Note: Sadly, we must announce that this year’s Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute will be canceled due to the ongoing uncertainty over the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the health, travel, and economic constraints related to it. Please see this announcement for more information.
The Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute invites you to participate in SCI 2020, its seventh year in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region. This year’s theme will be Community, Collaboration, and the Commons, and the program will take place from October 4 to 8, in Durham, North Carolina, USA.
TriangleSCI is not your typical academic conference – it’s four days of concentrated but relaxed time with a diverse cohort of individuals who have come to start new projects they have proposed, in teams they have built and with advice and contributions from participants on other teams and a set of interlocutors and experts who work across teams.
You set the agenda, and you define the deliverables – TriangleSCI provides the scaffolding for your team to develop its project. If your team’s proposal is selected, SCI will cover all the costs for team members to participate, including travel, meals, and accommodations, including for international participants. For more information about how TriangleSCI works, see the FAQ and links from previous years of SCI.
Probably the best way to get a sense of what it’s like is through the words of participants from past years, for example: “One of the best scholarly experiences I’ve had.”; “an amazing incubator of ideas, innovation and collaboration. Grateful to be a part of this incredible experience!”; “participating in #TriangleSCI was a highlight of my 2019“; “I can’t recommend this opportunity strongly enough. Run, don’t walk!“; “It was a privilege to participate to this fantastic gathering last year… It’s a unique opportunity for international teams to get together & work on a project.“; “My 2016 @TriangleSCI experience gave me the space and time to collaborate deeply with new colleagues & incubate a project … that has become foundational to all my work. What a gift.“. Learn more about TriangleSCI from the perspective of participants, for example from this podcast (with transcript) and other highlights from SCI 2019 and previous years.
This year’s theme is Community, Collaboration, and the Commons, described in part this way in the page about the theme:
When librarians, publishers, and academics talk about “scholarly communication,” we usually have a particular definition in mind: “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use.” But “scholarly community” is curiously left undefined.
Who is part of this community, and do we really mean to limit scholarly communications dissemination to them? What about the “public”? What about the subjects of our research? Taxpayers? Industry? Students? Most academic authors probably imagine some or all of these as being relevant or important audiences for their work. Yet in many cases the processes, infrastructure, and economics of scholarly communication do not include them, and even when they do, it’s mainly as consumers or supposed beneficiaries of the scholarly work, and not as contributors to it or interlocutors with it.
For the 2020 Triangle Scholarly Communication Institute, we invite proposals from teams that aim to broaden the definition of “community” as it pertains to scholarly communication, and to develop projects and initiatives that will help activate these communities as valued participants in scholarly communication. What can the core constituencies of scholarly communication do to ensure that more of the process is open to collaboration with broader communities, and more of the outputs become part of a globally available commons?
Please see the theme page for more information, including some ideas of who you might bring together to form a team, and questions you might address – we’re looking for a broad and diverse set of perspectives, and teams that will address both specific and general problems and opportunities. This is a great opportunity to launch a new project, have some concentrated time to develop an existing project with a broader set of collaborators, or just to begin to explore and experiment with ideas that are difficult to pursue in your usual work context. Remember that if your proposal is selected, your expenses to participate will be covered by SCI, so this is a great opportunity for potential participants who might normally find traveling to such a program cost-prohibitive.
Between 2014 and 2019 TriangleSCI was held at the Rizzo Center, a conference center affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill, that featured a retreat-like atmosphere. For 2020 we’ll be moving to the center of Durham, where, in keeping with this year’s theme, TriangleSCI programming will be more integrated into the community. The main venue will be The Rickhouse, a historic tobacco building in Durham’s Central Park neighborhood that was recently renovated to an event space, with a large deck overlooking the historic Durham Athletic Park (setting for the film Bull Durham). SCI 2020 participants will have lodging at The Durham Hotel, in a renovated mid-century modern bank building, a short walk from the Rickhouse on Durham’s central square. Meals will be in nearby restaurants and the soon to be opened Durham Food Hall. Plans are in process to host some parts of the program at the newly renovated Durham Public Library downtown branch and/or other venues in historic downtown Durham. More details will be posted on our Venue and Logistics page as they become available.
To participate, form a team of 4 to 6 people, and submit a proposal along the lines of what’s described in the Request for Proposals (RFP). Proposals are due by the end of the day on May 1, 2020.
If you have questions that aren’t already answered in the FAQ, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be glad to help. You might also find some people you know in TriangleSCI cohorts from past years, and you can ask them about their experience and get tips from them about what made their proposal and project successful.
Thanks as always to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for continuing to provide funding for the Triangle SCI and making all of this possible!
[ Header photo by Jaddy Liu used under Unsplash free license. Durham Central Park photo by Paolo Mangiafico used under CC-BY license. Golden hour reflection photo by Mario Purisic used under Unsplash free license. ]