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DepositUtopia Fading: Taxonomies, Freedom and Dissent in Open Access Publishing

It is fairly commonly known, in certain circles, that open access comes in different “flavours”. Besides the well-known adage of Richard Stallman that there are multiple types of freedom that can be divided into gratis and libre (“free” as in “beer” as opposed to “free” as in “speech”), the ways in which we provide access to material that is free in either sense are also plural. This piece, consisting of two parts, will give the historical backdrop to “gold”, “green” and the lesser known “platinum” models but also frame these routes to access in the light of a failed utopian project that has been undermined by credentialist models of assessment. While May 1968, another utopian failure, gave us slogans of hope – “Under the paving stones, the beach!” – with open access publishing it seems the chances of finding our way back are growing slimmer, even if some hints of sand and surf shine through in the remaining admirable aspects of the system. The first portion of this piece will appraise the current taxonomies of open access arguing that “platinum” is a form of category error; a misplaced term that nonetheless signals current dissatisfaction. The second section here will think, practically, on the question of ?what is to be done?? In this second part, with reference (ironically, given the pragmatism deployed) to Adorno’s theorizations of utopia, I will critique the conclusions of the UK’s Finch Report as a document that neglects critical thinking, but one whose outcome may be dissent on a wide enough scale to trigger academic disobedience and revolt against the current publication system. From this I will lay out the three criteria that I believe are necessary for a transition away from “Article Processing Charge”-driven publication practices and the infrastructures that should be in place to capitalize on this dissatisfaction, including a modified Public Library of Science-type model.

DepositA Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access Publishing and Archiving for Humanities and Social Sciences

This white paper outlines a model for open access (OA) publishing for the humanities and social sciences (HSS) that offers a scalable, fair, responsive, and discipline-independent solution that can be applied to the entire scholarly communication ecosystem in an incremental fashion, rolled out at both small and large scale. The solution proposed here is one that encourages partnerships among scholarly societies, research libraries, and other institutional partners (e.g., collaborative e-archives and university presses) who share a common mission to support the creation and distribution of research and scholarship to improve society and to help solve the world’s most challenging problems. Our proposal includes a plan to convert traditional subscription publication formats, including society-published journals and books or monographs, to OA; however, our ultimate goal is to present an approach to funding infrastructure for scholarly communication that is fair and open and fully supports new and evolving forms of research output.

DepositThe New Open Access Environment: Innovation in Research, Editing and Publishing

This panel was designed to address the convention’s featured issues of the academic profession, publishing & editing, open access, and new technologies. Using a roundtable format, the panel discussed how open access publications are transforming the kind of research that is possible and necessitating new editorial practices. The session hosted an informed discussion with the audience about the current changes in scholarly publishing and the opportunities, as well as challenges, that open access brings to literary scholarship in the 21st century.

TopicCFP for MLA 2020: Scholarly Communication: Voices from the Global South

Roundtable on Open Access and Scholarly Communication: Voices from the Global South Policies and initiatives intended to achieve a fair, open and sustainable scholarly publishing system continue to proliferate among publishers, funding agencies, and research institutions. Often missing from these conversations, however, are voices of the intended beneficiaries of these changes: researchers from the global […]

DepositOpen Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future

If you work in a university, you are almost certain to have heard the term ‘open access’ in the past couple of years. You may also have heard either that it is the utopian answer to all the problems of research dissemination or perhaps that it marks the beginning of an apocalyptic new era of ‘pay-to-say’ publishing. In this book, Martin Paul Eve sets out the histories, contexts and controversies for open access, specifically in the humanities. Broaching practical elements alongside economic histories, open licensing, monographs and funder policies, this book is a must-read for both those new to ideas about open-access scholarly communications and those with an already keen interest in the latest developments for the humanities. This title is also available as open access via Cambridge Books Online.