Vandegrift heads to Europe on Fulbright

Portrait of Micah Vandegrift.

Micah Vandegrift, our new Open Knowledge Librarian, will be a 2018-2019 Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Fellow studying open research practices and infrastructure in The Netherlands and Denmark. He will work with the Maastricht University Libraries Research Support Programme and the Royal Danish Library to research practices used by libraries to connect open scholarship policies to researchers.

His project, titled “Open Scholarship Policies and Technologies: The European Research Library as a Model for Advancing Global Scholarly Communication,” will study information policy shifts in the European Union toward an “open scholarship” model and will examine those policies effects on the role of a research librarian. Additionally Vandegrift will explore how the global library community can develop models to push toward a more socially just research ecosystem.

Anticipated to run 4-6 months, the project will begin in fall 2018. The project will produce a peer-reviewed research article, a conceptual framework for open scholarship support, and a praxis-focused toolkit, all of which will be fully open online for anyone to read, reuse, and adapt.

By embracing technological change and valuing information access, libraries are at the center of open scholarship policy conversations. Open scholarship issues range widely,from how technology disseminates research to how transparent governments are to citizens to how persistent traditional models of sharing scholarly work are.

This project is a long time coming for Vandegrift. Responding to a Request for Information on Public Access to Scholarly Publications issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 2011, he made a case that technological infrastructure was a reliable investment, representing specific concepts in language that could be generalized by policy makers. Informed by the flood of responses they received, the OSTP issued a directive in 2013 that shifted federally funded research data and publications toward open sharing online.

This led to Vandegrift’s invitation to the inaugural UNESCO-supported Open Scholarship Initiative meeting in 2015 and his service on the first Coordinating Committee for the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions from 2012-2015.

Vandegrift will embed within the library community to observe the ways in which technologies and technological tools are used to formalize open scholarship, with a particular interest in the process-based research models at Maastricht and the Digital Social Science Lab at The Faculty Library at the University of Copenhagen. His expertise in digital humanities and his training in the Data Carpentry method of teaching data analysis will be used both at Maastricht and at the Digital Social Sciences Lab.