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Open Access and the Humanities A Continuing Education Webinar offered by the School of Library and Information Studies, the iSchool at UW-Madison. Jonathan.

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Presentation on theme: "Open Access and the Humanities A Continuing Education Webinar offered by the School of Library and Information Studies, the iSchool at UW-Madison. Jonathan."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Open Access and the Humanities A Continuing Education Webinar offered by the School of Library and Information Studies, the iSchool at UW-Madison. Jonathan Senchyne Assistant Professor of Library and Information Studies Associate Director, Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture twitter: @jsench #oahumanities 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN2

3 Why? Discipline-specific conversations matter. They matter especially in spaces of cross- disciplinary contact (such as the library or the university as a whole) because confusion, misunderstanding, and mistrust can occur. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN3

4 What is OA? “The free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.” – OpenAccessWeek.org 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN4

5 What are the humanities? “The humanities can be described as how people process and document the human experience.” – Stanford Humanities Center. Also, a habitus of disciplinary practices for generating, debating, and sharing knowledge in fields such as English, History, Philosophy, and so on. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN5

6 Related, but not central to today’s conversation… Digital Humanities Public Humanities 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN6

7 Case Study: AHA and Dissertation Embargo Summer 2013 statement encouraging graduate schools and university libraries to permit students the flexibility to embargo digital access to dissertations for as long as 6 years. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN7

8 AHA and Dissertation Embargo Links: AHA Statement: http://blog.historians.org/2013/07/american-historical-association-statement-on- policies-regarding-the-embargoing-of-completed-history-phd-dissertations/ Q&A with then AHA President, Jacqueline Joneshttp://blog.historians.org/2013/07/qa- on-the-ahas-statement-on-embargoing-of-history-dissertations/http://blog.historians.org/2013/07/qa- on-the-ahas-statement-on-embargoing-of-history-dissertations/ Reflection from Bill Cronon, UW-Madison History Professor/former AHA president http://blog.historians.org/2013/07/why-put-at-risk-the-publishing-options-of-our-most- vulnerable-colleagues/ http://blog.historians.org/2013/07/why-put-at-risk-the-publishing-options-of-our-most- vulnerable-colleagues/ 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN8

9 AHA and Dissertation Embargo Some reactions: Barbara Fister, academic librarian: Books are what matters to historians and that will never change. Publishers are an immutable force of nature, as are tenure and promotion committees. Librarians and program heads, however, can be told what to do. If they don’t change their ways “young historians” will lose the “unfettered ability... to revise their dissertations and obtain a publishing contract from a press" because those pesky online dissertations are standing between a scholar and a fetter-free book contract. Turn the clock back. Put those printed dissertations on the shelf where they can be safely obscure. Protect the children. https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/aha-asks-what- about-children 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN9

10 AHA and Dissertation Embargo Some reactions: Mark Sample, @samplereality “Disembargo” http://disembargo.aws.af.cm/ http://disembargo.aws.af.cm/ http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/disembargo-an-open-access- dissertation-one-letter-at-a-time/52997 “Every ten minutes, Disembargo releases a single character—a letter, number, or space—from my final dissertation manuscript…. At the current rate of access (six characters per hour, or roughly twenty-five words a day), the entire dissertation will be available in the fall of 2019.” 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN10

11 AHA and Dissertation Embargo: What does each “side” value? caveat emptor: this is reductive AHA/Discipline-specific thinking: Values protecting pathways in the profession from even more external pressures. Values the transfer of traditional habits, workflows, and systems of evaluation from one generation to the next. Values much longer periods of time, consideration, and iteration before a final expression of research is released into the world through the imprimatur of an authoritative channel and time/resource intensive process. Values the writing and evaluation of scholarship/content over and above its distribution, storage, preservation, and access as an “item” in a larger collection or system. Responsive to market pressures within the academic job market and the tenuring process. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN11

12 AHA and Dissertation Embargo: What does each “side” value? caveat emptor: this is reductive Library-specific thinking: Values the distribution, storage, preservation, and access to large collections or systems of information over and above the processes through which any one item came into existence. Encounters “content” as a finished product, not necessarily. Looks at costs of entire ecosystem more frequently than costs/investments of individual actors within it. Is less concerned with the maintenance and transmission of disciplinary forms of evaluation and tradition. Responsive to market forces in state/private library budgeting, escalating costs of private information resources contracts, and potential impacts on everyday users/patrons. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN12

13 AHA and Dissertation Embargo: What does each “side” value? caveat emptor: this is reductive Also At Issue: Are researchers more than “content providers?” Are librarians more than “service workers?” Yes and yes. But each side can be defensive and retreat to comfortable commonplaces in moments of conflict and crisis. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN13

14 AHA and Dissertation Embargo: What does each “side” value? For More (and less polarized approach), see AHA 2015 Panel Storify: https://storify.com/michaelhattem/aha-panel-123- choosing-to-embargo-what-to-do-with Scholarly Kitchen conversations on embargo: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/tag/embargoes/ http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/tag/embargoes/ 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN14

15 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t you just get yourself a version of arXiv.org? Why don’t your grants just start requiring OA publication? And so on. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN15

16 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t you just get yourself a version of arXiv.org? Here’s where digital humanities comes back in. Many people are working on just this. New digital publication forms with different structures of peer review like DHDebates. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates Or ADA: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. http://adanewmedia.org/beta-reader-and-review-policy/ http://adanewmedia.org/beta-reader-and-review-policy/ 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN16

17 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t you just get yourself a version of arXiv.org? Here’s where digital humanities comes back in. Many people are working on just this. New(er) field / disciplinary emergence attempting to recalibrate disciplinary communication and evaluation practices and traditions from within. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN17

18 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t your grants just start requiring OA publication? Misunderstands the scale of funding for humanities research. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN18

19 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t your grants just start requiring OA publication? National Endowment for the Humanities 2014 Budget: $146 million. National Science Foundation 2015 Budget: 7.26 billion. (Not to mention NIH and DoD) 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN19

20 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Why don’t your grants just start requiring OA publication? Common form of grant/fellowship: Short-term research fellowship at a major archive of primary source documents: $1850 to cover travel and lodging for a month of research in residence. (American Antiquarian Society Short-term Fellowships: http://www.americanantiquarian.org/acafellowship.htm http://www.americanantiquarian.org/acafellowship.htm Prestigious long-term fellowships replace a portion of your salary for a semester or academic year. They do not have built-in provisions to subvent publication in traditional or open access publication. They also tend not to pay overhead costs to your institution. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN20

21 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? There are OA options however. Some traditional journals have gone OA or have provisions in contracts to permit submissions to institutional repositories. These are good steps, and there needs to be great education of and commitment by faculty to understand issues of copyright and contract and to know about their institutional repository. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN21

22 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? There are OA options however. And some for-profit publishers are making pre-paid OA avenues open, but again, cost is an issue. Palgrave OA costs: Monographs: $17,500 NEH Semester-long postdoc fellowship (salary replacement in lieu of teaching): $25,000 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN22

23 Why is this so difficult for the humanities? Could Universities subvent these costs to support faculty OA publications? Yes. And many do: http://www.sparc.arl.org/resource/oa-fund-five-year-review http://www.sparc.arl.org/resource/oa-fund-five-year-review But in a budget climate of dwindling higher education resources, especially for the humanities, these programs can get deprioritized. It happened at UW-Madison: https://www.library.wisc.edu/about/scholarly- communication/open-access-publishing-support-fund/ https://www.library.wisc.edu/about/scholarly- communication/open-access-publishing-support-fund/ 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN23

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25 Other Disciplinary Differences Worth Noting Part of the Open Access movement’s politics is fighting the high costs of access to digital databases licensed at exorbitant rates by for-profit publishers. For example, University of California Librarians boycotting Nature. http://phys.org/news195486711.html http://phys.org/news195486711.html But, in my estimation, most U.S.-based humanities scholarship (monographs as well as journals) is published by not-for-profit university presses who don’t reap the profits that the Palgraves and Wileys do, but who also don’t charge the same prices. Institutional Subscription (print and online) to J19: Journal of 19 th -Century Americanists (Penn UP): $85 Institutional License for UC Berkeley to Nature group publications: more than $1 million. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN25

26 Other Disciplinary Differences Worth Noting Given these differences (for profit, not for profit / grant and subvention differences) many argue that we need to find ways to sustain rather than disrupt the traditional not for profit university press system. Given all of the high quality low cost intellectual labor sustained through these processes, we need to support them (financially) in ways that make sense with digital affordances, rather than make everything free/open. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN26

27 Other Disciplinary Differences Worth Noting See recent very important discussion with William and Mary Quarterly editor Karin Wulf in The Scholarly Kitchen: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2015/03/25/guest-post-karin-wulf-on- open-access-and-historical-scholarship/ http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2015/03/25/guest-post-karin-wulf-on- open-access-and-historical-scholarship/ “There needs to be more and regular attention to the importance of heterogeneous models of access, dissemination, and production. Scholarship is developed in very different ways, within very distinctive research and publication ecosystems. No one would suggest that biologists and film scholars organize, finance, and undertake their research along similar lines. And we know very well that the resulting scholarship is not consumed in the same way. Why, then, should we assume that the results of that research–published scholarship—can be produced and disseminated in the same way? Especially when analyses now suggest that this is an unlikely—perhaps even undesirable—outcome.”analyses now suggest that this is an unlikely 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN27

28 OA and the Humanities: Upsides At UW-Madison, Tim Elfenbein recently worked to make the Cultural Anthropology an open access journal with a diverse range of content. http://www.culanth.org/ http://www.culanth.org/articles/open_access 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN28

29 OA and the Humanities: Upsides When done right, and in a way that is respectful of responsive to, the disciplines that create and knowledge and “content,” OA can live up to its promises in the humanities and help broader publics (here come the public humanities back in) access research and appreciate the value of humanities thinking, research, and teaching. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN29

30 OA and the Humanities: Upsides For example, Elfenbein recently documented how OA and smart article titling lead to dramatic spikes in readership when difficult to understand issues emerged in global politics, but Cultural Anthropology’s authors had answers. https://twitter.com/timelfen/status/5901647746 93941248 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN30

31 OA and the Humanities: Upsides "'Xenophobia' in South Africa: Order, Chaos, and the Moral Economy of Witchcraft.” was viewed 5000+ times in the past week as readers looked for ways of putting current events in context. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN31

32 OA and the Humanities: Upsides "'Xenophobia' in South Africa: Order, Chaos, and the Moral Economy of Witchcraft.” was viewed 5000+ times in the past week as readers looked for ways of putting current events in context. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN32

33 OA and the Humanities: Takeaways. 10/21/2015 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN33 Not all scholarly communication is the same. Socially, politically, economically. Disciplines and habits are both enabling and disabling. Faculty/researchers and librarians would do well to understand what is enabling and disabling about the habits and patterns of each party’s approach to these questions, rather than either thinking they have a monopoly on the best solution. It’s not just fuddy duddy professors on one side and nonthinking technocrats on the other! Faculty/researchers and librarians alike need to respect what makes each of their disciplinary habits work, especially when they don’t share overlapping values on an issue, and they need to work together to figure out which set of priorities is valued more highly when there are conflicts.

34 Questions?


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