Open access for the arts

A blogpost by Chris Pressler about the announcement of a new OA journal from SAGE  for the social sciences and humanities raises the question of why the OA movement seems to be more interested in STM subjects than in the arts. Chris suggests it may be because of an unvoiced belief that the sciences are somehow more important.

There are also other reasons – including a publication culture in the arts and humanities that prioritises monographs over journal articles. But as Chris says, it’s good to see attention being paid specifically to the arts in the OA context. It’s a reminder that OA has a lot to offer researchers in this area – not least the ability to allow the preservation of, and access to, research outputs and data in other formats (music, images, video). Repositories don’t have to be just about text.

Some institutional repositories, for example at the University of the Arts, London, are providing thiskind of service already, and JISC’s Kultur project has been instrumental in developing innovative practice. I know repository managers are working on it. Arts researchers should seize the oportunity – shouldn’t they?

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Research communication: where do we go from here?

A couple of us from the CRC went yesterday to the first meeting in a series called “Research Information in Transition” put on by RIN at the Royal College of Physicians. This one was on “The future of scholarly publishing – where do we go from here?” There were some interesting presentations – especially one by Cameron Neylon who invited us to think about how we’d design a scholarly communication system from scratch if we were starting now. The chances are it wouldn’t look like the one we have … For instance, could we change the basis of academic prestige so success is based on the citation and reuse of research rather than the number of publications in high impact journals?

As you’d expect, there was a lot of talk about open access. But mostly about Gold OA. For the small research funders who haven’t got Wellcome’s budget, wouldn’t Green be the answer?

Also: as someone pointed out at the end, we’d been talking exclusively about STEM research. “Where do we go from here” with the communication of Arts, Humanities and Social Science research?

The next event in the series (November 18) is on managing and sharing research data. Should be worth going to.

The Future is Open Access

Saw this video from the SURF Foundation on an Open Access Week blog post and thought it was worth sharing. Dr Arianna Betti, doing research in the field of history of logic, describes some interesting examples of how she is creating and accessing Open Access materials. She mentions the IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) project and the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, as two such examples.

Dr Betti ends the video with this:

‘Right now, we still must choose between Open Access and prestige. Let’s keep our copyright. Let’s put our publications online available in repositories. Let’s choose the journals that have the best Open Access policies. And let’s create new Open Access journals. At some point in the future there will be no distinction what so ever between prestige and Open Access. The future is Open Access.’

Interesting to hear from someone from the humanities as recently I feel we’ve been talking a lot about science.