January 30, 2020: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Steve Chignell, Erika Luna Perez, Leonora Crema, and Stephanie Savage

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall


Scholarly publishing and the knowledge economy: how did we get here, where are we going, and what can we do about it?

Scholarly publishing is in crisis. A handful of corporations own most of the world’s top academic journals, making as much as 37% profit from library subscriptions, paywalls, and the volunteered time of researchers. Publishers have also found new ways of monetizing open access, as scholars seeking to make their results open to the public pay thousands of dollars for each paper published without a paywall. Meanwhile, companies have developed a suite of metrics that are now being sold to universities as a way to ‘track impact’ and boost rankings. This increases the pressure to publish, spurring the proliferation of hundreds of new journals of varying quality. This seminar will describe how we got here and how you, as scholars and authors, can navigate this complex system. It will then open into a discussion exploring potential alternatives and challenges to realizing them.

Stephen Chignell

IRES PhD Program


Stephen Chignell is a Ph.D. Student in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability supervised by Dr. Mark Johnson. He is interested in both the physical and social aspects of environmental and sustainability issues, and enjoys finding creative ways to understand their intersection. Prior to UBC, he completed a M.S. studying the relationships among water development, land change, and urban growth in Ethiopia. He also worked to reconstruct the history of Antarctic science with the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project. He is passionate about making scholarly research and its outcomes more open and collaborative.

Leonora Crema

Scholarly Communications and Copyright Services Librarian, University of British Columbia


As a UBC Scholarly Communications Librarian, Leonora advises researchers about making works open access, managing one’s scholarly identity, and navigating the changing landscape of academic publishing. She administers the UBC Scholarly Publications Fund, has been instrumental in recent open textbook projects, and is UBC’s contact person for the Canadian ORCID consortium.

Erika Luna

IRES MSc Program


Erika Luna is an MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability supervised by Dr. Navin Ramankutty and Dr. Amanda Giang. Her current research interests are food security and international development. She holds a BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Erika gained research experience from working at different universities across North America where she studied a variety of socio-environmental problems. This past research experience contributed to build her passion on data science and GIS as tools to think critically and holistically about the interactions between humans and the environment.

Stephanie Savage

Scholarly Communications and Copyright Services Librarian, University of British Columbia


Stephanie Savage is a Scholarly Communications and Copyright Services Librarian at UBC Library. In this role Stephanie educates the UBC community in matters of copyright law and policy and advises researchers on open access publishing and author rights. Stephanie is also the campus administrator for Open Journal Systems, an open publishing platform that hosts over 40 journals published out of UBC.