KU Libraries announce 2022 Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication

KU Libraries have granted the 2022 David Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication to two recipients: Dr. Shannon O’Lear, director of KU’s Environment Studies Program; and Corey Rayburn Yung, KU School of Law research professor.

The announcement coincides with KU Libraries' celebration of International Open Access Week, which is Oct. 24-30. The recipients will be honored at a later date.

O’Lear was chosen as a recipient for her dedication to the open dissemination of scholarly work to open access (OA) journals and sites and her work in educating students on open publication. Yung is recognized for his publication of two OER law textbooks that have helped reduce costs for students in a particularly expensive field of study. 

Shannon O’Lear: Educating and engaging with open 

O’Lear has engaged in OA and OER in many facets of her work. Within the past two years, she published work to open sites, received grant awards for OER development and course integration and received training through a flexible course design boot camp offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence. 

“Dr. O'Lear is leaning into open practices in exciting and innovative ways, such as co-authoring and publishing with undergraduate students in an open journal and by creating assignments that engage students in authentic environmental issues through openly licensed and publicly available podcasts that benefit future students and other interested folks,” said Josh Bolick, head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright. “It's exciting to see these collaborations impact student learning and experiences.”

O’Lear is especially engaged with her undergraduate students. She collaborated with KU Librarians to educate her students on Creative Commons licenses, encouraging them to share their own work beyond the classroom. She created a renewable podcasting assignment for her students, whose resulting works, “Podcast Perspectives on Environmental Geopolitics,” were compiled into Pressbooks, a sustainable and open resource. O’Lear also invited undergraduate students to be her collaborators on a proposal report to be published in KU ScholarWorks, KU’s open digital repository. 

“It is encouraging that the Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication exists, because it demonstrates that creating and sharing knowledge without boundaries is valued here. I am honored and delighted that the work I have been doing is being recognized by this award,” O’Lear said. “I have also been fortunate to have support through an Open Educational Resources grant from KU Libraries as well as funding and collegial support from the Center for Teaching Excellence and The Commons.” 

Corey Rayburn Yung: Far reaching impacts through OER

Concerned about the affordability of course materials used in his classroom and their overly broad scope and outdated laws, Yung decided to publish two OA textbooks, “Sex Crimes” and “Criminal Law.”

“Law school materials are insanely expensive and not very flexible or adaptable, even for professors, so you end up with a system that doesn't really work well for anyone which is why I started writing some open access materials,” Yung said. “I'm surprised at the response and am very excited and honored.” 

When Yung began teaching the first sex crimes course at KU, no suitable course materials existed and had to create his own. After many years of using his own materials, Yung made them publicly available in “Sex Crimes.” His second open access book, “Criminal Law,” can be adapted by instructors to reflect local jurisdictions and includes a teacher’s manuals, classroom slides, videos and review assignments. His free and open textbooks are now used in universities across the country.

“Professor Yung demonstrates a deep and sustained interest in decreasing costs for law students by creating multiple editions of two open textbooks that are adopted widely,” Bolick said. “In a field known for costly education, that's an important contribution.”

Granted annually, the Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication recognizes KU staff, faculty, students and academic departments that engage in outstanding efforts to facilitate open access. Former KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger, a longtime advocate for open access, established the award with a private gift in 2014 to recognize KU community members demonstrating exceptional advocacy and innovation in the scholarly communication system.

Learn more about open access news, policy, and impact at KU.