Academic Equity through Trauma-Informed Practices: Making Repositories Sustainable for Researchers with Lived Experience Public Deposited
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Across the humanities and social sciences, impacted communities have criticized researchers for producing literature that reinscribes stereotypes, myths, and misinformation through academic practices that view marginalized communities as inherently outside of academia. There has been movement in recent years to course-correct through centering the scholarship of people with lived experience, and yet many of the systems researchers rely on remain unchanged -- systems that were not created to support the scholarship of impacted people. People from marginalized communities have higher statistical rates of trauma, making trauma-informed practices across academia an issue of equity and sustainability. Institutions that do not prioritize trauma-informed practice will not be able to recruit, educate, or retain students and researchers who have lived experience. Libraries form a part of these structures that can either further alienate already marginalized researchers, or facilitate their work. Metadata librarians are already working on projects such as updating subject headings and using conscious editing to update descriptions. In order to continue to foster scholarship that is meaningful and relevant, digital repositories can build on and extend this work to make the materials they contain more accessible to researchers from impacted communities through trauma-informed equity practices.