Jennifer Howard, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, is reporting today that a new venture with prominent academic backers wants to help humanists put their work online.
Open Humanities Press, will open it's doors on Monday (May 12) with the publication of seven peer-reviewed journals, which have established track records as open access titles.:
Cosmos and History (2005-)
Culture Machine (1999-)
International Journal of Žižek Studies (2007-)
From the OHP website: "Open Humanities Press journals are fully peer reviewed, scholarly publications that have been chosen by OHP's editorial advisory board for their outstanding contribution to contemporary theory. OHP's journals are independent, published under open access licenses and free of charge to readers and authors alike."
Each journal will retain editorial independence. The press will "provide editorial and technical-development services, using the Open Journal Systems software created by the Public Knowledge Project, and it will help with distribution and promotion". Aside from the editorial boards of the various journals, the Open Humanities Press has, according to the Chronicle, put together a
star-studded lineup of literary critics and theorists as its editorial advisory board. The panel includes Alan Badiou, professor of philosophy emeritus at France's École Normale Supérieure; Jonathan Culler, professor of English and comparative literature at Cornell University; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, professor in the humanities at Columbia University; and J. Hillis Miller, professor of English at the University of California at Irvine. Another member is Stephen Greenblatt, professor of the humanities at Harvard University. In 2002, as president of the Modern Language Association, Mr. Greenblatt issued a rallying cry to humanists about the crisis in traditional scholarly publishing.
How is this being paid for? And what is are it's long-term goals? From the Chronicle article:
To begin with, the press will have no operating budget and no formal staff. Internet hosting is being provided gratis by ibiblio, a sort of Internet library—or "conservancy," as they call it—based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The founders will draw on their professional networks, and those of the journals, to get things done in the near term.
Those involved with Open Humanities Press hope to expand beyond critical theory, perhaps even beyond journals and into open-access monographs, once the enterprise has a reputation for what Mr. Ottina called "rigorous academic quality."
"Ultimately," he said, "the goal is to get as much academic content into an open-access distribution model as possible."
Posted by Katie Newman at May 7, 2008 5:30 PM