Open Access Publishing

By chuschle

I found a number of thoughts in Jason Kelly’s “Open Access and the Historical Profession“ interesting, and he makes excellent arguments about the value of open access research and publishing. Both Jason Baird Jackson’s “Getting Yourself Out of the Business…” and David Parry’s “Burn the Boats/Books” in Hacking the Academy provide suggestions on how to not only foster on-line scholarship, but how to bring down the current “Scholarly Journal Hegemony” (my words, not theirs). 

I agree with all of the above: knowledge should be free. I’m not usually one to think the Founders had it all figured out, but Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution does seem to be a reasonable balance of recognizing intellectual property and also allowing for free access to that property. 14 years for copyright seems fair enough by 18th Century standards, but that proportion has long since vanished. Our current copyright system is way out of whack, and creates prohibitively expensive barriers to entering any number of cultural or historical conversations. 

That said, as someone interested in institutional management structures, I feel many proponents of the Open Access movement present only limited views on the system that needs fixing. It’s not simply a matter of refusing to publish or review for traditional journals, or of training Promotion and Tenure Committees to accept digital scholarship. There are many complex relationships that will need to change if digital scholarship is meant to be a viable approach for historians. And that change needs to be MANAGED–but by whom? To name just a few that have come to mind over the weekend…

  • Grants and awards. A significant amount of prestige (both for the scholar and the institution) is involved–and most awards still only recognize traditionally published work. How will awards committees and review panels reconstruct the already laborious
    Source: Claire Huschle GMU  
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