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Community Cultivation

Educopia studies both lifecycle stages and key growth areas for community-driven efforts of all shapes and sizes, from small grant-funded teams transitioning to earned revenue, to larger established associations looking to reevaluate their strategic priorities. Educopia’s community cultivation research seeks to better understand the ways that collaborative communities emerge, mature, and transform.

Our Approach with all of our partners is a synthesis of our research findings combined with our experiences working with our Affiliated Communities and Consulting clients.

Our research is demonstrating that there are numerous intervention points (big and small) where collaborative communities can increase impact, including but not limited to:

  • clarity of shared purpose and goals
  • ways in which information flows within and across collaborative efforts
  • alignment between the ways that work is staffed and funded, and the work itself
  • choices groups make regarding platforms and infrastructures
  • shared understanding among stakeholders regarding how strategic decisions are made

Community Cultivation Research Projects:

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Scholarly Communication

The forms of scholarly research are evolving in step with our increasingly digital world. The result has been an upheaval of the business practices governing the creation, dissemination, and preservation of academic publications.

The Educopia Institute is studying and documenting the relationships between university presses, scholars, administrators, and librarians, as well as exploring the viability of cooperative alliances between these stakeholder communities.

Our research is demonstrating that with better-defined incentives, use cases, relationships, and business infrastructures, such publication alliances may be used to transform the scholarly communications environment, moving the locally supported digital publishing activities that currently thrive on the fringes closer to the center of the academic process.

Scholarly Communication Research Projects:

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Digital Preservation

Digital information is now the dominant medium of knowledge—and we are still adjusting to this paradigm shift. The rapid pace of technological change and the ephemeral nature of digital content each introduce new challenges to making knowledge accessible and useable over time. The Educopia Institute explores and encourages a broad range of responses to these challenges that involve collaborative activities between institutions and stakeholder communities.

Educopia’s research includes a variety of initiatives:

  • Developing frameworks for distributed digital preservation
  • Facilitating international collaboration
  • Advocating for local control and ownership of content
  • Analyzing and documenting the challenges presented by particular content types
  • Developing scripts and guidance documentation to enable broader implementations of existing open source tools.

Uniting this diverse range of research interests is our core commitment to seeding and fostering better, less expensive digital preservation options for content curators.

Digital Preservation Research Projects:

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Continuing Education

Constantly shifting responsibilities, strategies, and toolsets require today’s information professionals to continue learning throughout their careers. The Educopia Institute facilitates and coordinates efforts across the broad spectrum of hosts and trainers of continuing education and professional development offerings. We conduct “state-of-the-field” research and distill our findings into reports that document and analyze the work underway in continuing education programs nationwide.

Through this research, we help to identify fruitful areas of unmet need, highlighting these as promising investment areas for funders and existing hosts/trainers. We also identify and help funders, hosts, and trainers to streamline over-saturated areas, where hosts and trainers are overlapping or duplicating efforts. We strive to increase partnerships and alliances between the variety of organizations and individuals who produce continuing education and professional development programs on information management topics for libraries, archives, museums, and research centers.

Our work serves to enhance national educational efforts and to help those involved in this crucial work to complement, not supplant, each others’ efforts, and to work together to create a more sustainable continuing education environment.

Continuing Education Research Projects: