Three questions with…. DeDe!

Our lab is growing! In our Three Questions series, we’re profiling each of our members and the amazing work they’re doing—starting with DeDe Dawson. An Associate Librarian at the University of Saskatchewan, DeDe is a visiting scholar with the lab who is passionate about scholarly communication, open access, and advocating for a transition to more equitable and sustainable journal publishing models.

In this post, she tells us a bit about what she’s up to—within and outside of the lab.

dede dawson poses with a view in Dublin Ireland
Dede checks out the view in Dublin (2016)

Q#1 What are you working on at the lab? 

I am working with Juan on further analyses of the data from the review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) project. In an earlier phase of the project, the team surveyed more than 300 faculty members across the US and Canada about their perceptions of the RPT process, and what motivates them to publish their work in some venues over others. When reviewing the open-ended questions on that survey, we noticed some interesting responses to a question about what other things (besides the typical triumvirate of research, teaching, and service) are considered in RPT processes. Many people said collegiality was a factor! 

We were really surprised by this and found that there is quite a debate in the literature about whether collegiality should be considered in RPT processes. Some scholars have even proposed that it should be a fourth criterion after research, teaching, and service, but the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) strongly advises against this. We decided to analyze the RPT dataset to see the extent to which the concept of collegiality (and related terms, like professionalism and citizenship) are present in documents related to the RPT process. We are currently in the final stages of analysis and writing up our results.

Q#2 Tell us about a recent paper, presentation, or project you’re proud of. 

I just finished a two-phase, multi-year project with two colleagues looking at how academic libraries in Canada communicate to their campus communities about big deal journal cancellations. Many libraries have had years of flat or declining budgets, this combined with the hyperinflationary pricing of journal packages means that libraries are having to make major collections cancellations now. It is challenging to communicate this effectively so that faculty and students understand the complex situation and support the library in making these decisions. A paper on our findings has recently been accepted in College & Research Libraries! It will come out in the January 2021 issue, but, in the meantime, you can read the postprint here.

Dede dawson's favourite mug

Q#3 What’s the best (or worst) piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

I have a mug that says “Sometimes all you need is a good book and a cup of tea”—so true! I would only add “and a purring kitty on your lap.”

Find DeDe on Twitter at @dededawson