The Scholarly Communication Institute, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, invites proposals from groups interested in participating in a series of seminars, discussions, presentations, and workshops, to be held over four days in Chapel Hill, NC, in November 2014.
The SCI aims to bring together groups of scholars, information scientists, librarians, publishers, technologists, and others from both inside and outside academia (i.e., journalists, industry, non-profit organizations, museums, independent researchers) to articulate and begin to address needs and opportunities in the domain of scholarly communications.
The SCI is not a traditional conference, but rather a forum for teams of individuals from diverse backgrounds to devote concentrated time to defining shared challenges, exploring creative strategies, and forging new collaborations, in a spirit of bold and open experimentation, and focused on one or more of a set of annually changing themes.
Applicants will propose a Working Group of 3 to 8 individuals who together bring a diverse range of perspectives to a particular theme. Each year the SCI will accept 3 to 5 Working Groups which, over the course of four days, will help shape the agenda, creating space for both discussing and doing, in large groups and small, and for fruitful dialogue both within and across Working Groups, in a mix of structured and informal settings. The SCI will in effect host a set of concurrent and cross-pollinating seminars or development sprints on related themes.
The SCI is neither a venue for showcasing past successes, or implementing projects that are already on the drawing board; nor is it an occasion for invitees to speak to an agenda predetermined by a conference organizer. Rather, the SCI will offer the time, freedom, and diversity of participants to foster intellectual risk taking, collaborative and creative speculation, bridging of institutional divides, germination of actionable ideas, cultivation of new networks, discovery of common ground, all without fear of failure or the burden of having to produce immediate, concrete, sustainable deliverables.
Participants are expected to attend and engage in all four days of the workshop. There is no formal “reporting,” but Working Groups are expected to share publicly, during the course of the workshop and/or afterwards, notes, observations, and analysis from the workshop. These communications could be through a blog, academic paper, conference presentation, social media, video, or otherwise. Working Groups are encouraged to be creative.
The SCI will pay for travel, accommodation, and meal expenses for the duration of the program, which will be held in Chapel Hill, NC. For the November 2014 Institute, teams made up primarily of participants from the local area will be preferred, as funding for travel and accommodations is limited in this first year. In subsequent years, the scope will be broadened.