- CERi Programs
- Ethics of CER
- CER Network
- Recap: Cultural Sensitivity and Community-Engaged Research
- Understanding the sexual and reproductive health access of young im/migrant women: A community engagement project
- Gardening Initiative Helps to Address Food Insecurity
- Innovative Research That's Advancing Equity
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Research as Advocacy: Collaborative Inquiry Meets Material Practice
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Art-ful Engagement in Small Cities: Beyond the Project
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Land as Life: Ongoing Institutional Resistance and Survivance in Pandemic Times
- Heather De Forest on the Collective Power of Academic Libraries for Below the Radar
- Recap: Approaching Community-Engaged Research Through a Trauma Informed Lens
- Empowering youth in Surrey through leadership
- Introducing Namiko Kunimoto, CERi Researcher-in-Residence
- LGBTQ2 Communities and SFU Students Come Together to Improve Access to Mental Health Services
- Introducing Tammara Soma, CERi Researcher-in-Residence
- Angela Kaida on Engaging Community in HIV Research for Below the Radar
- Introducing Justine Chambers, CERi Artist-in-Residence
- Jessie Williams joins CERi Advisory Board
- Upcoming Events
- Field Stories: CER in times of crisis
Heather De Forest on the Collective Power of Academic Libraries for Below the Radar
SFU librarian Heather De Forest recently spoke to Am Johal on the Below the Radar podcast to discuss her role as the lead in the Community Scholars Program and the collective power of academic libraries within the open access movement.
The Community Scholars Program provides staff of non-profit organizations in BC with access to the latest research, scholarly resources and knowledge in their fields. The SFU Library Program, which is based out of CERi at 312 Main, is a partnership between SFU, UBC, KPU, VIU and UNBC connecting 500 individuals from diverse organization to seven major academic publishers’ materials.
“We have heard from community scholars that they are using the research that they have to shape policy and for advocacy, to develop programs and also to make cases when they are looking for funding for their programs, and also for ongoing professional development,” says De Forest.
Program participants come from diverse organizations including community living organizations, invasive species organizations and non-profits addressing issues of substance use. “In many cases those community scholars are acting as knowledge mobilizers or knowledge brokers to spread the message of what’s happening in university research and diffuse out into the community through the programming that they do or through the presentations that they give,” says De Forest.
In many cases those community scholars are acting as knowledge mobilizers or knowledge brokers to spread the message of what’s happening in university research and diffuse out into the community through the programming that they do or through the presentations that they give
While the program significantly reduces financial barriers to using scholarly resources, other challenges to access remain. “There is a real emotional component to approaching not just a database and the frustration that you might encounter with trying to put in the right word and having it spit out what you’d like it to see but also to approaching scholarship in general with personal and social historical experience with connecting to research,” says De Forest.
“There’s sometimes distrust of what’s there, there’s sometimes a feeling of frustration at the way that knowledge is communicated in this specialized scholarly format.”
The Community Scholars Program is one of the ways that SFU seeks to democratize knowledge. De Forest notes that SFU also has a long and deep connection to the Public Knowledge Project, a multi-university initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.
In addition to her role at SFU, De Forest is also a collaborator on the Supporting Transparent and Open Research Engagement and Exchange (STOREE) project and is part of the advisory board of the Making Research Accessible initiative.