[Humanist] 26.914 open access

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Mar 27 07:13:07 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 914.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Daniel Allington <daniel.allington at open.ac.uk>            (17)
        Subject: Re:  26.911 open access

  [2]   From:    Patrick Sahle <sahle at uni-koeln.de>                        (42)
        Subject: Re:  26.903 open access

  [3]   From:    Jean-Claude Guédon <jean.claude.guedon at umontreal.ca>    (299)
        Subject: Re:  26.911 open access

        Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:44:04 +0000
        From: Daniel Allington <daniel.allington at open.ac.uk>
        Subject: Re:  26.911 open access
        In-Reply-To: <20130326062046.F1FC62CE8 at digitalhumanities.org>

>     Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:31:58 +0000
>        From: "James O'Sullivan" <josullivan.c at gmail.com>
>        Subject: Re:  26.909 open access
>        In-Reply-To: <20130325062744.926962DA2 at digitalhumanities.org>

> ...To my mind, open access means truly open in the
> open source sense of the word. In other words, the data / results aren't
> simply released, the source code (in the case of software) and all of the
> constituent elements of a piece of scholarship are made available. For
> example, many people use the No-Derivs aspect of the CC on their
> blogs/Flickr. That's not open - it's just free...


That distinction has existed since before the term 'open source'. Interestingly, in those days, 'free' was used with the meaning that you are attributing to 'open': the Free Software Foundation was devoted to promoting software you could re-write and re-distribute, not software you didn't have to pay for. In fact, the FSF explicitly permitted paid-for software to be called 'free' provided that the source code was available to the purchaser, and that the terms under which it was licensed permitted him or her to adapt it and re-release it under an equivalent licence. That was the origin of the GNU General Public Licence, which as you know gave us the Linux kernel - to the open source movement what Emacs and TeX were to its predecessor.

Despite being a committed Emacs user, I'm not convinced that a free or open source approach makes sense for every software project, nor that there are useful equivalents for every other area of human endeavour. Neither is Donald Knuth, the creator of TeX. It's important to consider things on a case-by-case basis. Creators of all kinds may have very good reasons for wanting to restrict the proliferation of derivative works.

Best wishes


The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

        Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:39:59 +0100
        From: Patrick Sahle <sahle at uni-koeln.de>
        Subject: Re:  26.903 open access
        In-Reply-To: <20130323073910.3A8E32DD9 at digitalhumanities.org>

Am 23.03.2013 08:39, schrieb Humanist Discussion Group:
> 2. Academic culture is not conducive to open access. I've had papers
> accepted to peer-reviewed journals that are not open access. What do I do?
> I'm a PhD candidate, and if I am to have any sort of a career as a scholar
> going forward, I need to build up some publications in the well-respected
> journals in my field - such publications are the currency of our
> profession. So when I get offered publication, how can I turn it down? A
> few years from now I doubt that any interview panel would look favourably
> upon my lack of representation in these journals. They may well be
> impressed by the fact that I took a stand in the name of open access, but
> they are unlikely to hire me.

Is this based on personal empiric evidence? Well, it cannot be. I hear 
this argument quite often and it bothers me. Because I read some 
allegations in it. People who will decide on whether to hire you are not 
stupid. They know about the reality of peer-reviewing: that it is often 
fake, often driven by who knows who, who likes who, or by other social, 
political or psychological factors. Nobody is hired for having dull 
articles in peer-reviewed journals. People are hired for having created 
the impression that they are creative, intelligent, effective and that 
they will fit to the requirements of a certain position. It's more 
likely to leave that impression with a thoughtful blog or an innovative 
article in a not-peer-reviewed journal than with a mediocre article in a 
peer-reviewed journal. And its more likely to leave a mark in the 
community with articles that are more widely perceived through open access.

Best, Patrick

New Book(s) out now: Patrick Sahle, Digitale Editionsformen - 

A) Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH)  http://www.cceh.uni-koeln.de/  
B) DARIAH-DE (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and 
Humanities)  http://de.dariah.eu/  (Mitarbeiter)
C) Humanities Computer Science, University of Cologne 
 http://www.hki.uni-koeln.de/  (Mitarbeiter)
D) Institut für Dokumentologie und Editorik  http://www.i-d-e.de  (Mitglied)

Post: Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Informationsverarbeitung, 
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Telefon: +49 - (0)221 - 470 1750
Zur Person: http://www.uni-koeln.de/~ahz26 

        Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 08:58:53 -0400
        From: Jean-Claude Guédon <jean.claude.guedon at umontreal.ca>
        Subject: Re:  26.911 open access
        In-Reply-To: <20130323073910.3A8E32DD9 at digitalhumanities.org>

To clarify what is meant by open access in the context of research,
there is no better source than Peter Suber's book called "Open Access"
and published last year by MIT Press.

Jean-Claude Guédon

Jean-Claude Guédon
Professeur titulaire
Littérature comparée
Université de Montréal

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