The case for an inclusive scholarly communication for social sciences and humanities

Abstract:  This article presents a vision for a scholarly communication research infrastructure for social sciences and humanities (SSH). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the pressing need to access research outputs without the traditional economic and temporal barriers. This article explores the current scholarly communication landscape, assessing the reasons for the slower uptake of open access in SSH research. The authors discuss such frontiers as commercial interests, sources of academic prestige and discipline-specific genres.

This article defines and discusses the key areas in which a research infrastructure can play a vital role in making open scholarly communication a reality in SSH: (1) providing a federated and easy access to scattered SSH outputs; (2) supporting publication and dissemination of discipline-specific genres (e.g. monographs, critical editions); (3) providing help with evaluation and quality assurance practices in SSH; (4) enabling  scholarly work in national languages, which is significant for local communities; (5) being governed by researchers and for researchers as a crucial factor for productive, useful and accessible services; (6) lastly, considering the needs of other stakeholders involved in scholarly communication, such as publishers, libraries, media, non-profit organisations, and companies.
They conclude that a scholarly-driven, inclusive, dedicated infrastructure for the European Research Area is needed in order to advance open science in SSH and to address the issues tackled by SSH researchers at a structural and systemic level.

First Thoughts on the New European Research Area: An Ambitious Plan Calls for Inclusiveness and Collaboration

“Science Europe welcomes the European Commission’s ambitious Communication for ‘A New ERA for Research and Innovation.’ To further strengthen Europe’s world-leading research, a strong European Research Area is essential and must be based on research excellence, international collaboration, openness, inclusiveness, and academic freedom….

Several initiatives are foreseen by the ERA Roadmap on research careers, transnational research funding, assessment, and Open Science, that could have a transformative impact on the way research is funded and performed….”

Welcome to a new ERA of reproducible publishing | Labs | eLife

“Since 2017, we have been working on the concept of computationally reproducible papers. The open-source suite of tools that started life as the Reproducible Document Stack is now live on eLife as ERA, the Executable Research Article, delivering a truly web-native format for taking published research to a new level of transparency, reproducibility and interactivity.

From today, authors with a published eLife paper can register their interest to enrich their published work with the addition of live code blocks, programmatically-generated interactive figures, and dynamically generated in-line values, using familiar tools like R Markdown and Jupyter in combination with Stencila Hub’s intuitive asset management and format conversion interface. The resulting new ERA publication will be presented as a complement to the original published paper. Very soon, a Google Docs plugin will also be made available to let authors insert executable code and data blocks into their documents using the cloud service.

Readers of ERA publications will be able to inspect the code, modify it, and re-execute it directly in the browser, enabling them to better understand how a figure is generated. They will be able to change a plot from one format to another, alter the data range of a specific analysis, and much more. All changes are limited to an individual’s browsing session and do not affect the published article, so anyone can experiment safely. Readers can also download the ERA publication – with all embedded code and data preserved – and use it as a basis for further study or derivative works….”

TRIPLE USER RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE

“The following questionnaire is part of the user research conducted for the European H2020 project TRIPLE. The questionnaire is aimed at researchers/academics in Social Sciences and Humanities at any stage of their careers.

In the following you will be asked mainly a number of questions about your discoverability research work practices and about the future of TRIPLE.

The questionnaire contains 21 questions and it should take between 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

TRIPLE was launched on 7 October 2019. It will be one of the dedicated services of OPERAS, the Research Infrastructure supporting open scholarly communication in the Social Sciences and Humanities in the European Research Area. At the heart of the project is the development of the TRIPLE platform, an innovative multilingual and multicultural discovery solution….”