation to international ambassador programs such as those at ASAPbio and eLIFE, helped Daniela to build advocacy and community engagement skills that she then applied to a number of projects. In addition to starting PREreview, she developed programs to grow the open research community in the Portland area, including OpenCon Cascadia, Science Hack Day PDX, and Python for Neuroscience Bootcamp. In the context of TriangleSCI, Daniela is excited to work together with such a talented and diverse group of scientists with whom she hopes to develop long-lasting partnerships.
  • Rizqy Amelia Zein
    Amelia is a Social Psychology instructor, working at the Department of Personality and Social Psychology Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia. She is also a researcher-in-training at the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE) and a member of Tim Sains Terbuka (TST – Open Science Team) Indonesia, which consists of a number of researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds and institutions. She is actively involved in the advocacy of implementing Open Science policy in Indonesia by writing a number of op-ed articles and establishing Airlangga Open Science Community. Amelia is also interested in the issues of reproducibility of psychological science, and an enthusiastic member of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS). By participating in this project, Amelia hopes to learn from other participants, their experiences in engaging scientists to adopt open science practices, as well as developing networking to strengthen TST advocacy of implementing Open Science policy in Indonesia.


  • Chawla, Dalmeet Singh. 2018. “Huge Peer-Review Study Reveals Lack of Women and Non-Westerners.” Nature 561 (7723): 295.
  • Fox, Charles W., C. Sean Burns, and Jennifer A. Meyer. 2016. “Editor and Reviewer Gender Influence the Peer Review Process but Not Peer Review Outcomes at an Ecology Journal.” Functional Ecology.
  • Helmer, Markus, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, and Demian Battaglia. 2017. “Gender Bias in Scholarly Peer Review.” eLife 6 (March).
  • Lerback, Jory C., American Geophysical Union, and R. Brooks Hanson. 2016. “GENDER BIAS IN PEER REVIEW AND SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING.”
  • Murray, Dakota, Kyle Siler, Vincent Larivière, Wei Mun Chan, Andrew M. Collings, Jennifer Raymond, and Cassidy R. Sugimoto. 2018. “Gender and International Diversity Improves Equity in Peer Review.” Scientific Communication and Education. bioRxiv.
  • “Nature’s Sexism.” 2012. Nature.

[ Illustration by AJ Cann used under CC-BY-SA license. Photo by Plush Design Studio used under Unsplash free license. Post was edited on 5 and 12 and 19 September to adjust the team membership. ]