Research Access and Scholarly Equity | Perspectives on History | AHA

“The AHA’s 2017 survey on this issue captured the breadth of the problem. Unequal access affects historians working in a wide variety of contexts, including full-time faculty at institutions unable to afford subscriptions, part-time and irregularly employed historians, independent scholars, job candidates, and historians employed outside of higher education. Faculty with inadequate access cannot keep up with the latest scholarship for teaching and have circumscribed access to the primary sources that enliven a classroom and stand at the center of highly regarded history pedagogy. This is not only a matter of academic careers or the pursuit of what we customarily refer to as “producing new knowledge”; it is also a matter of equity in higher education. Unequal access for faculty means unequal educational opportunity for students.

For contingent faculty, uneven research access reflects another aspect of job insecurity—if they lose their job, they lose access. …

The AHA encourages history departments to provide full library access to their own scholar alumni and to unaffiliated historians in their regions. History departments and academic units can play a positive role by supporting the scholarship of their alumni and by bringing more unaffiliated scholars into their orbit. Providing these historians a university affiliation—whether as a visiting scholar or by whatever means is feasible—will help close the gap between those with and without adequate research access. These actions will enable every historian to fully realize their potential as scholars and contributors to our discipline.”

Highlights from Harvard’s Colonial North America collection – Harvard Gazette

“For six years, Harvard Library has been working to make its vast collection of archival and manuscript materials from the colonial era accessible online. Today, approximately 650,000 digitized pages of handmade materials from the 17th and 18th centuries are available free to the public. Held in 14 repositories around the University, the works tell the tale of economic and social life in the colonies that would become the United States….”

Royal Historical Society Publishes Guidance Paper on “Plan S and History Journals” – RHS

“The report is designed to assist History and broader Humanities & Social Sciences stakeholders to understand and navigate the current policy frontiers of open access publishing for peer reviewed scholarly journals.

In particular, it is timed to contribute to the two public consultations on open access publication mandates, due to be launched shortly by United Kingdom Research & Innovation (UKRI), the funding body that includes the seven UK research councils as well as Research England.  This consultation process reflects UKRI’s membership of cOAlition S, a consortium of international funders established in 2018 which has articulated a new ‘Plan S’ mandate for open access publication.

The RHS report explains what cOAlition S and Plan S are, and why they matter to Humanities and Social Science researchers, journal editors and learned societies—among other stakeholders.  The report uses granular evidence of peer reviewed History journal publication to examine the potential impacts of Plan S implementation by UKRI.  The report is based on a summer 2019 RHS survey that attracted responses from 107 UK and international History learned society and proprietary journals.  Respondents included both self-publishing journals and journals published by 26 different university and commercial presses.  Additionally, the report uses data from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to explore open access journal publication in History….”

Historians Respond to Plan S: Open Access vs OA Policies Redux – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For years, humanists have been pointing to the multi-dimensional importance of openness and accessibility of scholarship, and the multi-dimensional costs of rigid open access (OA) policies. In late October, the Royal Historical Historical Society (RHS) released a “guidance paper” on “Plan S and the History Journal Landscape.” Authored by RHS president Margot Finn, a distinguished professor at University College London (UCL) and a prolific scholar, this follows the RHS’s April 2019 working paper on Plan S and researchers in history of medicine, and June 2019 paper, responding to Plan S, as well as the society’s long-standing engagement with OA policies, and guidance to researchers, particularly in regards to OA policies vis à vis the Research Excellence Framework (REF). It is relevant that the RHS has supported OA initiatives, including their monograph series, “New Historical Perspectives.”  

The new report brings together important evidence about the state of journals that UK historians are publishing in terms of Plan S compliance, and a survey of journal editors. From public data on publications and publishing (including from the 2014 REF), as well as a survey of more than 100 journal editors from 26 UK and international presses, the report concludes that “unless major shifts occur…in the next few months, it is unlikely that either UKRI or Wellcome Trust-funded History researchers will be able to identify sufficient high-quality journal outlets that  comply with full-scale implementation of Plan S.” The report offers perspectives in discreet chapters on “Plan S:  What Do We Know?” and “Plan S:  What Don’t We Know?” An overview of “Research and Journal Publication in History” is followed by an overview of “Open Access History Journals, DOAJ and Plan S” and then coverage of the RHS survey results, and potential routes to Plan S compliance….”

Plan S and the History Journal Landscape: Royal Historical Society Guidance Paper

“? What are the new contours of peer-reviewed journal publication for Humanities and Social Science disciplines following the establishment of cOAlition S in September 2018?

? How prepared are History journals and History researchers for the implementation of Plan S-aligned open access mandates in the UK?

? What are the potential implications for UK-based and international History journals of implementing (or choosing not to implement) Plan S-aligned open access policies?

? What is the evidence base that should inform UKRI’s consultations on open access? …”

Contribute to a major digital collection on the history of science | Jisc

“Over the last few years, we’ve been exploring new collaborative business models to support sustainable digitisation of collections and primary source material. This is in response to members’ concerns over the cost of content, pressures on time and budgets, and the limited availability of funding sources.

Jisc and Wiley have teamed up in an innovative collaboration to test a new approach for the creation of a new history of science digital collection.

The collection will support research, teaching and learning and will be freely accessible in perpetuity to all Jisc members without any access or platform charges. Once licences to the content have expired, the collection will be made available openly and authentication/password-free globally from the Wiley platform….”

We are proud to announce the launch of our first preprint service, in collaboration with OSF Preprints

“Meet BodoArXiv, a preprint service for medieval studies:

Named after a Carolingian peasant made famous by historian Eileen Power (1889-1940), BodoArXiv gathers scholarly literature in medieval studies across the disciplines. It provides an open, non-profit repository for papers at different stages of gestation, including works that may later find themselves in article form and/or behind a paywall. Anyone can access and download any item on BodoArXiv freely and immediately, in adherence to the basic tenants of the Open Access movement. Beyond helping authors make their scholarship more visible and discoverable, BodoArXiv fosters collaboration and mentoring as a platform that supports various forms of peer review….”

We are proud to announce the launch of our first preprint service, in collaboration with OSF Preprints

“Meet BodoArXiv, a preprint service for medieval studies:

Named after a Carolingian peasant made famous by historian Eileen Power (1889-1940), BodoArXiv gathers scholarly literature in medieval studies across the disciplines. It provides an open, non-profit repository for papers at different stages of gestation, including works that may later find themselves in article form and/or behind a paywall. Anyone can access and download any item on BodoArXiv freely and immediately, in adherence to the basic tenants of the Open Access movement. Beyond helping authors make their scholarship more visible and discoverable, BodoArXiv fosters collaboration and mentoring as a platform that supports various forms of peer review….”

#metoo Digital Media Collection

“The #metoo Digital Media Collection is a digital project of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. This project will document the digital footprint of the #metoo movement and the accompanying political, legal, and social battles in the United States and will collect social media, news articles, statements of denial and/or apology, Web-forum conversations, legislation, lawsuits, statistical studies, Fortune 500 companies’ employment manuals, hashtags related to #metoo, and more. The material in the collection will date from 2007 with the creation of the #metoo hashtag by Tarana Burke and will end when #metoo activity subsides. The collection will be made available for interdisciplinary research on #metoo….”

In Open Access’s Long Shadow – A view from the Humanities | Natale | 027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur / Journal for Library Culture

Abstract:  Historians have been in recent years among the most vocal critics against open access to scientific literature. Discussing the controversies they have triggered in Europe and in the USA, we argue that research on open access should be broadened chronologically and thematically. The first section recalls the very first debate on open access that took place among library professionals at the turn of the XXth century and points similarities with the present situation. The second section reviews the criticisms levelled by humanities disciplines against mandatory regulations on open access. The third section argues that the potential of open access for science democratization and knowledge dissemination may not be taken for granted and need further empirical assessment.