[Humanist] 25.405 "open" access?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 21 07:48:39 GMT 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 405.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 08:39:15 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: "open" access

I am informed automatically by the journals division of Oxford 
University Press that OUP has established an "open access model", known 
as Oxford Open:

> Through this initiative, authors of accepted papers will
> be given the option of paying an open access publication
> charge to make their paper freely available online
> immediately via the journal website, meaning that readers
> will not need a journal subscription to view open access
> content.

While, as the Editor of a journal myself, I appreciate that publishers 
must charge for what they publish, it does seem to me to be a misuse of 
language to call this model "open". It is actually a "prepaid 

Some of you will know the model is taken directly from the 
sciences, where authors build publication charges into their 
grant-applications. Rarely, or only sometimes, can we in the humanities 
do that. Furthermore, since the practice of putting (actually or 
nominally) penultimate versions online is quite common, I do wonder 
about the wisdom of creating such a model for the underfunded 
researchers in our field. They will vote with their websites.

The charges are hardly trivial. See 


Professor Willard McCarty, Department of Digital Humanities, King's 
College London; Professor (fractional), University of Western Sydney; 
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.isr-journal.org); Editor, 
Humanist (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/

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