Thoughtful piece on how big, for profit publishers are feeling squeezed by sites like academia.edu
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As the fashionable cant of the day has it, who needs foreign languages?–the kind of sentiments by which we know and love such towering intellects as Lawrence Summers and too many others to mention. All the essentially insightful counterarguments to the contrary–national security, globalization, improving diplomatic relations, working with crucial trading partners, etc–a recent article on the subject kind of hit the nail on the head by observing that “Maybe it’s less about knowing how to conjugate verbs, and more about just not being an asshole.”
Earlier this week, I attended webinar, called “Open Access in the Humanities” led by Rupert Gatti. Dr. Gatti is a Fellow in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and Co-Founder and Director of Open Book Publishers. The presentation outlined the landscape and the challenges of Open Access in the humanities.
One point that resonated with me, given the centrality of monographs to the humanities, was a statistic that showed the relative dearth of new open access academic books in relation to new journal titles. Clearly there are combinations of reasons preventing a more robust move to open access in the humanities, both economic (the problem of financial capital: books (e or print) are more labor intensive) and sociocultural (the problem of cultural capital: in that humanities books are awarded status and prestige through publishing houses). Gatti’s presentation took on these challenges by seeking a sustainable ways to address these conditions, showing some exciting options moving forward.
The bulk of his presentation was spent on Open Books Publishers, a new publishing project for peer-reviewed open access monographs, which he directs. (See Open Books Publishers:
http://www.openbookpublishers.com/section/25/1/faqs ) This outfit has only published a few books to date, but their economic model, which includes a mixture of revenue from big name supporters, hard-copy and alternative format sales, and voluntary author-generated publication grant funding makes them an interesting new player in field.
Gatti also outlined other important initiatives. One of these was Knowledge Unlatched, (See: http://www.knowledgeunlatched.org/ ) a project which seeks long-term cost savings for institutions by sharing the costs of making HSS monographs available on a Creative Commons license. UC Libraries is part in one of their pilot projects. Another was Unglue It, ( https://unglue.it/about/) a project designed to help individuals and institutions join together to liberate specific ebooks “crowd-funding ” payments to authors and publishers so they they will relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses.”
It is exciting to see these different economic models being tried. While I can’t say they will all achieve the sustainability they desire, it is clear that their aim is to create cooperatives to address real costs.
This webinar was sponsored by UKSG, a group formally that United Kingdom Serials Group. UKSG has evolved into a network that encourages “the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication…spanning the wide range of interests and activities across the scholarly information community of librarians, publishers, intermediaries and technology vendors. More about their activities can be found here: http://www.uksg.org/
Ecce Emendator: The Cost of Knowledge for Scholarly Editors.
“…How is it that the role of editor has seemed to have disappeared? And how is it that the tremendous labor performed by editors has essentially been erased or degraded by the very system that depends on us?…”
Alan Rauch, past president of president of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ), and founding editor of Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology writes about the place of academic journal Editors in the new political economy of knowledge.
What’s All the Fuss About Open Access? What Do I Need to Know, and How Does it Benefit Me?
Join us for a presentation by Pete Binfield (previously the Publisher of PLoS One, and now the Publisher and Co-Founder of PeerJ) as he provides an overview of the current landscape of Open Access publications; highlights some of the more innovative models that are being tested in the marketplace; talks about items such as article level metrics and open peer review, and shows how these new developments can benefit you as both a researcher and author.
Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Time: 3-4 pm
Place: 1065 Kemper Hall
For more information about the event: http://blogs.lib.ucdavis.edu/schcomm/2013/05/06/peerj_may2013/
PeerJ website: https://peerj.com/
Hosted by the UC Davis Library
Read Richard Poynder’s excellent and thoughtful article on how large research libraries have been receiving their journal content in the form of huge all-inclusive provider-based bundles (the “big deal’ model so loved by the big providers has however not proved to be such a good deal for anyone else). And if you think “Open Access” is the solution to the problem, you should read what the author has to say about that as well.
A collaborative, interdisciplinary, and international project in the digital humanities, Mapping the Republic of Letters, centered at Stanford University, presents visualizations that analyze “big data” relating to the world of early-modern scholars, with a focus primarily on their correspondence, travel, and social networks. The project makes use of quantitative metrics while retaining a committment to the qualitative methods of the humanities.
Lately, it seems like Open Access (OA) has been in the news a lot:
Want to find out more about Open Access? What does it mean? Why do we care about it? What support exists for authors who want to publish OA?
UC Davis Librarians have created a new topic guide to help answer some of your questions about Open Access: http://ucdavis.libguides.com/open_access
Questions or Comments?
Contact: Amy Studer | firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 752-1678
Douglas Armato, director of University of the University of Minnesota Press discussed the role of the University Press in Scholarly Communication in his presentation at the 2012 Charleston Conference on Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition.
This blog entry on the University of Minnesota Press website summarizes his interesting take.