Canadian Social Knowledge Institute

The Canadian Social Knowledge Institute (C-SKI) actively engages issues related to networked open social scholarship: creating and disseminating research and research technologies in ways that are accessible and significant to a broad audience that includes specialists and active non-specialists. Representing, coordinating, and supporting the work of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership, C-SKI activities include awareness raising, knowledge mobilization, training, public engagement, scholarly communication, and pertinent research and development on local, national, and international levels. Originated in 2015, C-SKI is located in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab in the Digital Scholarship Centre at UVic.

C-SKI’s partners, through INKE, include: Advanced Research Consortium (ARC), Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing (CISP), Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), Compute Canada, Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC), Digital Humanities Research Group (DHRG; U Western Sydney), Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI), Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL), Edith Cowan U, Érudit, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Iter: Gateway to the Renaissance, J.E. Halliwell Associates, Public Knowledge Project (PKP), Simon Fraser U Library, U Victoria Libraries, and Voyant Tools, among others.

Current Initiatives (details below)

Launched in January 2017, the Open Knowledge Program puts open social scholarship into action by inviting members of the community, as well as university faculty, staff, and students, to pursue their own research projects. C-SKI and the ETCL support fellows by providing access to various resources, library materials, and archives; offering consultation and guidance; and pairing fellows with specialists in the field, among other project-specific assistance. To date, practicums have spanned a wide array of topics, ranging from discipline-specific foci to local public history and research on the broader community. One of the primary outcomes of this initiative is that research is made available in a public, online venue, as well as made discoverable to both general and more targeted communities. All Open Knowledge Program fellows contribute their research outcomes to Wikipedia, either by editing or adding to existing information, or by creating entirely new pages. We consider Wikipedia to be a prime example of the type of scholarship and online culture that is developed and sustained by citizen scholars. The Open Knowledge Program is a step toward more publicly engaged scholarship that supports research proposed by its fellows. More info:

The Open Social Scholarship course stream at the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) comprises courses that are purposefully focused on public engagement, social issues, and creative approaches to scholarly communication. 2019 courses included: “Open Access and Open Social Scholarship,” led by Alyssa Arbuckle (U Victoria); “Accessibility and Digital Environments,” led by George H. Williams (U South Carolina, Upstate) and Erin Templeton (Converse C); “Intersectional Feminist Digital Humanities: Theoretical, Social, and Material Engagements,” led by Amanda Phillips (Georgetown U) and Anne Cong-Huyen (U Michigan); and “Digital Games as Interactive Tools for Scholarly Research, Communication and Pedagogy,” led by Jon Saklofske (Acadia U).

DHSI offers the largest digital humanities curriculum in the world as an ETCL-led pedagogical partnership of some 30 institutions and academic organizations plus an expanding international training network. For 2020, DHSI will welcome over 850 faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library, and Archives communities—as well as independent scholars and participants from industry and government sectors —for 50+ courses, led by an instructional team of over 70. DHSI’s alumni group is some 4,500 large, and it mobilizes just under $1 million in training funding annually.

  • Annual INKE Partnership Open Scholarship Gatherings

We organize INKE Partnership gatherings with open social scholarship themes. These gatherings bring together INKE partners, researchers, research assistants, and other interested stakeholders to discuss current and future work in the area. The 2019 INKE Partnership gathering, “Open Scholarship for the 2020s,” will be held on January 14th-15th in Victoria, BC. This event is open to all upon registration. More info:

Previous open scholarship-themed gatherings include “Understanding and Enacting Open Scholarship” (January 2019, Victoria BC), “Beyond Open: Implementing Social Scholarship” (January 2018, Victoria BC), “Networked Open Social Scholarship” (January 2017, Victoria BC), “New Knowledge Models: Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production” (January 2016, Whistler BC), “Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production” (January 2015, Whistler BC), and “Building Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Publishing” (January 2014, Whistler BC). Other related INKE gatherings have been held in Sydney (Australia, 2014), Chicago (USA, 2014), New York (USA, 2013), Havana (Cuba, 2012), Kyoto (Japan, 2011), and The Hague (Netherlands, 2010).

  • Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons

The Canadian HSS Commons fosters an environment for Canadian humanities and social science researchers to share, access, re-purpose, and develop scholarly data, tools, and resources. This network adapts the extant Modern Language Association Humanities Commons platform as a developmental base, along with other Canadian-based research tools and infrastructure. The Canadian HSS Commons links various INKE Partnership tools, prototypes, services, and projects, as well as integrates institutional repositories, project development, and user profiles and interactions. By making Canadian humanities and social science research data and tools visible and accessible, we encourage a culture that builds on already-developed applications and information rather than repeatedly re-inventing the wheel.

The Canadian HSS Commons builds on conversations and consultations over the last few years with INKE Partnership members, including the Canadian Research Knowledge Network,, Compute Canada, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, Edith Cowan University, the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, Érudit, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Iter: Gateway to the Renaissance, and the Public Knowledge Project. The network also has a basis in several co-developed research prototypes existing on Canadian research infrastructure.

The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory ( is made up of INKE Partnership members and stakeholders who collect research, track findings and national and international policy changes, and facilitate understanding of open social scholarship across Canada and internationally. Building from these activities, we work as an aid to influence and implement policy around knowledge mobilization. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory reflects findings back to other partners and stakeholders, along with local institutions, associations, consortia, and government bodies, in order to assist these groups with developing timely and responsive policies.

This initiative is undertaken in collaboration with the following INKE Partnership members: the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing, Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, Compute Canada, Digital Humanities Research Group, Edith Cowan University, Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, J.E. Halliwell Associates, Public Knowledge Project, Simon Fraser University Library, and the University of Victoria Libraries.

  • Honorary Resident Wikipedian

C-SKI partners with INKE, the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the University of Victoria Libraries to appoint an Honorary Resident Wikipedian to bridge academic and non-academic communities by consulting on Wikipedia pages, giving talks, and leading Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Dr. Christian Vandendorpe (U Ottawa) served in this role from 2014–16, and Dr. Constance Crompton (U Ottawa) served from 2017–18. Dr. Erin Glass (U California San Diego) is the Honorary Resident Wikipedian for 2019–20.

  • Social Media Engine

The ways in which we share and engage research today are in a state of change.  Following the move from print- to digitally-based resources – a change in the way in which we represent and convey our research materials – we’re also engaging in new patterns of conveyance and interaction, some of them ‘social’ in nature even as we locate specific materials in larger collections of research.  Partnered with Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project in the CFI-funded “Open Science SSH Cyberinfrastructure” project, Dr Luis Meneses and his colleagues carry out work in developing a Social Media Engine to aid these activities. This engine and its underlying framework relies on the affordances found in Open Access Repositories, and it aims to instigate public engagement, open social scholarship, and social knowledge creation by facilitating the matching of readers with relevant publications. For this purpose, in our work we focus on different techniques and technologies that we use for extracting relevant features from social media. Additionally, we also use our work to enrich an ongoing discussion by analyzing the results that we gathered from the alignment of these social media indicators with the models that we have extracted from our document corpus.  These features, and others, will be the foundation of the Social Media Engine, which will be available as a working prototype in mid-2018.