CORE Data | Unlocking Research – Open Research at Cambridge

This is the third of a series of blog posts, presenting the reflections of the Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities. Read the opening post at this link. The working group aimed to reframe open research in a way that was more meaningful to humanities disciplines, and their work will inform the University of Cambridge approach to open research. This post reflects on the concept of FAIR data and proposes an alternative way of thinking about data in the humanities.


The Future of Scholarly Communication | Unlocking Research – Open Research at Cambridge

Authors: Emma Gilby, Matthias Ammon, Rachel Leow and Sam Moore

This is the second of a series of blog posts, presenting the reflections of the Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities.  Read the opening post here. The working group aimed to reframe open research in a way that was more meaningful to humanities disciplines, and their work will inform the University of Cambridge approach to open research.  This post considers the future of scholarly communication from a humanities perspective.


Open Research in the Humanities | Unlocking Research

“The Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities was chaired by Prof. Emma Gilby (MMLL) with Dr. Rachel Leow (History), Dr. Amelie Roper (UL), Dr. Matthias Ammon (MMLL and OSC), Dr. Sam Moore (UL), Prof. Alexander Bird (Philosophy), and Prof. Ingo Gildenhard (Classics). We met for four meetings in July, September, October and December 2021, with a view to steering and developing services in support of Open Research in the Humanities. We aimed notably to offer input on how to define Open Research in the Humanities, how to communicate effectively with colleagues in the Arts and Humanities (A&H), and how to reinforce the prestige around Open Research. We hope to add our perspective to the debate on Open Science by providing a view ‘from the ground’ and from the perspective of a select group of humanities researchers. These disciplinary considerations inevitably overlap, in some measure, with the social sciences and indeed some aspects of STEM, and we hope that they will therefore have a broad audience and applicability.

Academics in A&H are, in the main, deeply committed to sharing their research. They consider their main professional contribution to be the instigation and furthering of diverse cultural conversations. They also consider open public access to their work to be a valuable goal, alongside other equally prominent ambitions: aiming at research quality and diversity, and offering support to early career scholars in a challenging and often precarious employment landscape.  

Although A&H cover a diverse range of disciplines, it is possible to discern certain common elements which guide their profile and impact. These common elements also guide the discussion that follows….”

Paying to publish in Open Access journals: Is all that glitters gold? – World leading higher education information and services

“The gold magazines are mostly in the hands of commercial publishers. Here open access is paid for by authors who pay what are known as article processing charges (APC), that is, article processing costs.

In this case, they are companies whose main and legitimate objective is to make money by publishing scientific journals.

What is striking when comparing APC price lists is the extraordinary diversity (in Elsevier from €170 to €8,500, in Springer-Nature from €505 to €9,500, in Taylor & Francis from €570 to €4,560). , in MDPI from €400 to €2,080) for products with similar fixed costs. But, above all, the marked differences between journals of the same nature and discipline are striking: publishing in a Philosophy journal can cost from €800 (MDPI) to €2,390 (Springer-Nature) or €2,870 (Elsevier)….”

Open-Access-Transformation in der Geschichte

From Google’s English:  “Open access for excellent publications from history: Thanks to the support of 32 scientific libraries and initiatives, a total of new scientific historical publications can be transformed and published directly in open access in 2022, without authors incurring publication costs. The following institutions and initiatives have made the open access publication of this title possible through their contribution: ….”

Centre for Digital Humanities | Open Science grant awarded to Digital Humanities Lab

“The scientific developers of the Utrecht Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) have been awarded a grant from the Open Science Fund. The main objective of the rewarded project is to make the past and future research software of DHLab as FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) as possible.

The Open Science Fund is an opportunity for Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht employees to access small grants with which they can apply Open Science principles into their research….”

Open access titles available thanks to National Endowment for the Humanities – Illinois Press Blog

“In an earlier blog post, we announced that Cara A. Finnegan’s Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital, had received a National Endowment for the Humanities Open Book Award (now Fellowships Open Book Program), a special initiative for scholarly presses to make recent monographs freely available online.

Photographic Presidents and Transforming Women’s Education: Liberal Arts and Music in Female Seminaries by Jewel A. Smith, a recipient of the first round of book awards, are now available open access (OA).

You can access the OA edition of Transforming Women’s Education here and Photographic Presidents here.

Please find the full list of available OA titles made possible by the grant here….”

News – Four universities from the FinELib consortium join the Open Library of Humanities library partnership subsidy model

“We are pleased to announce that FinELib, a consortium of Finnish universities, research institutions, and public libraries have signed an agreement that provides support for the Open Library of Humanities from four of their member institutions: Abo Akademi University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki and University of Jyväskylä. ”

A Ciência Aberta nas Humanidades | SciELO em Perspectiva

From Google’s English: “The scientific world has been undergoing a silent revolution. After centuries based on standards centered on the secrecy of laboratories and the anonymity of scientific evaluation, several disciplines are gradually migrating to what we call the Open Science Program (PCA). This involves a series of transparency policies that range from the availability of data used in research to the opening of opinions in the article evaluation process.

However, few still know about the impact of these transformations in the different areas of the Humanities, which bring together from fields such as Philosophy and History to Social and Human Sciences, such as Sociology and Psychology, passing through the areas of Applied Social Sciences, such as Administration, and Education. It was with the aim of monitoring this process and its main challenges that the SciELO Program held the event Open Science in the Humanities between the 17th and 18th of May. In total, there were six tables with more than two dozen editors and specialists discussing the consequences of the PCA for the area, its potentials and limits.

The first table was dedicated to the challenges of PCA in the Humanities. The director of the SciELO program, Abel Packer, and the deputy director of the Brazilian Association of Scientific Editors (ABEC), Lia Machado Fialho, presented data on the adherence of the Platform’s journals to open science practices. Despite being slow, the incorporation of these practices in the collection is not far from what happens in other areas. Furthermore, there is a whole plurality and creativity in this process, encouraged by the table as a whole. Finally, Professor Fernanda Beigel (University of Cuyo) highlighted the importance of considering regional and international inequalities in this process of spreading the PCA through the Humanities.”

‘Replacing Academic Journals’ | Jeff Pooley


There’s lots to unpack in the Brembsian alternative proposed here. One cornerstone is the adoption of open standards that—as best I understand it—would enable university repositories and nonprofit, community-led platforms like Open Library of Humanities (OLH) to form a kind of global, interoperable library. A second cornerstone is a regulated market for services. In an open procurement process, publishers and other firms—nonprofit or otherwise—would submit bids for peer review services, for example, or for copy editing or even writing software. The idea is that a regulated marketplace will, through competition enabled by open standards, discipline the overall system’s cost.

It’s a fascinating proposal, one that—as the paper notes—could be implemented with existing technologies. The problem is the lever of change. The incumbent publishers’ entrenched position, Brembs et al explain, renders a first move by libraries or scholars impractical. That leaves funders, whose updated rules and review criteria could, the paper argues, tip the incentive structure in the direction of an open, journal-free alternative.



Open Science in translation studies and neighbouring fields

“Translation studies, a discipline place between the humanities and the social sciences, has become an increasingly empirical field. The last 20 years have seen the progress of research avenues heavily influenced by corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics and psychology, among other fields with strong empirical stories. The main goal of this seminar is to create awareness about reusable and replicable methodological frameworks in translation studies and neighbouring areas to allow early career researchers to conduct replicable, reusable and generalisable research studies. While some researchers in the field have already started releasing datasets and protocols of their studies, it would be highly beneficial for the field to discuss and uphold Open Science principles to ensure transparency, availability, reusability, and accessibility…”

UNBIND: Reimagining the academic monograph – CRASSH

“The monograph, or the scholarly book, is today the dominant form of knowledge production in the humanities. But can there exist a more imaginative, creative, or performative alternative? Can we unbind the monograph and transform it into something that resists the marketisation and privatisation of public knowledge? Something that engages robustly with open platforms and public infrastructures?

Cambridge Digital Humanities invites monograph-writers, publishing scholars, publishers, editors, and open access activists for a day-long conversation on the future of the monograph form….”