edited by the NECS Open Scholarship Committee – Bregt Lameris, Miriam de Rosa, Jeroen Sondervan, Victoria Pastor-González and Tereza Czesany Dvořáková
This special section guest edited by members of the NECS Open Scholarship Committee invites submissions that engage with questions of openness as an inherently broad notion. Such a concept underpins a variety of practices in scholarship as well as in publishing, and allows us to reconsider and ethically reposition our work as researchers, educators, artists, practitioners, and authors. As such this issue wishes to investigate #Open from a number of different perspectives that are all interwoven in practices of our academic work as media scholars.
The three main strands of exploration are as follows:
- Open and the media: How are media configurations addressing openness content-wise by means of narrative and engagement strategies that invite us to think about problems from open-ended storytelling, open and closed systems, to questions of openness in art, cinema, or the digital humanities. Also, this strand explores the dynamics between media platforms, content producers, and audiences. It raises questions about the extent to which these systems facilitate openness and inclusivity, as well as the democratisation of creative processes – or conversely, restrict access and participation. This has an impact on the very epistemology of media, challenging their pre-fixed scripts versus interactive media practices, creating new assemblages, connecting creators and audiences through collective generative practices of meaning, initiating alternative forms of media consumption and distribution.
- Openness in media education: Higher education defines itself by embracing the principles of openness and encouraging a free exchange of ideas, knowledge, and diverse perspectives. However, students and educators are now actively questioning this accepted view, casting a critical eye over curriculum content and pedagogical approaches. In response to these movements, academic institutions are implementing strategies that seek to diversify, decentralise, and decolonise their curricula. As with any change this causes friction and raises new questions, both in the classroom and otuside, about what we teach and how we teach. Be it hybrid or in-person delivery, the progressive adoption of experiential and learner-centred approaches challenge traditional understandings of the role of lecturers but also open up possibilities for more collaborative forms of teaching. Recently, we are also being confronted with generative AI and the need to respond to this new phenomenon in our role as educators. According to UNESCO, AI has the potential to address some of the biggest challenges in education today, but also cautions that ‘the deployment and use of AI in education must be guided by the core principles of inclusion and equity’ (UNESCO, 2021, p.1) How can lecturers, institutions, and students engage in open discussions about these challenges?
- Openness in research and creative practice: Within this broader field of openness, we invite contributions to focus specifically on the topic of open scholarship understood as open access publishing, open data, open peer review, open source software, open archives and libraries. Open scholarship aims to democratise academia by fostering transparency, reproducibility, diversity, inclusion, and public engagement. A commitment to open scholarship demands that we consider carefully where and how we publish our research. Are we ready/supported/equipped to challenge existing structures and hierarchies that reproduce inequalities?
On a more creative level, cinema and media as areas of research have historically engendered a creative approach when it comes to thinking of new ways to present research results (e.g. video essays, podcasts, online interactive media artefacts, and more recently expository papers opening the black boxes of data and code). Moving across these strands, we welcome contributions engaging with the multiple dimension of #Open, including for example:
# What are the ethical implications of practising openness as researchers, educators, and creators, e.g. through appropriation, use, misuse, mix, and remix?
# Openness and copyright/intellectual property
# How can we work in open structures that are sustainable both in an environmental and collaborative perspective?
# How does open scholarship affect the roles and relationships of cinema and media studies researchers with their peers, students, policymakers, publishers, and publics?
# How does openness challenge or reinforce existing power structures and inequalities in cinema and media practices, media studies, and academia at both global and local levels?
# How can higher education foster openness, equality, and inclusivity through critical interventions in curriculum design, pedagogical innovation, and/or increased collaboration with diverse partners (students, practitioners, policymakers, archives, etc.)?
# How can cinema and media studies researchers engage with diverse forms of knowledge production and dissemination that are enabled by open scholarship, such as digital storytelling, citizen science, participatory action research, inclusive research, and public humanities?
# How does ‘openness’ relate to media archives and libraries, including shadow libraries, internet archives, collections of digital or digitised (archival) materials?
We look forward to receiving abstracts of 300 words, 3-5 bibliographic references, and a short biography of 100 words by 28 August 2023 to email@example.com. On the basis of selected abstracts, writers will be invited to submit full manuscripts by 1 February 2024 (6,000-8,000 words, revised abstract, 4-5 keywords) which will subsequently go through a double-blind peer review process before final acceptance for publication. Please check the guidelines at: https://necsus-ejms.org/guidelines-for-submission/
NECSUS also accepts proposals throughout the year for festival, exhibition, and book reviews, data papers, as well as proposals for guest edited audiovisual essay sections. We will soon open a general call for research article proposals not tied to a special section theme. Please note that we do not accept full manuscripts for consideration without an invitation.