Open Access Journals: Desirable and Inevitable?

Interesting piece from Times Higher Education: We continue to witness a lot of back and forth between publishers and open-access advocates about the merits of Research Councils UK’s open-access policy - but where does it leave journal editors? Some have echoed the publishers’ fears that open access will ruin their business models or undermine journal quality by scaring off top international authors. But not all editors share this view. I co-edit two humanities journals: one, Shakespeare,…

Fools' Gold?

Open Access still causing ripples: When UK academics in the humanities and social sciences complain of "cataclysms", "delusional fantasies" and "sleepwalking into disaster", you might assume they are talking about the recent removal of public funding for teaching their subjects. But there is another aspect of the government's higher education policy that is causing increasing numbers of non-science scholars to fear the worst. Twelve months ago, open access was a somewhat arcane cause, particularly outside…

Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production

New online technologies have brought with them a great promise of freedom. The computer and particularly the Internet have been represented as enabling technologies, turning consumers into users and users into producers. Furthermore, lay people and amateurs have been enthusiastically greeted as heroes of the digital era. This thoughtful study casts a fresh light on the shaping of user participation in the context of, among others, popular discourse in and around new media. Schäfer’s groundbreaking…

Opening night, curtain call?

He has adopted double-blind reviewing at the Quarterly (where neither party is known to the other), whereas the open peer-review experiment required both authors' and reviewers' names to be revealed. Dr Schalkwyk said the experiment had been prompted primarily by a desire to harness the web's potential to support greater scholarly discussion. It also reflected a feeling that "if we were going to talk about Shakespeare and new media, we should practise new media ways of…

Open Access Journals: Has the shine faded?

The recent launch of several high-profile open-access journals by commercial publishers including Nature Publishing Group and SAGE elicited cheers from veterans of the open-access movement. Here, they thought, was evidence that their ideal of making research freely available online, as expressed in 2002's landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative document, was finally gaining mainstream traction. But according to Christopher Pressler, director of research library services at the University of London, the enthusiasm for "gold" (journal-based) open…
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