July 7, 2020
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO –Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) Press, in partnership with the School of Publishing at Simon Fraser University (SFU), has been awarded more than $175,000 in grant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to build a podcasting network for Canadian researchers. The network, called Amplify, will be the first of its kind in North America.
As podcasting grows in popularity, scholars are increasingly turning to the medium to share their research with broad audiences in an accessible format. WLU Press and SFU Publishing aim to build open-access infrastructure, editorial and review processes, and metadata standards so any researcher can produce, share and preserve their work on Amplify.
“Our goal is to foster widespread support for podcasting as a meaningful form of new scholarship,” said Siobhan McMenemy, senior editor at WLU Press and co-director of the Amplify project. “My research partners and I want to support leading and emerging academic voices in podcasting with an editorial, production and dissemination process as rigorous and broad in scope as scholarly publishers provide for their authors’ books.”
The Amplify project expands on McMenemy’s earlier SSHRC-funded research on podcasting, completed in collaboration with project co-director Hannah McGregor, assistant professor of publishing at SFU. During the creation of a pilot podcast series entitled Secret Feminist Agenda, hosted by McGregor, the pair designed an innovative open peer review process customized for the format.
“The editorial process we developed offers a valuable level of transparency for producers and audiences,” said McMenemy. “Hannah and I wanted to challenge the convention of anonymity in scholarly peer review and experiment with its form in ways that reflect the spirit of podcasting.”
McGregor sees the partnership with WLU Press as critical to the success of the project.
“Partnering with Wilfrid Laurier University Press, with its demonstrated commitment to reimagining scholarship and expertise in developing, peer reviewing and building audiences for that work, is an incredible opportunity to create new space in the world of scholarly communication for innovative forms and ideas like scholarly podcasting,” said McGregor. “I am convinced that these kinds of collaborations are key to making a meaningful difference in the future of scholarly publishing in Canada.”
The Wilfrid Laurier University Library, the SFU Digital Humanities Innovation Lab and the Documentary Media Society are also partnering on the Amplify project. The research is supported in part by the federal government’s Research Support Fund. Following two years of infrastructure development, the team plans to launch the first three podcasting series on Amplify in 2023.
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