The Authority File Wrap-Up 2023: Staff Picks

The TAF team selects their favorite episodes of the year

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As 2023 comes to a close, The Authority File team chose some of our favorite episodes of the past year. Luckily for us, we had a plethora of fantastic guests and topics to choose from—though narrowing it down from over 60 episodes was quite a challenge! 2023 was a special year for TAF, as we earned the Publisher Podcast Award in the Best B2B podcast category in April. Big thank you to our sponsors, guests, and listeners. Enjoy!

Bill Mickey, TAF host: “Another year of fantastic episodes has flown by—and we won an award, too! Every episode, to me, at least, is an education, but I picked three from this year that offer fun and practical guidance to help alleviate enduring challenges in scholarly communications or describe fascinating new resources. Episode 351, “Creative Disruption in Scholarship: The Frankfurt Kabuff Critical Edition”, introduces us to Beth Driscoll and Claire Squires, who spend their four episodes playfully upending the often tedious and tradition-bound process of performing research. In episode 342, Claudine Nightingale and Ana Attrill-Klein open the hood to AM’s First Folios Compared, a fantastic open access, digitized collection of more than 40 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Similarly, in episode 354, we’re treated to a behind-the-scenes look (listen?) at how UN Publications structures and organizes the iLibrary platform to host its collection of United Nations agency reports and content.

Episode 351: Creative Disruption in Scholarship: The Frankfurt Kabuff Critical Edition

The Frankfurt Kabuff Critical Edition book cover

Beth Driscoll, Associate Professor of Publishing and Communications at the University of Melbourne, and Claire Squires, Professor of Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling, and the editors of The Frankfurt Kabuff Critical Edition, discuss the book’s genesis at the fair and its publishing process from Wattpad to print and ebook self-publication to its critical edition with Wilfrid Laurier University Press. They also examine how the medium of fiction allowed them a unique method to express their scholarship and the ways the critical edition of the novella enhances key concepts of the story. Read more and listen to episode 351.

Episode 342: First Folios Compared: A Closer Look at the Collection and Navigation

Claudine Nightingale, Publisher, and Ana Attrill-Klein, Quartex Product Specialist, both of AM, offer a closer look at AM’s First Folios Compared, an open access collection of more than 40 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Our guests explain the logistics behind the project’s digitization requirement and highlight the time and effort the digitization process demands. They also describe the variation between the institutions’ copies, and how that disparity offers exciting insights for research. Read more and listen to episode 342.

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Episode 354: A Closer Look at UN Publications: Organizing and Optimizing Content

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Shallu Thomas-Cherian, IT Project Manager of UN Publications, discusses the organization and optimization of UN Publications content. She digs into the structure of the iLibrary platform and explains the communication needed between departments to share and catalog the information made available to the public. She also reviews the various UN Publications content types, advanced search functions, and how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) act as an organizing feature of UN content. Read more and listen to episode 354.

Ashley Roy, TAF producer: “The speakers featured in my standout picks this year are enthusiastic experts in their fields. In Episode 353, Beth and Claire draw in the audience with their wit and quirky take on academia, offering new ways to incorporate creativity into writing and not take yourself too seriously. Episode 349 provides insights into the power of documentary films to help students decenter their experiences, and Gary, Rebecca, and Jason speak about GEJ’s documentary film project in a way that makes listeners eager to engage with the films themselves. Finally, Episode 317 sparks a sense of inspiration in listeners to think more critically about student success. It’s refreshing to hear Ceceilia, María, Amber, and Andrew’s passion not only for their own projects, but also for each other’s work.

Episode 353: Creative Disruption in Scholarship: How Experimentation Yields New Ideas

Beth Driscoll and Claire Squires, editors of The Frankfurt Kabuff Critical Edition, discuss their process of combining creative expression and academic prose. They first chat about their concept of Ullapoolism, and explain why creative mediums can introduce subjectivity and new writing styles to the largely objective and traditional practice of scholarship. Further, they share how their disruptive approach to academia brings new ideas to the fore. Read more and listen to episode 353.

Claire Squires and Beth Driscoll headshots

Episode 349: GEJ and Using Documentary Films in Instruction: Classroom Applications and Expanding Perspectives

Jason Carbine (Whittier College), Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez (Whittier College), and Gary Marcuse, (GEJ), dig into how the Global Environmental Justice (GEJ) Documentaries project can be used in the classroom. Rebecca and Jake highlight how documentaries allow students to witness real-world perspectives and context around classroom topics. They also provide examples of how they’ve used GEJ to bolster curricula, while Gary chats about how GEJ stays abreast of evolving environmental justice topics. Read more and listen to episode 349.

Episode 317: Building Skills for Student Success: The Library’s Role

Ceceilia Parnther (St. John’s University), María Evelia Emerson (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Amber Eakin (Strayer University), and Andrew Boney (Sage) highlight the library’s role in advancing information literacy and critical thinking skills. They share opportunities to better integrate the library into the classroom, as well as guidance on alleviating library anxiety and establishing the library as a partner and resource to support campus stakeholders. Read more and listen to episode 317.

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Sabrina Cofer, TAF editor: What a year! In these four episodes, each guest situates their topic in the present moment, and expertly zooms out to look at future impacts. Our first episode with Dr. Sarah Derbew was featured on our “Most Listened to” 2023 list, but episode two gets into the complications of “decolonizing” a subject like the Classics as Sarah pushes against short-term solutions and shares her hopes for the evolution of the discipline. Our episode with Tanis MacDonald puts the focus on young scholars and their growing interest in poetry, showcasing that even the often maligned “Insta poetry” can draw undergraduates in and push them toward foundational works. In episode 361, three guests discuss the intersection of critical thinking skills and AI, touching on the lack of guidance for AI and how training should be a collaborative experience between faculty and students. Finally, in our most recent series, Kait Pinder and Joel Deshaye introduce us to their coedited volume on Leonard Cohen, highlighting the cultural flashpoint of Kate Mckinnon’s 2016 Saturday Night Live performance of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as Hillary Clinton following Donald Trump’s presidential election win. The series explores the reappraisal of Cohen, opening the door to future Cohen studies.

Episode 302: Dr. Sarah Derbew on the Future of Classical Studies

Dr. Sarah Derbew, assistant professor of Classics at Stanford University and author of Untangling Blackness in Greek Antiquity, digs into the complications of “decolonizing” a subject like the Classics—one that centers Greek and Roman civilizations while sidelining those in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. She also unpacks her current research on the intersections between Greek and African antiquity, and shares her hopes for the evolution of the Classics. Read more and listen to episode 302.

Episode 311: Canadian Poetry Today: The Art and Artist

Tanis MacDonald, professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, reveals how poetry appeals to younger generations due to its (often) short length, accessibility, and experimental, wide-ranging possibilities. Tanis contemplates the art infrastructure available outside of large metropolitan areas, and underscores the need to “step out of line” in your own art. Read more and listen to episode 311.

Tanis MacDonald headshot

Episode 361: The Intersection of Critical Thinking Skills and AI: Ethics, Governance, and Policy

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Dr. Leo Lo of the University of New Mexico, Katie Metzler of Sage Publishing, and author and tech philosopher Dr. Tom Chatfield explore the ethics and institutional policies for generative AI tools. The guests highlight the need for institutions to provide guidance to educators and students and speak to key ethical questions surrounding the use of GenAI in the classroom. In addition, Leo, Tom, and Katie discuss the bias and discrimination present in AI training data, the importance of reducing “noise” in datasets, and examples of what biases can generate in large language models. Read more and listen to episode 361.

Episode 363: The Contemporary Leonard Cohen: The 2016 US Elections, SNL, and Applying Contemporaneity

Coeditors of The Contemporary Leonard Cohen: Response, Reappraisal, and Rediscovery Kait Pinder (Acadia University) and Joel Deshaye (Memorial University) discuss the title’s development, highlighting the SNL skit, Cohen’s death, and how both connected to the cultural landscape of North America in 2016. They also dig into their skillsets and how those aided in researching Cohen as he applies to contemporary thinking. Read more and listen to episode 363.

The Contemporary Leonard Cohen: Response, Reappraisal, and Rediscovery book cover

You can find more Authority File episodes on our websiteSpotifyApple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

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