Editorial mass resignations: Collective action in the movement to open research

Wednesday 10th January 2024, 12-1pm

Recent times have witnessed a number of high profile mass resignations of journal editorial boards, with editors rejecting the conditions of (in)accessibility and commercial profit underlying their existing publishers.

In this Open Research Conversation, we hear from key participants in this growing mode of collective action. Johan Rooryck, now of Plan S, was editor-in-chief at the hybrid Elsevier journal Lingua before resigning to establish the OA alternative Glossa. Judith Green edited and co-edited Critical Public Health between 2010-2023 before a mass resignation to found a new journal on an open source platform, and Chris Chambers was among the editorial team at NeuroImage who resigned in protest against publisher profiteering in April 2023. From different disciplinary contexts, these scholars share their overlapping experiences of the pursuit of equity, openness and academic freedom in publishing, examining the potential of collective action and open access alternatives to provide a corrective to publishing oligopolies.

Judith Green: The Editorial Board of Critical Public Health, a Taylor & Francis owned journal, resigned en masse in July 2023 to start a new journal on an open source platform. The editorial team had for some decades managed the tensions between curating a home for a community of scholars and contributing to a commercial product, as discussed in an earlier editorial. However, corporate requirements for standardisation of processes, pressures to increase page volume, and an APC model of cost recovery for open access had eroded our ability to maintain the ‘spirit’ of the journal. The fate of the new journal will test whether evoking a ‘community of scholars’ or ‘the spirit of a journal’ is mere nostalgia, in a market where readers access papers not journals.

Judith Green is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Wellcome Centre for Cultures & Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. She was Editor or Co-Editor of Critical Public Health between 2010-2023.

Chris Chambers: When enough is enough – my experience of being part of the collective editorial resignation from NeuroImage, and what happened next.

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

Monday 23 October 2023, 12-1pm

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.

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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Open Access in Sweden moving beyond transformative agreements

In our latest Open Voices blog post we talked to to Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director at Stockholm University Library, about the Open Access strategy of Swedish universities and research institutes who are organised in the Bibsam Consortium.

Wilhelm and his colleagues in Sweden have been thinking hard about how to move beyond transformative agreements, which might involve walking away from some deals! Read the full interview with Wilhelm here: https://hardimanlibrary.blogspot.com/2023/09/wilhelmwidmark.html


Open Scholarship Café: Open Access Publishing – everything you need to know on 27th Sept 2023

On 27 September 2023 we will have another Open Scholarship Café! This time we will return to a core Open practice: Open Access publishing!

Open Access is an academic publishing model which makes research freely available to read, avoiding subscriptions or paywalls. Open Access comes in many flavours and this session will focus on the Library’s recent Open Access agreements (also called transformative agreements) with a number of publishers that allow you as the author to publish Open Access without cost to you.

No previous knowledge or publishing experience is needed for this session! The University of Galway Open Scholarship Librarian Hardy Schwamm will introduce the rationale and process of these Open Access agreements, and the context in which these agreements have been developed. We will also look briefly at Green Open Access and how you can publish your research using our institutional repository ARAN.

Find out more and register at https://universityofgalway.libcal.com/calendar/workshopsevents/oaintroduction