DOAJ’s open letter to SSHA communities about Plan S – News Service

“The recently published Royal Historical Society (RHS) working paper on Plan Scontains some errors about the role that DOAJ might play in Plan S certification. These misunderstandings are commonplace and we, the DOAJ Management Team, have seen them before in other responses to Plan S. They are disappointing but they are not surprising….

The DOAJ Management Team recently decided that it is time to do a bit of “myth-busting“. Therefore we are publishing this open letter, partly as a response to the RHS paper, mostly as a way of addressing the misunderstandings that have been circulated on social media, but also as a call to SSHA communities to collaborate with us….

We felt it was important to respond to this particular statement because it illustrates that there is a great need to support social science, humanities and arts (SSHA) communities. DOAJ is keen to work more closely with SSHA communities and the organisations and bodies working with them to enable them to become fully familiar with the driving forces behind open access, in a way that the STEMM communities already are….

In 2015, DOAJ tightened its acceptance criteria and made all the 10 000+ indexed journals reapply to remain indexed. Many SSHA journals failed to submit a re-application to us, or didn’t meet enough of the criteria to remain indexed. It is not enough to expect these journals to simply come to us and apply. We must go to them and help them understand why being indexed in DOAJ is a good thing, but we cannot do it alone. With this post, we are putting out an open call to representative groups in the social sciences, humanities and arts to collaborate with us and help us to identify journals that are fit for purpose, and which should be indexed in DOAJ….

The RHS paper describes an understandable concern that Plan S disadvantages SSHA journals, many of which do not charge APCs. We were pleased to read this comment as this echoes exactly the concern which DOAJ presented to cOAlition S during the feedback period. The current draft of the Plan S requirements glosses over any journals, SSHA or otherwise, that do not charge APCs and these are the journals that DOAJ is trying to protect and promote….

Many commentators of Plan S have mentioned either that many journals in DOAJ are not Plan S compliant or that it is hard to identify Plan S compliant journals currently indexed in DOAJ. If cOAlition S confirms that DOAJ is a partner in Plan S implementation then the DOAJ Management Team will adapt DOAJ, both the website and the editorial processes, to allow journals to apply for Plan S compliance.

  • We will add a separate stream for those journals seeking Plan S compliance.
  • Being indexed in DOAJ will not equal Plan S compliance.
  • We will make it possible for journals to be indexed appropriately in DOAJ: Plan S compliant or DOAJ compliant or compliance for both.
  • We understand that many of the journals which eventually achieve Plan S compliance probably aren’t in DOAJ today.
  • We do expect that many of the journals in DOAJ today may not even want to apply for Plan S compliance.
  • We will work hard to make sure that Plan S compliant journals are quickly and easily identifiable by users….”

Welcome to the Archives Unleashed Project

“Archives Unleashed aims to make petabytes of historical internet content accessible to scholars and others interested in researching the recent past. Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are developing web archive search and data analysis tools to enable scholars, librarians and archivists to access, share, and investigate recent history since the early days of the World Wide Web….”

Ancient history – modern lessons: Can a new wave of Classics scholars save the world? (Paid Content by University of Warwick from The Chronicle of Higher Education) – The Chronicle of Higher Education

[Note that this piece is not a news piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education, but “Paid for and created by University of Warwick.”]

“This is an incredibly exciting time to study the ancient world Scott argues. Because now new technologies are enabling the advance of research and teaching techniques in classics and ancient history and the subject is shooting off into exciting new areas of study and ways of understanding the people of the ancient world. He explains: “The digital revolution allows us to explore these worlds in more depth or in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Virtual reality brings places and situations to life for us, if we can’t get there in person. 3D printing allows us to recreate artefacts and from there we can recreate scenes from ancient history.” …”

Ancient history – modern lessons: Can a new wave of Classics scholars save the world? (Paid Content by University of Warwick from The Chronicle of Higher Education) – The Chronicle of Higher Education

[Note that this piece is not a news piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education, but “Paid for and created by University of Warwick.”]

“This is an incredibly exciting time to study the ancient world Scott argues. Because now new technologies are enabling the advance of research and teaching techniques in classics and ancient history and the subject is shooting off into exciting new areas of study and ways of understanding the people of the ancient world. He explains: “The digital revolution allows us to explore these worlds in more depth or in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Virtual reality brings places and situations to life for us, if we can’t get there in person. 3D printing allows us to recreate artefacts and from there we can recreate scenes from ancient history.” …”

Announcing the Winner of Junto March Madness 2019 « The Junto

Without further ado, the winner of Junto March Madness 2019 is…

 

Harvard’s Colonial North America project. Initially just a 2-seed, the CNA project busted some brackets on its way to the top. But it’s easy to see why! The project will digitize nearly half a million pages of archival and manuscript materials in Harvard’s collections. This project is bound to provide an incredibly valuable resource for historians of early America for years to come….”

BodoArXiv: Open Repository of 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.

Upload your work in progress, delivered paper, draft chapter, article or book manuscript, texts already accepted for publication and after peer review, or even fully formatted texts–if you have permission to do so! Any text you upload does not immediately undergo a full peer review. Instead, within a few days it will be checked for compliance under our moderation policy. If all is in order, the paper’s “pending” status will end, making it accessible to anyone. From that point on, your work will be safely and permanently stored and have a stable digital object identifier (DOI), which you can share and embed. If and when the work is published in another venue, you may add that DOI to your paper page in BodoArXiv. You may also use the platform’s capacity for collaboration by allowing people (including co-authors) to comment on your work….”

Open access ‘seems such a seismic change’ | Research Information

“There isn’t a single challenge that runs evenly across all of the disciplines, but the biggest one we’re facing is how we can make open access work in a way that preserves what’s good about current scholarly publishing activities, and is also sustainable and allows for innovation. It’s very difficult to move past open access at the moment. It seems such a seismic change in how we think about the way we publish. 

In the UK open access has largely been implemented through hybrid journals, and the recent Plan S announcement is very firmly positioned against hybrid journals – so the system is still clearly being shaken up. There may have been a sense that journal publishing had settled down into this hybrid model, but it didn’t deliver entirely on the promise of open access and allowed publishers to preserve what they were doing without having to innovate quite so much. We’re going to have to find ways of working around that. 

A particular concern for people like me, a historian working in digital humanities, is how we accommodate books in all of this. The business models for book publishing are not really there yet, although there are some interesting experiments. It’s also the case that digital and open book content is largely excluded from ways of measuring usage. The price of a lot of academic books is an issue as well. Are there ways that we can work together to try to bring cost down?  That’s not an easy problem to fix either, but it’s an ongoing challenge in terms of recommending books to students and inequalities of access to this material….”

‘Historical Google Earth’ project captures a changing Britain | Culture | The Guardian

A “historical Google Earth” featuring aerial photographs of Britain going back to 1945 has been made freely available by Cambridge University.

The vast archive captures 70 years of change across urban and rural landscapes, from the bomb-scarred postwar period to the emergence of motorways and skyscrapers.

The aerial photographs, showing Britain from the air from the 1940s up to 2009, were taken by former wartime RAF pilots at the instruction of the Cambridge archaeologist Kenneth St Joseph.

The first 1,500 photographs, covering almost every corner of the UK, were published on Friday, the first batch from an archive of almost 500,000….”

AHA Expresses Concerns about Potential Impact of Plan S on the Humanities | AHA

Plan S, however, as applied to the humanities, is likely to limit scholarly discourse, even close some doors. Its underlying assumptions and hence its path forward ignore significant differences among various disciplines in the realm of funding and publishing scholarship. Plan S, akin to much open access policy, assumes that all academic publishing has the same imperatives and exigencies as research in the biomedical and physical sciences. There are, however, important differences, including funding models, time value of research, and the structures and cultures of scholarly publishing.

The American Historical Association joins our colleagues in other humanities disciplines in explaining how the Plan S bias toward article processing charge (APC)-funded “gold” journals will essentially close them off from the wider community of scholars….

While we have worked to make access available to international readers, we worry about excluding international authors. Many of the most significant and high impact journals in the humanities are published outside of Plan S countries. Plan S-funded humanities scholars will be unable to choose the highest prestige journals because of the expectations of immediate open access and the ban on publishing in hybrid journals. This will exclude scholars from Coalition S countries from being a part of vital international exchanges and scholarship, and severely limit their ability to build international reputations….”