• Martin Eve writes for the LSE Impact Blog

    Martin Eve writes for the LSE Impact Blog

    Posted by Martin Paul Eve on 2013-02-01

Go This Way


This week, the influential LSE Impact Blog published Martin Eve's article on future directions in academic publishing and the OLH. As Martin writes, whilst the "serials crisis" facing academic publishing (in which university library budgets are unable to keep pace with the costs of purchasing journal subscriptions) has been building since 1986, the recommendations made more recently by the UK's Finch Report has brought a sense of urgency, and confusion, to debates concerning open access publishing. Meanwhile, arguments that the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) should resist such an implementation of open access publishing obligations, argues Martin, contradict the insistence that HSS subjects remain vitally important, particularly at a time of greatly reduced funding to these particular disciplines. 

If we are to demonstrate our continuing viability and significance in HSS academic disciplines, it is vital that our research be made available to the public in an ethically sound and open access model of scholarly publishing. This is why the Open Library of Humanities has been established and we are grateful and heartened by the rapid and overwhelming level of support we have already received in the first week of the launch of our new website.

As Martin writes:


We’ve had a whirlwind few weeks. The challenge now is to maintain that energy and get people talking to each other with the practical aim of bringing an “ideas phase” to a close in the middle of this year (although that’s disingenuous; the ideas phase has to be indefinite and constant, I just mean that we’ll be actually building it by then). To that end, we’re scheming up forums, both physical and virtual, to begin the necessary pre-dialogue while we speak to interested funders. We’ve also just launched a “pledge to publish” campaign so that people can express their support in a tangible manner and further the momentum. We believe that a scholar-designed, library-supported, ethically sound and sustainable Open Access model for the humanities can be done. However, as I’ve stated elsewhere, I believe that the key to this does not lie, first and foremost, in building the best software, in having the best technical solutions. Instead, it is the people who matter. I hope that you will consider this an invitation to sculpt the future of academic publishing in the humanities. We hope that you will join us.

You can read the article in full on the LSE Impact Blog.

Image by Neilio under a CC-BY-NC-ND license.


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