Open Access Toolkit: DARIAH’s practical recommendations to promote Open Access within the arts and humanities


Where can I find Open Access journals in my field? When and how can I share my article as a preprint? Does publishing Open Access necessarily involve paying processing charges? These are just some of the questions we are asking from ourselves when exploring the options for open dissemination of our research. In this post, which is the second part of our Open Access in the humanities blog series, we bring together recommendations, tools, platforms and other resources that you may find helpful in answering these questions. All of them are available for everyone, regardless of geographical or disciplinary background, and can be directly and easily included in the publishing workflows of our communities. We address the following areas:

  1. Your options to publish Open Access
  2. Self-archiving know-how
  3. Licensing
  4. How to make sure that all your research outputs are citable and findable
  5. Open Access with no author-fees

Being open is your right and choice as a researcher, and the benefits of openness will accrue to you as well to your discipline and the wider audiences for your research. By following a few simple steps, you can fully contribute to this approach to knowledge sharing.

Explore your options to publish Open Access

  • As a first step, we recommend you to explore the Open Access publication venues that are relevant to your field. You can browse the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) or the LAL Academy’s list of Open Access journals, books, and databases in Linguistics, Literature and Language Studies for reliable information about verified Open Access scholarly journals and book publishers. As a second step,  consult your institutional librarian about fully Open Access publication forums, offsetting deals, partnerships, publication grants and other funding opportunities that are available for your institution.


  • There are many free-to-publish Open Access journals available for arts and humanities. Besides, in recent years new models have emerged for Open Access book publishing where the publication costs are covered by library crowdsourcing models, institutional funds or endowments or freemium models such as the Open Library of Humanities, Knowledge Unlatched, Language Science Press or OpenEdition to name but a few.


  • Contrary to the increasing number of and diversity in Open Access publishing opportunities and the massive policy-level support behind them, in the current academic landscape there might still be sound reasons that prevent publishing in Open Access journals or books. This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot make your research openly accessible. By depositing your works in institutional repositories, subject repositories or preprint servers, you can make your research free and in almost all cases immediately accessible to everyone regardless of your publishing choices. Below you can find more information about the practical steps.

(Image credit: Lisa Matthias and Jon Tennant, CC-BY)

Build digital sovereignty: ensure that your outputs are available in a publicly maintained environment

  • Systematically deposit your work in an open and public repository, institutional or otherwise. If your institution does not provide an open archive, using a sustainable, free and open archive such as HAL, Zenodo or Humanities Commons is also possible. The Directory of Open Access Repositories helps you to find the most suitable archive for your work.


  • If you are not comfortable with sharing your work prior to peer review, depositing pre-prints or post-prints after the peer-review procedure is ended is an option for you. Involve your co-authors in the deposit process, by asking for their agreement in an earliest possible phase of your cooperation, by identifying them during the deposit process, and by systematically adding their institutional affiliation. We kindly ask you to deposit your DARIAH-relevant works to the DARIAH collection on HAL by simply adding DARIAH to the Collaboration/Project metadata field. For more information about preprints and licensing, you can consult ASAPbio’s preprint licensing FAQ.
  • Even if you choose to publish your work in an Open Access journal, deposit the full text of the author’s version in an open archive. It will guarantee free and sustainable access to your work in the case that the dissemination policy of your publisher changes in the future.

    How to know your publisher’s policies?

    Most publishers have a deposit policy, which may comprise an embargo before the document can be made available online after the publication date. The policies for most major journals and publishers can be found on the SHERPA/RoMEO portal.

  • Deposit your work as soon as possible. DARIAH recommends to deposit a revised full text of the author’s version as soon as it is sent to your publisher.


  • You can also deposit your past publications in an open archive, provided you ensure that you have right and relevant permission to do so. Don’t hesitate to contact your publisher for more information.


  • You can also deposit non peer-reviewed materials (also called preprints) in an open archive. As they have not yet been published, your rights have not already been transferred to a publisher. Publishing a non-peer reviewed work in Open Access does not mean that you are avoiding peer-review evaluation; but it enables you to minimize diffusion delays. You will be able to share your work with your colleagues, receive their feedback, get cited and create new collaborations. This usually does not count as ‘previous publication’ for subsequent submission to journals.


The life cycle of a publication

  • Author version: corresponds to any text with content that is directly produced by its authors. This includes the initial manuscript and its subsequent versions, the manuscript submitted for review to a conference or a journal.
  • Initial manuscript: first form of the author version disseminated in open access.
  • Submitted manuscript: first form of the author version sent to a conference or a journal for peer review.
  • Revised manuscript after review: last author version as transmitted to the conference or journal after peer review.
  • Publisher’s version: document possibly formatted by the conference or journal publisher and distributed by the latter. If the copyright is owned by the publisher, authors are not allowed to share this version.


Be aware of your licensing options

  • Release your work under as open a license as possible, in order to facilitate its wide re-use. DARIAH recommends to use a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY 4.0). A CC-BY license allows another user to copy, distribute, display, perform your work, and make derivatives based on it, but only if the user gives you credit. CC-BY makes your position and that of your audiences clear, opening your work to reuse while also protecting the value of scholarly accountability, provenance and credit-giving. If you have concerns or would like to learn more about the benefits but also the limitations of CC-BY in an arts and humanities context, the Open Licensing chapter of Paul Martin Eve’s monograph Open Access and the Humanities Contexts, Controversies and the Future gives you a concise set of practical information and use cases.


  • In case the use of third-party material does not allow for open licensing of each part of your work, we recommend to use the least restrictive license applicable to your content. You can exclude third-party material from the license provision of your publication, but make sure to mark these exceptions clearly. This way the rights of the original copyright holder are respected while you are free to release your own publication under an open license.




  • Being aware of the ownership status of your published works is an essential first step in making them publicly available. If you have publications or are planning to publish in non-open access journals, check the conditions of licensing, copyright transfer and the termination of transfer provisions. This allows you to legally share your work and terminate licensing arrangements you have made with publishers that have prevented them from sharing openly your works. The Termination of Transfer tool or the  SPARC Author Addendum are useful resources for this purpose.


  • Identify your expectations towards and assess the credentials of a journal or publisher you are planning to publish. For instance, high-quality metadata including persistent identifiers significantly increase the discoverability of your paper while an inappropriately annotated license information can easily make your Open Access research unrecognizable for machine reading and indexing services. These aspects are just as important selection criteria as e.g. the transparent communication of fees or peer review policy. The Think. Check. Submit. platform provides a useful checklist to identify trusted journals that meet your expectations as an author. The Cofactor journal selector or the Quality Open Access Market are also useful tools for helping to decide where to publish.

Make it citable, make it findable

  • Create a unique and persistent Researcher Identifier. A Researcher Identifier or Author Identifier is a digital and persistent code (persistent digital identifier, unique identifier…) assigned to a researcher. This identifier unambiguously identifies a researcher and unequivocally allocates their research outputs (publications, datasets, funded projects…) to them. You should favor Researcher Identifiers created by a free, public and open service like IdHals or ORCID. This blog post gives you an idea of how to make the most from your ORCID ID.


  • To maximize the potentials of books and research articles and increase the reusability of research results, link persistent identifiers also to your data and software outputs and use these identifiers for data and software citations. Linking your data (e.g. annotations, textual data, geospatial data, musical notations, audiovisual data, images) and software with your publications are essential in keeping the different components of the same project together and thus making its results truly reproducible or reusable. You can make accessible and assign persistent identifiers to your data and code by depositing them in data repositories. To learn about which repository fits your needs in terms of data type, discipline and country, you can consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) or its special application for arts and humanities, the demonstrator instance of Data Deposit Recommendation Service (DDRS). The CiteAs tool helps you to get the correct citation form for diverse research products, from software to preprints.  

Does Gold Open Access equal high publishing costs?

In terms of business models, a fundamental entailment of Open Access publishing is replacing the current subscription model of scholarly publishing to one that provides free access to readers. The most known such business model of Open Access publishing is based on APCs (article processing charges) where the cost of publication is paid by authors or their funders or institutions in order to enable free access to the scholarly content. This model however can only be partially associated with gold Open Access, and indeed most ‘gold’ OA journals do not charge any article processing charges according to the DOAJ.

The recognition that paying for the costs of publishing is not an affordable option for many research communities and therefore it generates massive inequalities in open scholarly communication gave rise to more inclusive and sustainable alternative business models both open and free to authors as well as readers. In these non-author-fee publishing models, many of which are based on elements of crowdsourcing funding schemas, subscription expenditures are redirected towards Open Access publishing platforms and tools. The series/results of the OpenAire calls for support for non-author fee open access publishing initiatives give an insight into how such alternative publishing models work.

Some of the most successful alternative gold OA publishing models have been emerging from arts and humanities with disciplinary profiles like linguistics (Glossa) or literature and cultural studies (Open Library of Humanities). Growing out from community practices and needs, these models are sensitive to and offer solutions for the Open Access publishing of monographs, the primary research outputs in the arts and humanities. From the coordination of efforts in the development of open scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities, the European research infrastructure OPERAS emerged as a key actor in Open Access publishing.

In the next eposode of our blog series, we are going to continue the discussion by introducing Open Access innovations and free-to-publish Open Access publishing platforms for arts and humanities researchers.

 In the meantime, tell us about your experiences, questions, concerns, or success stories with Open Access.

Leave your comments below to let us know and to stay connected!

Cite this blog post
Erzsebet Toth-Czifra (2019, March 14). Open Access Toolkit: DARIAH’s practical recommendations to promote Open Access within the arts and humanities. DARIAH Open. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from

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1 Response

  1. 26/03/2019

    […] bloque práctico donde se recogen y analizan diferentes plataformas, bases de datos y demás recursos disponibles. […]

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