Category: OSC Sheffield Scholars are doing it for themselves: The challenges and opportunities of open access scholar-led publishing

Scholars are doing it for themselves: The challenges and opportunities of open access scholar-led publishing


October 23, 2023

Scholar-led publishing - publishing which is managed and led by academics rather than commercial publishers or other institutions or bodies - provides an opportunity for researchers to determine the conditions under which academic work is circulated. Consequently, it can present a range of opportunities for the open, equitable, diverse and inclusive circulation of knowledge.

In this session, we explore a range of perspectives from researchers operating in and engaged analytically with this space, including Toby Steiner (Flavours of Open), Meredith Warren (co-editor-in-chief of the open access scholar-led Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies) and Emma Cheatle and Luis Hernan of the open access scholar-led architecture journal Field.

Luis Hernan and Emma Cheatle: In this talk we share our experience in editing field:. The journal launched in 2007 as the first open-access publication in the field and, in the following decade, it gained a reputation for its ability to attract rigorous research whilst providing a forum to a diverse set of voices and disciplinary traditions. We took over the journal a few years later, facing the multiple challenges of updating its infrastructure and rethinking its ethos and editorial processes in the face of an evolving landscape of open-access publishing.

Meredith Warren: This talk will focus on the development of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, the flagship journal of the Sheffield Centre for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. This open-access, scholar-run journal published its first issue in 2018. I will discuss the origin story of JIBS, featuring the challenges and benefits of 'DIY' open access, including database indexing, DOAJ acceptance, and promoting a small journal in the vast ocean of corporate publishing.

Toby Steiner - Collaboration over competition: On the role of scholar-led publishing and Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences - This presentation will provide a bit of a closer look at the practice of scholar-led publishing within the Humanities and Social Sciences, with a particular focus on Media Studies. Following an introductory framing of what is meant by 'scholar-led' in this context, the presentation will take a diachronic approach to showcase early proponents as well as recent open access initiatives that focus on providing scholar- and community-led alternatives to publishing via large commercial entities.

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