[Humanist] 25.406 "open" access

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Oct 22 08:04:30 GMT 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 406.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:09:13 +0100
        From: "Prescott, Andrew" <andrew.prescott at kcl.ac.uk>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.405 "open" access?
        In-Reply-To: <20111021074839.F3B151DE3F5 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear Willard,

I share your concerns, but what strikes me more is how humanities scholars
seem largely to have failed to engage with the vigorous debate which has
taken place in the libraries and research council world, over precisely
these issues over the past couple of years. The upshot appears to be that
institutions are expected to manage these costs, but this message once
again does not seem to have penetrated as far as many senior arts faculty
managers. Good starting points in this discussion is the current AHRC
guidance (www.ahrc.ac.uk/.../access%20to%20research%20outputs.pdf) and a
report from the excellent Research Information Network

It is remarkable that humanities scholars are ignoring fundamental debates
about the future structure of scholarly communications. I think the RIN
report makes it clear that it will be very difficult for scholars to vote
with their servers but the implications of this then become very
convoluted and we start to see a very confused landscape for scholarly
publication. Likewise, the debates around the repository movement also
seem to have passed many scholars by - the way in which PhD theses for
example are now available very rapidly from repositories mean that the
idea of the first monograph, a traditional stepping stone in a young
scholar's career, is now becoming redundant, but we haven't revised our
expectations. The lesson of all this is to my mind is that we need to
build much closer links with the librarians who are at the coal face in
mediating provision of access to digital scholarship.

Professor Andrew Prescott
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London
28-29 Drury Lane
London WC2B 5RL


On 21/10/2011 08:48, "Humanist Discussion Group"
<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 405.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                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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