Open Access Scholarship

Open Access Scholarship May 13, 2013

I had a librarian mention to me that they had heard about a scholar whose blog got not merely quoted but responded to and interacted with in a peer-reviewed journal article. I quickly responded by saying that I know the blogger in question – Mark Goodacre, who blogged about his experience recently.

Blogging is just one part of the changing face of scholarly communication. We need to be proactive in thinking about how the etiquette and protocols of what we do may need to change. And we also need to be proactive if we want our work to be as freely accessible as possible (on which see Ken Schenck’s recent blog post).

Here are some links related to the above themes.

First, a librarian colleague drew my attention to Sherpa/Romeo, a database which indicates the degree of open access various journals practice.

Liana Silva had a piece about academic blogging in Inside Higher Ed.

Alin Suciu pointed out that more Coptic manuscripts have been added to the Gallica database.

Randal Rauser pointed out the new online Journal of Analytic Theology.

I happened across the web site of the Jordan Center for Persian Studies, which has a number of lectures and talks related to ancient Persia.

The British Library Digital Manuscripts blog has a post about why they are blogging.

Philip Tite shared information about a new book series, “Studies in Ancient Religion and Culture.” I am not sure what their open access policy is, but it is best to ask now while the endeavor is new!

There are some post-docs available in the study of ancient religion.

Finally, as a warning to scholars: if you don’t make serious scholarship available online, then people will be left only with stuff like Kent Hovind’s “doctoral dissertation”!

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  • Jim, you and your readers might be interested that I write a blog on open access academic publishing (particularly journals) in Religion and Theology called Omega Alpha | Open Access

  • Marcus

    I am in favor of scholarship being more accessible. It will, in some cases, make it difficult for non-professionals to know what the best opinions are.

    I am an amateur theologian and I love reading academic work across OT/NT/ST. Fortunately my wife is a professor so I have access to academic libraries. My time is limited, so I try to only read the best work. So I often stick with the best journals and publishing houses, letting them do the initial sifting of material. That’s not to say that everything published by, say Oxford University Press is amazing research, but I know I’m not likely to be reading crap.

    Do you foresee a move towards having peer reviewed journals online? Outside of that kind of process, it seems like the only way to judge/sift online scholarship is by the person, either their fame or the school they teach at, which I don’t think is the best way. What advice would you give?

    • There has been a move towards having journals online – even traditional print ones are for the most part accessible online. The main difference is whether a subscription is required. Several peer reviewed open access journals have been started, but as new ventures they have not always managed to continue to exist.

      I think that those who already have tenure, and those whose schools do not require one to publish in the absolute top journals, ought to prioritize publishing in the best journals which allow the most generous access to what we’ve written. Quite a number of journals will allow the author to post either a pre-publication copy, or even the published version after a certain period of time has passed, in a university repository online. Here’s a link to mine as an example: