- The Open Access Monographs in Humanities and Social Sciences Conference aimed to raise awareness of open access, to increase understanding of key challenges and to identify where international common policies and frameworks could support the adoption of open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences (HSS).In this summary, we highlight some of the key points made by speakers, draw together links to conference videos, and give a flavour of the online discussions surrounding the event...
Setting the SceneMartin Hall, University of SalfordHall set the scene for the event by stressing that monographs have been in crisis for at least 20 years, particularly since the university presses began to lose their ability to financially support their publication. However, digital publishing opens up opportunities to share knowledge and make scholarship better. Hall observed that the challenge is to manage the complicated transition process to realise the possibilities of the future.Hall emphasised that this event "is about the money and it isn't about the money," thus framing the event's discussions surrounding the sustainability of monograph publishing and the opportunities presented by digital publishing for scholars to communicate and discuss their ideas more widely.Here are just some of the audience responses to Martin Hall's welcome:
- Watch Martin Hall's welcoming comments in full here:
Beyond the MonographJean-Claude Guédon, University of MontrealGuédon urged delegates to forget about the monograph and to think about the ways in which we can enable academic discourse to flow frictionlessly. He introduced the concepts of the sociology and society of texts, and discussed how these could change if we move away from the monograph and our very rigid, established publication process.Guédon stressed that the debate should be about people, not monographs. He questioned the concept of the 'author', which he noted is a function of print-based models and is not eternal. We may have to deal with alternative forms of evaluation and recognition. He also questioned the focus on single-author works and advocated a more connected approach reflecting the reality of thesis development as part of an ongoing scholarly conversation, arguing that to do good work, you need more than one brain. This may require alternative mechanisms for recognising contributions and examination of the notions of ownership and responsibility for knowledge currently held by authors.Here are just some of the audience responses to Jean-Claude Guédon's keynote:
- Watch Jean-Claude Guédon's opening keynote in full here:
Panel: HSS After FinchRupert Gatti, Open Book PublishersPhilippe Aigrain, author of SharingCarl-Christian Buhr, European CommissionSally Hardy, Regional Studies AssociationKim Hackett, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)We heard a series of provocations from each of the panelists, including an impassioned speech from Rupert Gatti, who argued that we are doing real social harm by restricting scholarly communication to the book format with a pay-for-access model; the personal refections of Philippe Aigrain following the open access publication of his latest book; a balanced view from Carl Buhr describing the EC's attitude towards green/gold oa publishing; a reflection of the role of leaned societies by Sally Hardy and an update on HEFCE's attitude towards open access and the REF from Kim Hackett.Here are just some of the audience responses to the debate:
- Watch the HSS After Finch panel session in full here: