By Graham Steel
The Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference took place over 1st and 2nd July at the The British Library, London.
“JISC Collections, in partnership with OAPEN Foundation, is holding a two-day international conference intended for all stakeholders in scholarly communications including European research funders, senior institutional managers, publishers, learned societies, librarians and researchers. The conference aims 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)”.
Further background about the event can be found here, the programme here, HD videos here, the Twitter hashtag for the event was #OA Books and Kirsty Pitkin is creating a Storify (link to follow).
Some selected highlights.
Setting the scene was Conference Chair Professor Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor, University of Salford with this excellent short talk.
After this opening Keynote by Jean-Claude Guédon, University of Montreal titled “The three sociologies of the book, the e-book, and Open Access”
this was immediately followed by a one hour Panel (VIDEO): “HSS after Finch” Chaired by Martin Hall. Martin mentioned that he was amember of the Finch Committee on Open Access.
The Panelists were:
Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publishers
Philippe Aigrain, author of Sharing
Carl-Christian Buhr, European Commission
Sally Hardy, Regional Studies Association
Kim Hackett, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
After lunch and a Poster Session, the afternoon started with a Session: “Promising Business Models” Chaired by Brian Hole Co-Founder and Director of Ubiquity Press.
This session featured:
Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards, Open Library of Humanities
Frances Pinter, Knowledge Unlatched
Carrie Calder, Palgrave Macmillan
Next up was a very interesting Session: “Copyright and Creative Commons” Chaired again by Martin Hall.
The two speakers for this session were:
Ben White Head of Intellectual Property, British Library
Joscelyn Upendran, Zilpa
Between the two of them, they provided a detailed overview of copyright in the UK and Creative Commons.
The second Keynote of the Conference was delivered by Kathleen Fitzpatrick. Kathleen is an American scholar of digital Humanities. She is Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association (MLA), Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College (on leave), Visiting Research Professor of English at New York University, and is co-editor of Media Commons.
Her thirty minute talk focused namely on peer review, open peer review and quality. She spoke of some of the failures with the historical procedures of peer review and how the age of open networks allows new and better practices of performing peer to peer review. New forms of openness such as blogs, the open sharing of information generally facilitate new ways to experiment and explore better practices in peer review and quality.
Day one concluded with the live launch of Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). Bas Savenije Director of the Netherlands National Library (KB) and Eelco Ferwerda, Director OAPEN were the speakers in this session.
Bas spoke first and straight away mentioned that the purpose of this session was to launch DOAB. The purpose of DOAB was to provide a sustainable platform for peer reviewed quality controlled open access books namely in HSS. Bas said that the launch of DOAB was made possible following the success of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which has just celebrated its 10th Anniversary since it launched back in 2003. Bas then invited the two sponsors of DOAB to take to the stage:-
Veronika Spinka, SpringerOpen Books Manager, Springer Open
Sam Bruinsma, Vice President Business Development & E-Publishing, Brill
Bas then handed over to Eelco to introduce and launch DOAB !! He mentioned that the idea of DOAB started in 2009 at the first OASPA Conference and was developed with the Founders of DOAJ and David Prosser, Director of SPARC Europe at that time. Transparency, Peer Review, a flexible choice of Creative Commons licences and quality control will be key factors of the platform.
Following a short video animation, the DOAB was officially launched.
Unlike day one, the only session recorded on day two was the closing Keynote by Cameron Neylon, Director of Advocacy, PLOS. Prior to that, the morning and afternoon split into the following strands:
Strand 1: How exactly do you get your monograph published in open access?
“This strand is for HSS researchers and PhD students who are interested in the idea of an open access monograph. It will take them through the process step by step, introduce them to key sources of information and make sure they are aware of any issues”.
Strand 2: Open Access books and the supply chain
“The current supply chain is set up around publishers selling monographs and edited collections on one side and libraries and individual users purchasing on the other. In a move to Open Access, regardless of the business model, there will be changes to workflows, processes and new steps will be introduced. The aim of this strand is to introduce delegates to some examples of changes to workflows and to work taking place in the area of metadata, quality assurance and standards to support the flow of OA monographs into the supply chain and the discovery of OA monographs by librarians and end users. Participants will also be invited to join a discussion on discovery and dissemination of OA monographs and suggest other elements that will need to be explored and to support an effective supply chain”.
Strand 3: How can funders and policy makers support the transition to OA monographs?
“This strand is for policy makers and funders to look at where collaboration will help to support a robust research environment. The session will bring together policy makers and research funders that are interested or actively involved in supporting Open Access for monographs, through specific experiments, projects or funding schemes”.
The Conference concluded with Cameron’s talk. A few minutes before delivering it, he hinted on Twitter that in terms of his slides, he would be doing something, a bit different.
The following comment pretty much summarises the general feeling by the end of day two:
“But the best thing, as Cameron said, was a feeling that everyone wanted to engage with each other; that competition, if there was any, was friendly, and that we're expecting to see the diversity of traditional book publishing recreated in an open access world”. SOURCE
Photos by @ernestopriego
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