The sciences may be embracing open access, but the humanities remain cool to the idea. Paul Jump investigates

Many observers have hailed the recent surge of open-access titles launched by commercial publishers as evidence that science is firmly on the road to a fully open-access future.

But it’s a different story in the humanities and social sciences, and the jury is still out on the wisdom of SAGE, the US social science publisher, in launching the first major open-access title outside the sciences.

Even Jayne Marks, vice-president and editorial director of the publisher’s library information group, described SAGE Open, which will span the humanities and social sciences, as “very much a test model”.

Recent figures suggest that 14 per cent of open-access journal publishers are in the humanities, but they account for just 4 per cent of all open-access articles.

Niche open-access journals often operate out of university departments and rely on little more than what Michael Jubb, director of the UK’s Research Information Network, called “the goodwill and hard work of the people who run them”.

Read full story. An interesting story, as many permanent contracts rely upon academics publishing in journals… to spread knowledge further and raise their research profile… so would open-access reach that brief?!

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