Open Access Futures in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Posted on October 29, 2013 | in Uncategorized | by


Last Thursday I attended a particularly interesting session on Open Access Futures in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Senate House in London.  Organised by the LSE Public Policy Group and SAGE, in association with the British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences, this event provided a timely opportunity to discuss the impact of Open Access and its likely impact on HSS subjects.

The event was well attended with a good mix of academics and Open Access practitioners as well as representation from scholarly societies and funding bodies.  The debate was lively and engaging, with some very good points being made by all the speakers and panel members.

I was particularly impressed to see that there was general agreement in the room that Open Access is a desirable outcome, and that the debate has moved on from OA vs. Subscription.  The discussion is now around the finer points of the implementation of Open Access, which is refreshing and constructive.

The morning session was interesting, but ended up being a little hooked on the application of the CC-BY licence in HSS subjects, something which is doubtless proving difficult in some circumstances.  That said, I was pleased to see some of the myths dispelled that persist around notions of plagiarism and Open Access.

The afternoon kicked off with David Sweeney talking about Open Access from a funder’s perspective.  It was interesting to note that one of the drivers behind HEFCE’s proposals for OA in REF2020 is to stimulate ‘green’ open access by increasing deposits in Institutional Repositories.  Monographs are excluded from these requirements because it would be premature to include them.

There was a fair amount of discussion about monographs later in the afternoon session.  Many of the issues had already been discussed at July’s Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference, hosted by JISC.  The report on this conference has now been released and is well worth a read if you are interested in developments in this area.

Dominic Tate – Scholarly Communications Manager

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