Posts Tagged ‘open access’

h1

Places to Publish Open-Access in Classics and Related Areas

March 14, 2013

The following was begun during an informal morning coffee with a group of Hellenic Studies librarians. Special thanks go to Elli Mylonas and Colin McCaffrey, who were seated on either side of me, but others contributed, and of course I am responsible for any errors in what follows. If there are omissions, please comment or email me at phoebe.acheson at gmail.com so I can add to the lists that follow!

Need a Refresher on What Open Access Is?

Fairly Traditional Monographs

The following are publishing monographs and making digital access of some kind available for free to all; in many cases print books may also be purchased and/or printed on demand.

Journal Articles

  • Directory of Open Access Journals This site allows browsing for open-access titles that use peer review by discipline (look under Arts and Architecture, Languages and Literatures, History and Archaeology, or other headings depending on your subfield).
  • Ancient World Online: List of Open-Access Journals in Ancient Studies This list is extremely comprehensive and includes many items not in the DOAJ, above, but many are not peer-reviewed and others are titles that have put back issues online open-access but are not publishing current issues in that format. With these caveats, a journal on this list might be the right one for your publishing needs.
  • ISAW Papers I am highlighting this specific project (title? series?) because it is at the forefront of technology for publishing born-digital articles (highly linked, linked open data friendly, etc.)

Pre-Prints, Working Papers, and Self-Archiving

In many fields, pre-prints or “working” versions of papers that have not yet been formally published are routinely circulated and deposited online in open access repositories. This is not yet common in Classics, but certainly could become more so.

Self-Archiving is the process of  making ones own published work available open-access online. It can be done in a variety of ways and places:

  • An Institutional Repository (sometimes called a Digital Library or Repository; example: DukeSpace) at your institution (ask your liaison librarian!)
  • Scribd as above
  • Academia.edu (which now requires readers to have a free account to access your papers)
  • Your own personal or departmental web site or blog
  • In archaeology, Propylaeum-DOK from the University of Heidelberg Library is a subject-specific repository accepting papers from scholars all over the world.

The big issue with self-archiving is making sure you have the right to do so under the contract you signed with the original publisher of your work.  These contracts can be negotiated.  Here’s an account by librarian Micah Vandegrift detailing his recent negotiation about self-archiving. If your library has a Scholarly Communications office (example: Duke Scholarly Communications), they may also be able to give you advice on this process.

I welcome your comments with further thoughts about specific venues to publish open-access or other ways in which to freely disseminate scholarly information online.

Advertisements
h1

MARC Records for Packard Humanities Institute Latin Texts

August 2, 2012

Blake Landor, the Classics, Philosophy, Religion and General Humanities Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, has just announced the availability of a set of open-access MARC records for the PHI Classical Latin Texts online (formerly on widely-used CD-Rom).

To download the 605 MARC records, scroll to the bottom of the University of Florida Library’s page about Creative Commons licenses for their work: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/catmet/creativecommons.html There is a download link for a zip file of the records.

Anyone wanting a view of the way the records look in UF’s catalog can search for ‘Packard Humanities Institute’ in the online catalog: http://uf.catalog.fcla.edu/

Landor thanks Chuck Jones and Karen Green for their support of his project, which was funded by an internal mini-grant, but clearly the biggest thanks are due to Landor for his initiative and public service.  Kudos! Librarians, get ’em in your catalogs ASAP!

h1

It’s Open Access Week

October 25, 2011

This week hits home for me in a new way this year, as I am currently unaffiliated with an academic institution, and thus (at least formally and legally) unable to access subscription databases like Jstor, L’Annee Philologique, and so forth. I’m not alone – the informal poll Chuck Jones is running on AWOL suggests that 45% of responding readers do not have access to Jstor. (Note for those in my boat – if you visit your local University, you can probably get access to these databases for free while in their library, but not on wireless or off campus. Local policies may vary, but in general University libraries welcome serious people who want to do research in their library buildings. Look for the Reference Desk, sometimes called Research Services, and ask about guest or visiting scholar access.)

Last year I did an introductory post on Open Access Week for classicists; you might click through for a refresher.

I also used the occasion of Open Access Week in 2010 to debut the Ancient World Open Bibliographies blog, which collects open-access bibliographies for ancient studies.  The blog begat a wiki which now lists and links to over 450 bibliographies, with a special focus on the classical world, but with broad coverage of the lands around the Mediterranean and some dips into places further abroad.  I celebrate all those scholars who have made their bibliographies – valuable research tools – available to the internet-enabled public.  Thank you!

h1

Scholarly Journals in the News…

July 20, 2011

My Twitter feed broke out in a tizzy yesterday at the news that Aaron Swarz was charged with breaking into a wiring closet at MIT (with which he was not affiliated; during the incident he was employed as a Fellow at the Harvard Center for Ethics [!]) while wearing a bike helmet over his face, and using a personal laptop to download some 4 million articles from Jstor.  Jstor issued a statement about the case, emphasizing that they had not asked for the prosecution, and they do have a service to allow scholars to work with large corpora of articles, if they ask permission first. Demand Progress, an advocacy organization with which Swarz has been affiliated, also released a statement, describing the charges as “bizarre” and arguing that Swarz was being prosecuted for the equivalent of “checking too many books out of the library.”

Usually when my Twitter people are in a tizzy about something they agree with one another, but yesterday they were quite divided – some saw this as a case of advocacy for academic freedom on the internet, and some saw this as a straightforward illegal act (whether or not it should be a matter of criminal charges).  Comments on articles in the New York Times and Wired were similarly variable – and one thing that struck me was the level of ignorance about Jstor from many, especially those in the computing community.  The first 10 comments on the Wired article mostly simply ask, “What is Jstor, and why should we care about this?” Ah, the academic bubble we live in!

Some important questions are being brought forward, and I think it is healthy for the “information on the internet should be free” and the “in the real world, we agree to licensing agreements and violating them is bad” camps to engage with one another.  Jstor is a wonderful service, but it is an expensive one (prices are here); it’s a not-for-profit, but one commenter alleges that more than 10 of its employees have salaries over $250,000 (are they hiring? do they want me?!?).  Should Jstor do more to make its materials accessible to the public? What about the things in Jstor that are out of copyright due to age?

Barbara Fister manages to pull the Swarz incident into her current post, titled “Breaking News: Academic Journals Are Really Expensive!”  If you’re a librarian reading this, you probably know all about the crisis in scholarly publishing; if you’re a student or a faculty member and don’t know, you should find out, because this is a big issue that directly relates to your career.  Looking at article comments, and the current Twitter search for Jstor, can give you a fascinating glimpse at others’ worldviews (whatever yours might be.) As for mine, I find myself in agreement with the comments by Peter Suber in 2008, on an Open Access manifesto apparently written by Swarz.

h1

Open Access Journal Projects at Duke and UGA

June 9, 2011

This morning I learned from my former Duke colleague, Digital Strategist Paolo Mangiafico (@paoloman) that the Duke Libraries and the editors of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies have taken that journal open-access, using the Open Journal Systems software.  A couple of hours later, along came notice from current colleague Andy Carter (@cartandy) that the first open-access issue of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement is live. This is a journal (although obviously not one about Classics!) hosted by the UGA  Library, also using Open Journal Systems.

I first learned about OJS in a session on open-access journals at THATCamp SE in Atlanta in March. It’s great to see scholarly journals, especially a fairly prominent journal in Classics, moving to open-access in general, and especially heartening for me to see the fruitful collaborations between university libraries and the editors of scholarly journals on campus.  At Duke, the close relationship between Classics and the Libraries is longstanding (all those papyri!).  A press release on the new open-access journals at Duke closes with a heartening quote from Joshua D. Sosin:

The Duke Libraries and the Department of Classical Studies have long collaborated to provide free, web-based access to some of the University’s most ancient materials. We are thrilled to be able to extend that partnership to scholarly research. Socrates famously did not accept fees; this piece of critical infrastructure allows us to do the same!

Do you work on a scholarly journal? If you’re thinking at all about open-access journal publishing, do talk to your university library – they may be the partner who can make it work.

h1

THATCamp 5: Open-Access, Kindles, Crowdsourcing

March 16, 2011

Okay, if I don’t get more terse we’re never going to get through THATCamp SE.  Day one continued:

At lunch we had “dork shorts” which were timed 3-minute talks on anything anybody wanted to show.  Topics included a documentary about an Atlanta punk band, a blog about rural life which featured a lovely photo of a ca. 1940 man with his pet skunk, and UGA’s <emma> program, used in writing classes, which allows collaborative markup of student papers.

After lunch 1: Open Access Publishing, hosted by me. I was a little thoughtless at 9am and put things on the whiteboard that I thought would make good discussions, forgetting that then I would have to a) attend and b) HOST the discussions.  And people signed up for them!  This was number 1.  It was kind of a general conversation, with several librarians present who had experience hosting open access journals using the Open Journal Systems software (at Duke, GA Tech, and UGA), a grad student who works on the OA journal Southern Spaces at Emory, and a faculty member who edits a major journal that is not open-access.  We talked about business models (Mellon support, departmental support, support by an organization like ATLA), OA in Humanities as opposed to Sciences, and reasons why OA is important (I especially liked the mention of the need to make research accessible to communities being studied, in some fields.)

After lunch 2: My colleague from UGA, Caroline Barratt, and I hosted an intimate conversation about our current project using Kindles for all course readings in an English class.  This was very productive for us – we took a lot of notes about interesting questions to ask when we hold focus groups later this semester – and those present seemed to enjoy it also, with a wide-ranging discussion including practical issues as well as big topics like “what is the book” and “what is reading.”

After lunch 3: Crowdsourcing Digital Humanities Projects; I was hosting again. I was hoping to get advice on how to manage the human side of a project like the Ancient World Open Bibliographies. I was struck by the great diversity of experiences and expertise present at this session.  Participants talked about: a women’s collective project in India, crowdsourcing the transcription of the Cardinal Newman letters at Emory (interestingly, the volunteers were not collected using the internet, but came mostly via newsletters and news articles), open-access software projects, and a project to collaboratively write a latin textbook. We talked about the importance of passion in volunteers (which is why there’s a Wookieepedia) – and how it can’t be artificially created – and, failing passion, the need to “make it fun” or even sneak crowdsourcing into a project (like ReCaptcha).

By this point someone in another session was beginning to tweet about zombies, so the UGA contingent regrouped and headed back to Athens.  I don’t know how anyone had the energy to go out, but  gather some THATCampers continued conversations into the evening.

Previous posts on THATCamp SE:

 

h1

Open Access Week for Classicists

October 21, 2010

The 4th annual Open Access Week is October 18-24, 2010. What does it mean for a classicist?

Open access resources are those that are available to all online, without the payment of a subscription by a university library or department or individual.  For many students and faculty based at large research institutions in the United States, it is easy to take access to appropriate scholarly resources  for granted.  Many undergraduates  I work with are surprised to discover that the UGA library pays for access to Jstor.  I field queries from students who are perplexed that a web site is asking them to pay $30 for a scholarly article they found using Google, and recent graduates who are distressed that they no longer have free access to Lexis Nexis.  And consider those who are based at small and/or ill-funded academic institutions, both in the US and abroad, and rely heavily on interlibrary loan and/or database license restriction-violating friends at larger institutions (who email them .pdfs or share passwords).

It is relatively easy to embrace the principle that scholarly information should be freely disseminated and available to all – but real life and the economics of scholarly publishing make open access more complicated.  To explore these issues, the Association for Research Libraries  has an Open Access initiative called SPARC.  SPARC produces a brochure (pdf) that is much more eloquent than I can be about the benefits of open access, and the web site has sections on economics and campus policies.  A few campuses have had their faculty commit to publishing their research in open access repositories, and many campuses have digital repositories, usually based in the libraries, to adequately organize and store various open access materials, which can range from digitized historic documents to data sets to student papers (including dissertations) to scholarly research by faculty.

Open Access: You’re Already Using It

Some of the best-loved and most heavily used online resources for Classics research are open access: Perseus, the core collection of the TLG, and Lacus Curtius, to name some of the most popular.

The blog AWOL: The Ancient World Online has been collecting scholarly journals and other resources relevant to ancient studies that are open access, and has amassed an impressively long lost of titles.

The Hathi Trust catalog is an important scholarly site to be aware of.  Supported by major US research libraries,  it has online full-text of many scholarly works that are out of copyright, and the indexing and searchability are better than Google Books (which is also a valuable resource for open-access scholarly books and a few journals.)

What have I missed?  Tell me the best scholarly resource you use online for Classics research that is open-access.  I am certain I am missing many non-US ones!

Open Access: How You Can Contribute

As a teacher and scholar, you can help promote open access resources by:

  • Recommending them to your students and colleagues.
  • Publishing your scholarly papers in open access journals, especially if you are past the tenure process and can actually attract readers to these often newer journals because of your well-known name.
  • Looking closely at your contracts with publishers when you sign them.  If they don’t allow you to keep copyright of your own works, consider asking for an amendment of the agreement.
  • For scholarly works for which you hold the copyright, consider posting them online as free .pdf files, making them de facto open access.  A personal or departmental web site is a good place for this (you can link .pdf files to an online CV, for example) or a ‘scholarly social networking site’ like Academia.edu makes the process easy.

Are there other ideas I have missed?  Have questions about Open Access?  Let me know!