Publishing Values-based Scholarly Communication 

Publicly Engaged Publishing and the Library

As we launch into 2023, members of the Publishing and the Publicly Engaged Humanities Group have teamed up with the HuMetricsHSS (Humane Metrics in Humanities and Social Science) initiative to co-author a new open educational resource (OER). 

Publishing Values-based Scholarly Communication is a wholly collaborative project created by Catherine Cocks, Interim Director of the Michigan State University Press, Kath Burton, Humanities Editorial Development Director, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, and Bonnie Russell, Project Manager for HuMetrics and MESH Research at MSU’s College of Arts and Letters. The OER was funded by a generous grant from the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN).

home page of website
Publicly Engaged Publishing Site

About publicly engaged publishing 

The resource contains a wide range of content, including videos, summaries and exercises designed to increase understanding of how a values-based approach to scholarly communication can address the challenges of publishing publicly engaged scholarship. With a specific focus on the relationship between scholars and librarians, the resource is constructed around three core learning outcomes:

  • Increasing understanding – what do we mean when we talk about publicly engaged scholarship?
  • Sharing knowledge – what are the specific challenges and some vibrant examples of publicly engaged publishing?
  • Values-based design – how can frameworks like HuMetricsHSS be used to identify the core values of publicly engaged scholarship?

Publishing models that support academic success and also include an explicitly values-based approach to scholarly communication are increasingly necessary. The OER highlights several projects and incorporates the voices of scholars who are doing this work and finding creative ways to publish it. The resource also spotlights publicly engaged publishing initiatives that embed social justice values such as equity, access, fairness, inclusivity, respect, ethics, and trust deeply in their design. 

Original video contributions from key publicly engaged champions, including Michelle May-Curry (Humanities for All); Dave Tell (Emmett Till Memory Project); Teresa Mangum and Anne Valk (Humanities and Public Life series); and Jenny Brier and Matt Wizinsky (I’m Still Surviving), identify key features and projects. These videos provide anyone who is interested in publicly engaged scholarship with a foundational knowledge of the impact that their publications can deliver. 

Publicly Engaged Library Publishing 

Increasingly, as libraries shift to support more diverse forms of, often digital, scholarship, university-based librarians have important roles to play in publicly engaged research. For scholars, libraries offer crucial resources for conducting research, and some may also be able to provide resources to community organizations. Perhaps most important, as professionals focused on the broad circulation of knowledge, librarians can help scholars think through what it means to produce research in service to the public, rather than solely disciplinary, aims.

With this and the benefits of values-based, collaborative scholarship in mind, the resource offers the HuMetricsHSS Values Sorter. HuMetricsHSS (Humane Metrics in the Humanities and Social Sciences) was established to assist scholars and scholarly organizations in establishing a values-based approach to guide all kinds of scholarly processes through workshops and interactive tools. 

The Values Sorter is a self-assessment tool for everyone who wishes to engage in embedding values in their scholarly practices. The short video we have created for inclusion in the OER is here and provides an easy explanation of how to use the sorter:

HuMetricsHSS Initiative Values Sorter Video

We’re keen to hear from anyone who is using the OER and the various tools included within, so that future iterations can include more examples of publicly engaged scholarship and effective practices using the Sorter and the HuMetricsHSS values framework. 

Visit to find out more and when you’re ready, let us know how you are using the resources, and what else it should include. You can contact us via this group on HCommons or use the form in the OER – we’re keen to hear from all and hope we can continue the conversation about publicly engaged publishing with you!