How AI could reveal secrets of thousands of handwritten documents – from medieval manuscripts to hieroglyphics

“Ansund aims to use HTR [handwritten text recognition] to build an exhaustive, open-access digital corpus of Old English texts, that transcribes all surviving Old English for the first time, and in an unparalleled level of detail.”

New report “Recognising Digital Scholarly Outputs in the Humanities” | ALLEA

This report underscores the transformative impact of digital practices on humanities scholarship. It highlights the importance of recognising interdisciplinary work, innovative research methods, and non-traditional scholarly outputs. In the first part, the ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities addresses challenges in digital humanities, focusing on transparency in linking resources to publications, recognising updates as scholarly contributions, reevaluating authorship, fostering digital skills, and adjusting evaluation methods.

The second section offers recommendations for assessing specific digital outputs like editions, databases, infographics, code, blogs, and podcasts. Each case study includes practical examples and suggested readings.


Humanities Guåhan to archive and digitize resource center | Guam News |

“Humanities Guåhan received an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Pacific Islands Cultural Initiative to fund the coestablishment of the Pacific Islands Humanities Network.

This funding will go toward developing a new digital resource center to preserve and enhance accessibility to valuable educational and cultural resources related to Guåhan, Micronesia and the broader Pacific region, according to Humanities Guåhan….”

Evaluación de la ciencia en acceso abierto digital diamante – CLACSO

From Google’s English:  “Within the framework of the Diamond World Open Access Summit, which took place from October 23 to 27 in Toluca, Mexico, at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, headquarters of Redalyc, the Network of Scientific Journals of Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal, and of which CLACSO is one of the organizers, we present this volume, which proposes a conceptual and methodological framework to characterize the knowledge published in Open Access Digital Diamante.

This book shows the application of the methodology to the scientific production of Social Sciences, Art and Humanities by authors from all over the world published in Ibero-American magazines between 2005 and 2022. In this, use is made of the database provided by Redalyc, the which accounts for a specific publication model: Diamond Digital Open Access.”

Open-access theology : introducing the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology’s digital publishing model

Abstract:  The St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology (SAET) is an online multi-author reference work designed as a resource for those engaged with, or wishing to learn more about, the academic study of theology. The SAET seeks to provide a suite of comprehensive, fully open-access peer-reviewed articles with no fees or sign-up requirements. In doing so, the editors aim to improve the availability of high-quality information for readers worldwide, especially those for whom access to resources through traditional academic publishing is restricted by cost, lack of institutional affiliation, or limited library resources. This article introduces the SAET’s digital publishing model, discussing the scholarly and editorial principles that have informed the development of the project. In particular, the article examines the ways in which the SAET’s commitment to providing quality open-access scholarship has significantly shaped the project’s information management and publishing processes. Technical strategies for widening access to theological knowledge are discussed, focusing on information discovery through the Encyclopaedia’s faceted search and in-article hyperlinks, as well as available article formats (HTML and PDF). This is accompanied by an explanation of strategies for long-term curation and preservation of theological knowledge within the SAET, namely capturing and preserving conceptual information through enriched XML mark-up and embedded metadata. The SAET’s article lifecycle is then conceptualized in reference to digital curation and preservation actions described by the Digital Curation Centre’s ‘DCC Curation Lifecycle Model’, leading to conclusions about the distinctive character of the SAET article workflow, in which curation and preservation of theological knowledge is integrated into its creation and production.


Zwanzig Jahre Open Access: Welche Rechte bleiben den Autoren?

From Google’s English:  “The theme of the week, “Community over Commercialization,” recalled the movement’s idealistic initial impulse. Open Access has now also become the business area of ??the major international publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley, which have been criticized by the Open Access movement for years for their aggressive pricing policies. The contracts negotiated with the Deal Consortium, an association of German libraries and scientific organizations, give major publishers another tool to get rid of medium-sized publishing companies that were not involved in the negotiations.

Open Access has thus become the successful model of the oligopoly capitalism that gave birth to the movement back then. For him, the “great transformation” is now complete. You can now devote yourself to the emerging business area of ??data analysis. If you believe the deal group’s own statement, then the jointly negotiated contracts have at least reduced costs. Further price developments remain to be seen; the chances of price increases are good for major publishers….

In addition, author rights are sacrificed at the altar of “community”. The author license BB-CY, favored by the Deal Group, gives everyone the right to compile any essays by scientists and publish them in a different context without asking the author. In principle, it is then possible for the work of a left-liberal author to suddenly appear in a right-wing conservative publisher. With the CC-0 license, the author can even be omitted. Doubtful business models have already grown on this soil. Things also get confusing when a text is translated by an AI language model. Depending on the input command, this can lead to major changes. However, the author’s name must be retained for legal reasons. In the future, authors may come across texts that are marked with their name, but which they themselves never wrote that way….”

Datasheets for Digital Cultural Heritage Datasets – Journal of Open Humanities Data

Abstract:  Sparked by issues of quality and lack of proper documentation for datasets, the machine learning community has begun developing standardised processes for establishing datasheets for machine learning datasets, with the intent to provide context and information on provenance, purposes, composition, the collection process, recommended uses or societal biases reflected in training datasets. This approach fits well with practices and procedures established in GLAM institutions, such as establishing collections’ descriptions. However, digital cultural heritage datasets are marked by specific characteristics. They are often the product of multiple layers of selection; they may have been created for different purposes than establishing a statistical sample according to a specific research question; they change over time and are heterogeneous. Punctuated by a series of recommendations to create datasheets for digital cultural heritage, the paper addresses the scope and characteristics of digital cultural heritage datasets; possible metrics and measures; lessons from concepts similar to datasheets and/or established workflows in the cultural heritage sector. This paper includes a proposal for a datasheet template that has been adapted for use in cultural heritage institutions, and which proposes to incorporate information on the motivation and selection criteria, digitisation pipeline, data provenance, the use of linked open data, and version information.

De Gruyter introduces Paradigm Publishing Services | De Gruyter

“De Gruyter, a global publisher in the humanities and social sciences, is proud to announce the creation of a new dedicated division, Paradigm Publishing Services. The new division offers publishing solutions to meet the unique needs of publishers in the humanities and social sciences as well as in scientific associations, societies, and library publishing programs. At a time when achieving global accessibility while upholding financial sustainability is paramount, Paradigm Publishing Services aims to aid publishers in adapting and revitalizing their business strategies and publishing operations.

Under the leadership of De Gruyter Inc. President Steve Fallon and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the Paradigm team will uphold a worldwide presence through established De Gruyter brands, including open access providers Ubiquity and Sciendo as well as the University Press Library Group. Leveraging the comprehensive range of products, services, and talent available across these units, Paradigm is committed to offering an innovative approach that maximizes the potential of its portfolio….”

“I Am in a Privileged Situation”: Examining the Factors Promoting Inequity in Open Access Publishing – Ayeni – 2023 – Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Despite increasing advocacy for open access (OA), the uptake of OA in some disciplines has remained low. Existing studies have linked the low uptake in OA publishing in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) to disciplinary norm, limited funding to pay for article processing charges (APCs), and researchers’ preferences. However, there is a growing concern about inequity in OA scholarly communication, as it has remained inaccessible and unaffordable to many researchers. This study therefore investigated inequity in OA publishing in Canada. Using semi-structured interviews, qualitative data was collected from 20 professors from the HSS disciplines of research-intensive universities in Canada. Data was analyzed with NVivo software following the reflexive thematic analysis approach. Findings revealed three main causes of inequity in OA publishing among the participants. These are the cost of APCs, unequal privileges, and gender disparities. Hence, there is a need for concerted efforts by funding agencies, stakeholders, higher education institutions, and researchers to promote equity in OA scholarly communication. Some recommendations for improving equity in OA publishing are provided in this paper.

New path opens up support for humanities in OA publishing – Digital Science

“Open Access (OA) publishing faces many challenges, including misgivings about quality and difficulties with funding and distribution. But we believe that the benefits of sharing knowledge with researchers everywhere, including in low-income nations, far exceed the obstacles. This is why, in line with our mission to expand access to knowledge and education for everyone, we are collaborating with university presses on Path to Open, a new pilot program that supports libraries’ efforts to increase cultural diversity and invest in sustainable OA solutions while reducing financial risk for academic publishers to invest in authors and their scholarship.

Path to Open was developed in partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), University of Michigan Press, and The University of North Carolina Press to bring about equitable access and impact for the entire scholarly community. This funding model will provide libraries with affordable access to diverse, high-quality frontlist titles; support small and medium university presses in open access publishing; help authors reach a global audience; and advance equity of access to underserved researchers around the world….”

Dawn of the Zombie Journal: New Poster (and T-Shirt) Celebrate History of OA Community Activism | Open Library of Humanities

To celebrate Open Access Week 2023 (and its proximity to Halloween), the OLH is launching the Zombie Poster. This commemorates the term ‘zombie journal’, first used by linguists in 2015 following the mass resignation of editors at the Elsevier journal Lingua. Protesting Elsevier’s claim to ‘own’ their journal, the international linguistics community boycotted Lingua and launched the community-owned open access journal Glossa in its place (published by the OLH). What was left behind was dubbed ‘Zombie Lingua’.


New Forum 13+ and Taylor & Francis Transformative Agreement to Realize the Benefits of Open Access for Germany’s Researchers – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

“Researchers in Germany will see a major boost to the reach and impact of their work as they join authors in other European countries benefitting from Taylor & Francis open access (OA) agreements.

A German library negotiation team under the umbrella of Forum 13+ and Taylor & Francis have announced a new three-year ‘read & publish’ deal, to begin in 2024. This will ensure researchers have continued access to Taylor & Francis journals and can choose OA for their articles in more than 2,000 Open Select (hybrid) titles.

These include journals under the Routledge imprint, one of the world’s largest Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) portfolios. It is anticipated that over 60% of articles published open access through the agreement will be in HSS subjects.

The agreement’s publishing allocation has been designed to enable all new articles with a corresponding author at one of the participating institutions to be made open access in hybrid Taylor & Francis journals.

German higher education and research institutions are now invited to join a consortium, with almost a hundred signaling their intention to do so during a consultation on the deal over the summer.

The consortium will be established and managed by the ZBW – Information Centre for Economics, a research-based information infrastructure for economics and a member of the German Leibniz Association….”

Current and back content of Penn Press journal Manuscript Studies to become fully Open Access | Penn Libraries

“Effective in 2024, and made possible by the generous support of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, all current and back content of the journal Manuscript Studies will become fully Open Access (OA) under the Diamond OA model, which allows readers and authors to access journal content free of charge.

Manuscript Studies joins the University of Pennsylvania Press’s growing Open Access journals program which also includes the Journal of Disaster Studies, Observational Studies, and Pasados: Recovering History, Imagining Latinidad.?Content for Penn Press’s Open Access journals is available on Project MUSE….”

Brill and De Gruyter jointly announce agreement is reached to form De Gruyter Brill.

“The transaction creates the leading academic publisher in the Humanities and presents a unique opportunity to accelerate organic growth and achieve necessary scale. With pro forma combined revenues of around EUR 134 million and 750 employees, the combination will be well-positioned to offer the best possible service and infrastructure to its communities. The combination will jointly publish well over 3,500 books and 800 journals per year. The enlarged scale will accelerate a transition to Open Access, finance investments in technology for end-to-end workflows and a cutting-edge market-facing (content) platform. Furthermore, it will enable the company to face market challenges, allow more effective sales & marketing and increase the ability to attract and retain talent. The combination of two centuries-old publishing houses will be branded De Gruyter Brill, signaling the importance of the strong heritage and family background of both companies….”

Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Canada

“The Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences (the Federation) recently convened a conversation about the state of Open Access programs and policy in Canada and the future of Open Access in the humanities and social sciences.

The Federation was joined by Darcy Cullen, of digital publishing platform RavenSpace, Dr. Ray Siemens and Dr. Alyssa Arbuckle of research network Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), Susan Haigh of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), and Jessica Clark of non-profit publishing platform Érudit to discuss….”