Academic-led publishing

Our last #openaccess week blog post finished with the observation that publishers are increasingly becoming in control of scholarly infrastructure, and that it is now more important than ever for academics to retain control over their research and publishing activities. To help with this we made the recommendation that Academic and National Libraries should support ‘low cost and no cost’ Gold OA  – meaning open access initiatives that are inclusive and open to scholars who do not have budgets for publishing. To paraphrase Martin Eve who could articulate this better than I could ever hope to:

“….the economics of the humanities are different. The majority of research in the humanities remains unfunded except through institutional time. For this reason, Article Processing Charges are not a palatable option for these disciplines.“

Compared against STEM subjects and the lifesciences, commercial publishers have not made much headway with Gold OA in the arts and humanities disciplines. Partly in response, I believe in recent years this has led to lots of academic-led publishing initiatives being set up. You can read more in this excellent paper by Adema & Stone:

The surge in New University Presses and Academic-Led Publishing: an overview of a changing publishing ecology in the UK

Open Library of Humanities

One of my favourite initiatives in the humanities is the Open Library of Humanities. It is funded through a model of library partnership subsidies which collectively funds the platform and its array of journals. A large number of libraries and institutions worldwide already support the OLH, which makes for a sustainable, safe platform.

The annual cost for supporting libraries is less than one Gold OA article processing charge which is excellent value for money – if you had £1000 would you prefer to provide open access to one article or for a whole suite of journals? If your institution hasn’t already signed up – you can check here (https://www.openlibhums.org/plugins/supporters/) – then I would wholeheartedly recommend that you sign up to be a supporting member. In fact, if you are from a larger institution then you should offer to support at a higher rate (which is STILL cheaper than one Hybrid Gold OA publishing fee):

University of Edinburgh further supports OLH

Edinburgh University Library Open Journals

Edinburgh University Library supports the publication of academic and student-led open access journals by providing a journal hosting service using the Open Journal Systems software. The Open Journal service is available to University of Edinburgh students and academics and is provided free of charge.

http://journals.ed.ac.uk/

The Library helps with the initial set up of all new journals and provides ongoing support. We:

  1. Provide the service free of charge on the condition that journals requirements can be met without additional cost or time to the Library.
  2. Provide advice and support to help editorial teams set up their journal and training on using OJS
  3. Provide limited customisation of the new journal according to the design brief supplied by the journal editorial team. Provide initial training and documentation and ongoing support
  4. Provide training (as required) for new publishing staff
  5. Consult with experts in the Library to offer copyright advice
  6. Set up a Google Analytics account for each journal. Please note, the Library may make appropriate use of the statistical data
  7. Manage (and pay for) Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) which use the Library’s DOI prefix: 10.2218
  8. Apply  for an ISSN on behalf of the journal
  9. On publication, apply to DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals).

Currently there are 16 journals on the platform and we are looking to grow the service over the new two years.

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