Guest Post — Exploring the Strengths and Limitations of Replication in the Humanities: Two Case Studies

“In the past few years, a variety of articles have examined why attempts to replicate studies in biomedical, natural and social sciences often are without success. These debates on the so-called ‘replication crisis’ led Rik Peels and Lex Bouter in 2018 to ask the question: What about replication in the humanities? Scholars in the humanities go about their research in other ways than those in the sciences, because of the difference in the sources, data and methods they work with, the type of questions they try to answer and the purposes they aim to serve. But two of the things that both domains have in common, is that they aspire to acquire knowledge that is not largely dependent on the idiosyncrasies of the researcher and that their future studies often relate to or build upon the findings of previous ones. Might replication studies be a useful way to corroborate findings in the humanities? If so, what would they look like in various fields within the humanities and how would they differ from replication in the biomedical, natural and social sciences? What aims would they strive for in terms of epistemic progress? What can the humanities learn from replication studies in the sciences and vice versa? In addition to this, we need to ask whether and how, as Peels and Bouter introduced, replication might contribute to the trustworthiness of research in the humanities. Furthermore, concerns regarding replication studies in the humanities voiced by other scholars, like Leonelli and Penders, Holbrook and De Rijcke, call for further investigation….”

Investigating Open Access Publishing Practices of Early and Mid?Career Researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences Disciplines – Ayeni – 2022 – Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Although open access (OA) to research outputs has been proven to improve research readership, citation, and impact, the uptake of OA in some disciplines has remained low. In this paper, we investigated and compared OA publishing practices of early career and mid-career researchers in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) disciplines in Canada. The descriptive survey design with the use of online questionnaire was employed. Participants were drawn from a group of 15 public research universities via their openly available emails on university websites. Survey data was analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings show that in the last three years, 74.1% of mid-career researchers have published in OA journals, compared to 63.1% of early career researchers. However, OA publishing of monographs (21.3%) and conference proceedings (29.9%), as well as the frequency and extent OA publishing remains low among all participants. ANOVA results (F [2, 218] = 3.683, p = .027, ?2 = .033) showed that 3.3% of the variance in researchers’ OA publishing frequency can be attributed to their disciplines. Overall, OA publishing among researchers in the HASS disciplines is still low. Hence, there is a need to identify factors that facilitate or hinder HASS researchers’ OA publishing.


Factors influencing Canadian HASS researchers’ open access publishing practices: Implication for the future of scholarly communication | Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes du congrès annuel de l’ACSI

Despite increasing awareness and support for open access (OA) publishing, and the advantages of doing so, there is still a low uptake of OA in some disciplines. We surveyed 228 early and mid-career researchers from 15 public universities in Canada. The Social Exchange Theory provided a theoretical foundation that informed factors investigated in this study. Correlation and regression analyses were used to test research hypotheses, while one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to test level of effect sizes within subjects. Findings show that altruism (r =.352, ? = .331) influenced researchers’ OA publishing practices whereas visibility and prestige do not, even though they are positively correlated. Furthermore, ANOVA results showed that researchers’ career stages have significant effect on their OA publishing practices as mid-career researchers published more in OA outlets. Therefore, building structures and policies that spur researchers’ altruism towards publishing OA should be a continuous and future approach to achieving the ideals of OA in Canada.

Own Music! Own Books! – Popula

“It’s long past time for media ownership to be recognized as an essential right. The Internet Archive and all other digital libraries and archives must be protected, and people need to see this ludicrously unethical suit by big publishers for what it is: an assault on art and truth and its protection for posterity.”


“In the last few years, several major museums and libraries have instituted an open access policy by designating most or all of the public domain art in their collections with a creative commons license making them available for use for any purpose with no restrictions attached.

We sort through and aggregate the best of these images in one location to make them easy to discover and download.

Some of our sources include….”

Music Library Association Opens Publications at Internet Archive – Internet Archive Blogs

“For librarians who specialize in caring for music collections, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest technology and resources in the profession. The Music Library Association recently helped address this problem by making many of its publications openly available online.

The MLA donated 21 of its monographs to the Internet Archive for digitization and worked with authors to make the material free to the public under Creative Commons licenses. 

The new collection of backlist titles includes information on careers in music librarianship and history of the field. It also covers planning and building music library collections, which can be complicated and involve individual creators and small publishers, said Kathleen DeLaurenti, who helped lead the partnership with the Internet Archive in her role as MLA’s first open access editor. There are also valuable materials on music library approaches to technical services—everything from how to preserve music materials to how to bind and catalog them….”

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives & Wikidata: Adding Artist Files to Wikidata – Smithsonian Libraries / Unbound

“The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Art and Artist Files collection is a dynamic and valuable resource for art historical research. In total, the Smithsonian has hundreds of thousands of physical files, containing millions of ephemeral items: newspaper clippings, press releases, brochures, invitations, and so much more. The files hold information on artists, art collectives, and galleries, but in formats that would normally have been tossed out, being too small to catalog and shelve in a library in the usual way. Because these special items fall between the cracks of typical library and research organizational practices, libraries that collect these materials are coming up with innovative ways to make their contents discoverable to a wider world. Which made them a wonderful collection to experiment with as a part of our Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Wikidata pilot projects! …”

Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform | Arts |

“To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open access platform with bilingual descriptions of over 140,000 objects, photographs, and archival documents from its collections. The site also features approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that may be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on their use.

Created to provide unparalleled access to the Museum’s collections, the project is a first for the institution. The new platform, whose content will be constantly updated, was launched with the support of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage….”

Chopin Heritage in Open Access – Répertoire International des Sources Musicales

“30,000 photographs, 500 first editions of Chopin’s works, more than 3,000 issues of 19th-century magazines, almost 1,000 hours of recordings, manuscripts, works, Fryderyk Chopin’s correspondence, hundreds of iconographic objects and works of art – the largest Chopin collection in the world is now available online for free!…”

Eine postdigitale Bibliothek der Kunstgeschichte – Gespräch mit Golo Maurer von der Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rom (1) – Aus der Forschungs­bibliothek Krekelborn

From Google’s English:  “Open Access (OA) has nothing to do with publishing suddenly becoming free. There are no volunteers doing slave service. If the publication is to have quality, it has to be edited and proofread, it has to be set and provided with illustrations, etc., just as it used to be. The costs only shift, but have to be paid for. The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) has an interesting financing model: It assumes that one third of the costs will be paid by the MPDL, one third by the publisher and one third by the author. The publisher can pursue a double strategy by offering the online publications in OA mode, but at the same time producing print copies that are subject to a fee. Such are still wanted by some institutions and private individuals.  …

If you, as a non-institutional author, want to publish your contribution OA, either the publisher has to bear all the costs or you share them with the publisher. In this respect, OA is window dressing….”

Copyright and Open Access in UK Heritage Collections Tickets, Wed 16 Mar 2022 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

“The Towards a National Collection Directorate is pleased to announce a webinar on the topic of copyright and open access in UK heritage collections. Our two speakers, both experts in their fields, have been commissioned by Towards a National Collection to prepare state-of-the-sector reports to open debate on future copyright and open access practice and recommendations. The recommendations they will present are their own and their reports form part of the evidence that Towards a National Collection continues to gather to determine the future policies it will recommend. We look forward to hearing your thoughts in this vital area….”

A Digital Archive of Hieronymus Bosch’s Complete Works: Zoom In & Explore His Surreal Art | Open Culture

“The Bosch Project (aka the Bosch Research and Conservation Project) began in 2010 as a way to bring together the artist’s 45 paintings “spread across 2 continents, 10 countries, 18 cities, and 20 collections” for in-depth research, available to everyone….

Here is where the Bosch Project website shines. The “synchronized image viewers” allow us to zoom in to the smallest brushstroke to examine Bosch’s detailed worlds and characters. And in a nod to his use of triptychs, the other two sides of the painting zoom in as well. It makes for some interesting, but not essential, juxtapositions. It’s also easy to move around in the work with just the scrollwheel of the mouse. Other paintings allow the viewer to examine the infrared reflectogram of the painting’s layers, exposing Bosch’s corrections and deletions. Closer examination of his grand panels reveals Bosch’s cartoonish brushwork, his caricature, and his immense humor. For sure, the artist wanted us to meditate on greater matters like our own salvation, but there’s so much fun in the way he paints animals, or in the bacchanalia of The Garden of Earthly Delights, you can be forgiven for thinking he’d want to party as well. Grab that scroll wheel and check out the Garden—there’s plenty of room. Enter the Bosch Project website here….”

Auguste Rodin’s Sculptures Are In The Public Domain; 3D Scans Of Them Should Be, Too

“Wenman believes that museums, art galleries and private collectors around the world should make 3D scans of important public domain works and release them freely, thereby becoming “engines of new cultural creation”. The Musée Rodin disagrees, presumably because it is concerned that its monopoly on “original” posthumous casts might be devalued. As a result, it has been fighting for some years Wenman’s efforts to obtain the museum’s 3D scans of Rodin’s works through the courts.

Wenman has tweeted an update on his lawsuit. One piece of good news is that thanks to his legal campaign, the scans carried out for the Musée Rodin’s of two famous works – “The Kiss” and “Sleep” – are now freely available. Even better news is that Wenman has discovered the Musée Rodin has scanned its entire collection at high resolution. As he says: “These documents are of world wide interest and immeasurable artistic, academic, cultural, and commercial value. I am going after all of them, for everyone.” …”

Open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences: Complex perceptions of researchers and implications for research support | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Adoption of open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) is a work in progress, with lower engagement in HASS than most of the natural sciences. HASS research impacts how we live, how we learn and how we see ourselves, and research institutions should encourage and enable their HASS research communities to increase the prevalence of open access research outputs. Six experienced HASS researchers at a single academic institution in Perth, Australia, were interviewed to explore their perceptions and experiences of open access, and any barriers that they had encountered. Thematic analysis was used to code the transcribed interviews, and generate themes.

This study found a wide variance in the adoption of open access practices among HASS researchers. Some participants are publishing via APC-based gold open access (in DOAJ listed journals), while other participants encounter multiple barriers to sharing more of their work as open access. Confusion about aspects of open access is evident. Even among participants who support open access, some have had poor experiences of open access publishing. This research also found that some participants hold extremely complex opinions on open access, which directly influence participants’ behaviour depending on which perspective they are considering. These perspectives are: research supervisor, editorial role at journal, funding assessor and global citizen. Within HASS a diversity of behaviours exists around open access, and research institutions need to tailor their research support services around open access and scholarly publishing for different communities of researchers.