Open Access in the humanities made concrete: highlights from the ‘How to make the most of your publications in the humanities?’ workshop

With all things changing for the open in both research policies and practices, there is a growing demand for support enabling humanities scholars to get open innovation rooted in our everyday research practices. To this end, DARIAH and FOSTER Plus brought together humanities researchers from different fields and at different career stages and Open Science experts with domain-specific knowledge to spend a foggy winter day in Berlin and engage in dialogues about trends, innovations, and present-day challenges in opening up scholarly communication in the humanities.

The idea and our main aim were to connect and foster a community based around shared needs and values, good tools, role models and, of course, joint critical thinking about the current options of research dissemination and harmonise them with disciplinary traditions.

…but first: Open Science

The morning session gave us a snapshot of the changing landscape of scholarly communication in the humanities including open peer review, the life of the scholarly monograph on the open web, a landscape study of the current open monograph publishing in Europe, and we also gained insights on how academic libraries can function as scholarly makerplaces for Digital Humanities. In the afternoon, we shifted towards more intensive exchange and co-creation with three hands-on sessions dedicated to the topics of open licensing, self-archiving of publications and open data management. The slides and the collection of tweets running with the hashtag #humanitiesOA are online now and here you can read highlights and key takeaways from each session.  

Speaking of highlights, a dedicated priority of the workshop was to support the next generation of researchers in their metaphorical journey to the open research culture – and enable their non-metaphorical travel to the workshop by launching a blog competition for travel scholarships.  Accordingly, we started the day by listening to the stories of our two winners, Stefan Stevovic, who is doing his master studies in History at the University of Novi Sad, and James L. Smith, postdoctoral researcher in spatial and environmental humanities at the Trinity College of Dublin and author, editor and advocacy coordinator for the Open Library of Humanities, telling about what or who helped them in shifting towards a more transparent and more accessible research culture, how they make their research work for the society and what are the challenges they are facing in doing so. Also, what their advice is for those taking their first steps towards open research practices.

Throughout the workshop, we saw excellent examples of how different generations can empower each other to promote a shift in research culture for the digital and open transformation of humanities. In this respect, bidirectional tutoring and coaching can be real game changers just as much as keeping continuous and honest conversations about responsible openness, transparency in research evaluation and metrics, double standards in the academic ecosystem, or fears from and rewards for data sharing.

For more details, insights and links to the presentations click here.

Big thanks to all the wonderful people who made it possible to have such a successful and enjoyable event: to my co-organizer Helene Brinken, to Andreas Degkwitz and the Humboldt University Library who hosted us, to all the experts who contributed to the workshop by their presentations or hands-on sessions, and of course to the workshop participants who brought their questions and case studies and partnered us for the exchange.  

You are very welcome to join too!  Let us hear about:

  • How do you disseminate your research results?
  • What are your pros and cons for sharing your research data or sharing your publications as preprints?
  • What are the topic areas in in Open Scholarship that you are especially interested about? In this twitter poll we give some ideas you can vote for or suggest new ones.

 

 


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