infraStrucTureS is a space to deliberate on the future of scholarly publishing. infraStrucTureS supports creative open access multimodal scholarship in the field of STS, broadly conceived. The architecture of the platform allows for various artifacts (text, images, audio, video etc.) to be archived and curated with rich metadata. It also allows for richly annotated artifacts to be pulled into nested multimedia collage essays. The overall structure thus provides affordances for experimenting with and reimagining traditional print essays that to date are largely textual and linear in nature.
infraStrucTureS is also a space to experiment with Open Access (OA) publication and sharing research data. Debates concerning OA publishing have been gathering greater momentum of late, especially with the European Research Council’s (ERC) announcement of “Plan S” which mandates OA publishing of all scientific research that receives state-funding starting in year 2020 and the University of California’s recent refusal to renew its subscription with the publishing house, Elsevier. At the same time, however, there is also great concern that not enough quality outlets that support OA publishing exist at present, given especially that scholarly publishing--including in STS--has largely been dominated by for-profit publishers reliant on paywalls. Added to that is the concern, as evidenced in the recent controversies around the OA journal HAU, that governance mechanisms for scholarly publishing and professional societies haven’t been sufficiently articulated and implemented. Among qualitative researchers, especially, there is also concern that opening up research data without sufficient context can be problematic.
In their design and functioning, projects hosted on infraStrucTureS provide insight into the social and intellectual infrastructures that are required to sustain alternative forms of scholarly publishing. Projects hosted on infraStrucTureS provide, for instance, help articulate innovations in (meta) data practices, citation styles, and mechanisms for peer review, dissemination, and scholarly community-building that can support robust open access multimodal scholarship.