Race MoChridhe

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Librarianship

I am currently a student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, specializing in academic libraries. My professional interests focus on helping researchers to position and disseminate their work for maximum impact, as well as the use of LIS tools and techniques to break down barriers in three core areas:

Participation in Research

Methodological debates have raged for years about the extent to which researchers' participation in or identification with the groups they study either enhances or compromises their work as academics. While scholars have debated the extent to which researchers should become participants, however, advances in technology have increasingly made participants into researchers. From "citizen science' initiatives to "crowdsourced" research, we increasingly draw on the energy, enthusiasm, and expertise of laypeople and independent scholars to construct richer, more dynamic pictures of the processes shaping our world. This upsurge of public participation in research, combined with initiatives in the emerging discipline of digital humanities that offer new means of communicating the results of research to an interested public, is rapidly deconstructing many of our old ideas about research objectivity. The potential of these approaches to give voice to the voiceless and to inform policy at vastly greater levels of specificity than were ever achievable before is enormous, but the dangers of this blurring of distinctions in a "post-truth" world are not to be discounted. Through studies in digital humanities as they relate to my own field, I examine ways in which participation in research can be democratized without compromising the academic integrity of the research process.

Access to Research

One of the greatest barriers to participation in research and in scholarly discourse has been the high cost of access to existing published work. Increased awareness of the public's right to access research conducted with public money, as well as increased realization of the benefits of making research more widely available, have led to the explosive growth of the open access movement over the past twenty years. While the movement's successes have been great, its challenges remain significant, both in changing academic culture around best practices for publication and evaluation of work, and in ensuring that editors, publishers, and others whose work makes the sharing of research possible are fairly compensated for their efforts. As an academic editor myself, I take this concern rather seriously, and am committed to helping build more just and sustainable paradigms for open access.

International Scholarly Communication

With over a billion total speakers, English is the most widely used language in human history. Yet it still reaches only a seventh of the world's population, and of those able to access information in it, only a much smaller portion are able to write and to speak it at the level required to participate in academic discourse. The result is that large portions of the world's intelligence and knowledge are cut off from the dominant streams of scholarly communication, impoverishing us all at a time when global challenges make wide-reaching, global perspectives more important than ever. I am greatly interested in both the history and potential of the international auxiliary language movement to help meet these challenges.