This is the email I sent to Berkshire authors this morning, and they are coming up trumps – lots of ideas and examples coming, and I’d love to hear from you, too:

I’m hoping Berkshire authors can help me with ideas and anecdotes for an article entitled “Building cross-border communities to energize learning, teaching, and innovation in higher education.” I would love to hear what you think and what your experience is. Do you collaborate with colleagues in other countries? Would you like to? What tools do you use, and how well (or badly) do they work? What systems or tools do you wish existed, and whom would you like to interact with more?

The article is for a UK journal for the academic library world called Insights (this is the first renamed issue of a long-established journal called UKSG Serials – see  I’ll be putting in lots of details from our work and correspondence with global networks of scholars, and talking about the various challenges we – and you – face. I’ll look at some of the online platforms that have been developed to enhance collaboration across the globe, from listservs and Wikipedia to Mendeley and specialized interest group sites.

I proposed this article because my own research focuses on community building (I was senior editor of Sage’s Encyclopedia of Community). I’ve been thinking a lot about the challenges of scholarly collaboration across disciplines, and across linguistic, cultural, and physical borders. The digital divide is a big concern of mine: Berkshire doesn’t have anywhere close to as many authors in south Asia, Africa, and Latin America as in other part s of the world.

Your insights would be most welcome!

Warm regards, Karen.

I’m going to add further thoughts based on the many emails coming in (even though it’s supposedly the holidays), so this post will grow!Lots of ideas from the UK, Japan, Australia, and other places I haven’t noted yet, and lots of our authors are thinking about the issues I am writing about. Most of the tools they use are simple; not one, so far, has mentioned using Mendeley or And no one has risen to my bait: I mentioned Wikipedia as a collaboration tool to see if I could get any comments. No luck.



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