OLH Editor Ernesto Priego Speaks on Open Access and the Humanities in Ljubljana
Posted by Martin Paul Eve on 2018-06-13
On 22 May 2018 the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana and OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk (NOAD) organised a symposium on the theme of Open Access in the Humanities held at the University of Ljubljana. The conference, which explored the issues involved in the development of research infrastructures in the field of humanities (and, social sciences), was attended by more than 80 participants who listened to presentations on collectively funded humanities mega-journals, infrastructures for open scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities, data and openness in the arts and humanities and language e-infrastructure.
Dr Ernesto Priego from City University of London and Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of The Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship, a prize-winning open access journal hosted by the Open Library of Humanities, delivered a presentation on Open Access and the complexities involved in scholarly publishing. In his talk he analysed the current challenges of academic publishing and pointed out at the high amounts paid by universities in order to provide their researchers and students access to academic publications. A practice that according to him, generates a landscape where the results produced by academics are then sold back to the same institutions that are producing this research via their university libraries. As a way to counteract this practice, increasingly more institutions are starting to support Open Access publishing initiatives and alternative funding models led by scholars and librarians. One of these examples is the Open Library of Humanities, presented by Dr Prego in his talk. A scholar-led, community funded open access peer-reviewed platform of journals where many small contributions enable covering the production costs, without any profit. This is a model in which author Article Processing Charges (APCs) are also replaced by an international consortium of more than 240 libraries that collectively fund the platform with each of them paying a small fee. A sustainable alternative model that according to Priego, offers universities and funders the possibility of allocating the specific funds usually designated to pay for APCs to (mostly) hybrid legacy publishers, to other collective/collaborative funding initiatives, such as the OLH.
The presentations were followed by a Panel discussion on how to establish open access in academic publishing and research work. The round table was chaired by Prof Dr Damjan Popič (Chairman of Commission for Research and Development of the University of Ljubljana) and included Dr Ernesto Priego, Pierre Mounier (OPERAS project and HIRMEOS), Prof József Györkös (Director of the Slovenian Research Agency), Dr Meta Dobnikar (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia) and Dr Matevž Rudolf (Scientific publisher of the Faculty of Philosophy).
Presentations and lectures are available on the event's website. An event summary can also be found on the OpenAIRE blog. The Open Library of Humanities has recently been awarded a grant from OpenAIRE for marketing activities. As part of this funding the platform has launched the EmpowOA scheme, a new marketing initiative designed to provide scholars and librarians working in the humanities with tools, spaces and cogent arguments to support the APC-free gold open access of the future: “Power to the librarian, power to the scholar, power to the humanities”.
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