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About the conference

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Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference

Date: 1 and 2 July 2013
Location:The British Library, London, UK

JISC Collections, in partnership with OAPEN Foundation, is holding a two-day international conference intended for all stakeholders in scholarly communications including European research funders, senior institutional managers, publishers, learned societies, librarians and researchers. The conference aims to raise awareness of open access, to increase understanding of key challenges and to identify where international common policies and frameworks could support the adoption of open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences (HSS).

In the UK, the release of the Finch Report alongside the Research Councils UK’s policy is causing much concern in the humanities and social science (HSS) community who feel that policy is being developed with little consideration of the specificities of HSS research or regard for the monograph publishing model. The monograph is the gold standard and in many disciplines remains the primary method through which humanities and social science researchers communicate their work. It is also an essential part of career progression and reputation establishment for many young researchers.

In the last two decades, monographs sales have rapidly declined from an average of over 2000 to just 200 – in line with library budgets reductions. In order to support the continued existence of the monograph and to move HSS in line with other areas of scholarly communication and research funder’s policies, a new open access business model is required. However, transitioning to new models requires institutional and cultural change alongside experimentation, testing and consultation.

Sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and hosted by The British Library, this conference will be the first to tackle open access monographs in the humanities and social sciences head on.

Key topics of the conference will include new open access business models, maintaining quality, the future of peer-review, creative commons licensing and international policy development.

On the second day of the conference there will be various showcases from publishers, open access platforms and new initiatives highlighting the opportunities for open access monographs. The second day will include practical sessions targeted at three groups – one focused at HSS researchers to help them feel more confident about exploring open access monograph publishing, one for policy makers and funders to look at where collaboration will help to support a robust research environment, and one for publishers, distributors and libraries, to discuss how open access changes the ecosystem around books.

If you would like any further information on this conference, or are interested in getting involved please contact Caren Milloy, Head of Projects, JISC Collections or Eelco Ferwerda, Director of OAPEN Foundation


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