Live-blogging the 2009 Vancouver PKP Conference

Moving from Paper Production to Online Open Access with Open Journal Systems: The Session Blog

Presenter: Laura C. Botsford, Assistant to the Editor, Canadian Journal of Sociology, University of Alberta

Time: 4-5 pm, July 9th, 2009

Place: SFU Harbour Centre, Sauder Industries Room 2270


Session Overview


In the early days of the Canadian Journal of Sociology, a great deal of manual work was required to print the journal, from getting galleys to making notes in the margins, to cutting to appropriate size and pasting onto paper sheets, etc. The editors of the journal soon realized that they were susceptible to too many external factors and decided to move to typesetting and a mainframe computer. While this newer technology had its advantages, there were many codes to learn and all that could be seen was the markup language; not the end result. The lack of a preview often created surprises for the editors when the pages were printed. Eventually technology progressed and the journal got some computers with What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) capabilities– but they still had to go through the whole printing process. Dr. Kevin D. Haggerty took over as editor in 2007 and within a few months, decided to go electronic and open access with the journal. While everyone involved had many questions and qualms, they ultimately ‘took the plunge.’

Related Information Re: Printing Processes

Click here for a printing press demonstration on Youtube

A more recent version of the printing press:


Using the Open Journal System (OJS)

Moving to electronic publishing has reduced many of the traditional problems involved with the printing process and OJS has features that are very helpful, such as its functionality for the second review– the system automatically generates a list of reviewers and filters out those who have already declined in the first review.

However, OJS still poses many problems for users, so patience and technical support is absolutely critical.

Session Questions

Comment: There are currently seventeen journals running on the University of Alberta website, but the Canadian Journal of Sociology has been the most conversive, and questions have really pushed the development of OJS forward.

Question: What was the driving force to move to online and open access? We were becoming aware of the new generation of scholars coming up, and they are expecting to see their info on the internet. Also, printing and mailing is becoming increasingly expensive.

Question: How many copies were being printed prior to moving to electronic form? Answer: 1000

Question: How has converting from print to open access impacted the finances of the journal? Answer: It was a subscription journal, but the journal has been anomalous. We had some money in the bank, and received money from aggregators who have continued to contribute. One of the reasons for moving to open access was that subscriptions were dwindling– libraries were declining because they were lacking space and funding.

Question: Any plans to digitize back files? Answer: Yes. We haven’t tried it yet, but are definitely planning to.

Question: What is your business model? How much does it really cost to run the journal? Revenue stream? etc. Answer: Revenue stream usually from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and aggregators, but we also had money in bank that was invested. We also benefit from non-monetary things that the university provides, such as office space, release time from teaching for Dr. Haggerty, etc.


Taking the plunge Haggerty, K.D. (2008). “Taking the plunge: open access at the Canadian Journal of Sociology” Information Research, 13(1) paper 338. [Available at]

Related Links

July 13, 2009   Comments Off on Moving from Paper Production to Online Open Access with Open Journal Systems: The Session Blog

Understanding Impacts and Implementations of New Knowledge Environments: The Session Blog

Dr. Ray Siemens presents at PKP 2009

Dr. Ray Siemens presents at PKP 2009. Photo by C. Gratham

PresenterDr. Ray Siemens, Director, Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Project. Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and Professor of English, University of VictoriaBio

July 10, 2009, 2:30 pm-3:00 pm. SFU Harbour Centre. Rm 1900


The INKE project  represents the interdisciplinary work of researchers with specialties spanning humanities, text analysis, information studies, usability, and interface design. The team consists of 35 researchers, 20 institutions, and 20 other partners. Their SSHRC funded work takes a scholarly approach and cast an eye back on the history of the print medium to help understand the roles digital books might play in the future.

Session Overview

After providing an over-view of the team and project, Dr. Siemens summarized the motivation for the study by stating that e-books and e-textuality have “an exciting future … but an inconvenient present”. The exciting future can be illustrated by how pervasive various digital forms of text have already become in society today. But the inconvenient present lies in how little we actually know about this new media form and how the gaps we need to fill  before we can make decisions about how to best use this “new knowledge machine”.

We still have a long way to go. As Dr. Siemens reminds us, “the e-book is still just a pale representation of it’s paper counterpart.” He suggests that one of the main reasons for this is that we still model electronic documents to mimic their print based forms and in doing so we import the same conceptual models from the print world. To achieve the benefits of e-books and documents, Dr. Siemens says that we need to reconceptualize these core critical and textual models.

The team’s research is clustered around the following four interdisciplinary areas: textual studies, user experience, interface design, and information management. And through these clusters they have identified a number of gaps in the existing knowledge leading to the following research questions:

  1. Has the way we read and experience information changed since the rise of the Internet, and, if so, how?
  2. How do different knowledge environments influence the way we engage and use information?
  3. What new features can we design to improve digital information environments and their interfaces?
  4. How can we better design the data that underlies and serves the needs of those using such digital information environments?
  5. How does this interdisciplinary team work together to achieve our research objectives given the multiple lenses through which they approach the same questions?

Dr. Siemens closed his presentation with three “Rubber hits the road” impact questions:

  • Can the humanities find this problem worth engaging with?
  • Can the interdisciplinary cores yield something tangible?
  • If so, will the results be socially applicable, embraceable, and ubiquitous?


Time limitations did not allow questions for Dr. Siemens

Related Links and References

July 10, 2009   Comments Off on Understanding Impacts and Implementations of New Knowledge Environments: The Session Blog

Public knowledge and knowledge mobilization: social sciences and humanities research funding policy in Canada, 1979-2009: The Session Blog

July 9th,  2009 at 2:30pm


Presenter: Johanne Provençal




Johanne Provençal is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum Theory and Implementation Program in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Provençal also has ten years of professional and academic experience in publishing, most recently working as a substantive and stylistic editor of scholarly writing. Johanne’s research interests include social theory and education; philosophy of education; scholarly discourse and scholarly publishing; communication and genre theory; and rhetorical theory and analysis. Provençal has published work on media literacy, the classroom as a public sphere, representation in educational research, and scholarly publishing. Provençal’s doctoral research examines SSHRC’s “knowledge mobilization” discourse and the implications and possibilities it has for the social sciences and humanities research community in Canada.

Session Overview

Provençal outlined four main parts to the session: SSHRC beginnings, the transformation from ‘grant council to ‘knowledge council’ in 2004/2005, SSHRC in 2009, and opportunities & challenges.

SSHRC was established in 1979. Provençal used examples of strategic plans from 1979, 1989 and 1996 to illustrate ‘early traces’ of knowledge mobilization. In 1979 mention was made to make social sciences research more visible. In 1989 the term knowledge transfer was used in the summary: “a more general point is the repeated emphasis on dissemination, communication, diffusion of research results: to spread results and achieve knowledge transfer to increase understanding and build constituencies to package results of fundamental research for political use to increase access to databases” (p. 2). In 1996 knowledge transfer is again stressed. Johanne’s rhetorical analysis shows that the scene is changing. Knowledge mobilization succeeds as agency within the collaboration.

In 2004/2005 there was a degree of tension as a result of the transformation from grant council to knowledge council. The first volume of a three volume report in 2004 reports that social sciences  research is caught in a “paradox of ubiquity and invisibility: present everywhere, but for all intents and purposes, visible almost nowhere” (p.12). The 2005 strategic plan calls for a systematic interaction between the general public and the research community.

The issue of visibility continues to predominate in 2009. Provençal mentioned that researchers need to tell their stories to the public. Yet it’s also the reception of those stories that is necessary for knowledge mobilization. This is a challenge area. Three examples were given of continuing opportunities: the  Knowledge Impact in Society pilot study, the Community-University Research Alliance program, and the funding of open access journals, started in 2008.


Heather Morrison asked about the raised visibility of knowledge mobilization by SSHRC. Provençal responded that the funding for open access journals only came in 2008. There is still some resistance from publishers about the business model. There is some ambiguity as funding is for research as well as open access journals. Generally journals philosophically support open access, but economics may dictate otherwise. A question was asked from the audience about whether SSHRC had consulted with researchers. Provençal responded that the culture for this to occur is not yet in place.


Canadian Association of Learned Journals

Ghosts in Machines and a Snapshot of Scholarly Journal Publishing in Canada


Courtesy of Johanne Provençal

July 9, 2009   Comments Off on Public knowledge and knowledge mobilization: social sciences and humanities research funding policy in Canada, 1979-2009: The Session Blog