Open access

Open for Collaboration

Jessica Clark, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Another year, another Open Access Week. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? That’s certainly been the case here at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, where a lot has happened on our Open Access file over the past year. Particularly, we were proud to release our Open Access Policy for the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) in April. Almost two years of work went into developing that policy, and the past six months have seen us embark on some first steps forward in implementing it.

The theme for this year’s International Open Access Week is “Open for Collaboration” and I think this theme is a perfect way to describe our...

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When big data meets the soul of culture: innovation for the future

Victoria Hawkins, student blogger at Congress 2015

The digital age is rapidly changing how scholars produce, share, analyze and preserve ideas. At Monday’s interdisciplinary symposium at Congress 2015, the changing nature of scholarly research with technology was the topic of discussion.

One of the event’s hot topics was the preservation of the past, facilitated by Fabien Lengellé, Corporate Secretary of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Lengellé outlined the recent digital projects undertaken by the LAC in efforts to relate to the Digital Humanities domain. Lengellé’s presentation sparked some lively questioning about the choice of which archival materials to digitize and the difficulty of prioritizing certain records. In response, Lengellé said that of LAC’s holdings,...

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Together from the start: Federation and the ASPP

Jessica Clark and Matthew McKean, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The ASPP (Awards to Scholarly Publications Program) has been, in one incarnation or another, at the heart of the Federation since day one. The competitive funding program, designed to assist with the publication of scholarly books on topics in the humanities and social sciences, has supported over 6000 books since it began.

In 1940, the Aid for Publication program was established, thanks to a $5000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The goal was to ensure that completed works by “competent scholars” did not go unpublished. In the early days, Aid for Publication funding supported scholarly books recommended by the Canadian Social Science Research...

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Celebrating Canada’s open access “tipping point”

Michael Geist

As Canadians welcome World Book and Copyright Day on April 23rd, the three federal research granting institutions – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – have provided yet another reason to celebrate.

After years of delay and debate, the Tri-Councils unveiled a harmonized open access policy that takes effect for all grants awarded after May 1st.  The key aspect of the policy is that it requires grant recipients to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely available online within 12 months of initial publication.  Researchers can comply with the open access policy by either self-archiving their publications...

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Open Social Scholarship in Canada

Alyssa Arbuckle, Assistant Director, Research Partnerships & Development, Electronics Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL), University of Victoria

Ray Siemens, Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and Distinguished Professor of English in the Faculty of Humanities with cross appointment in Computer Science, University of Victoria

The humanities and social sciences have moved online, and this shift has changed the way knowledge is shared between scholars, students, the public, and other aligned groups. For instance, ideas asserted in informal venues can be circulated widely via social media, and research papers can be published in electronic, open source journals accessible to all. Beyond the viral sharing capacity of the internet, however, digital...

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Open Access and the Humanities, by Martin Paul Eve

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

When it comes to open access, it can sometimes feel like the humanities and social sciences are merely catching up to the progress made in science, technology and engineering disciplines. One of our goals at the Federation is to encourage the publishing of SSH monographs in open access. So naturally, we are very excited about the recent publication of Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future (Cambridge University Press) by author...

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Understanding Video Games: Interview with Professor Sean Gouglas

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The most economically important cultural medium out there today, a cultural touchstone for two generations of Canadians, and a fantastic medium for expression, entertainment and social commentary.

This is how Professor Sean Gouglas described video games in his interview with the Federation.

Gouglas is Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Alberta, and Associate Professor in the...

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AU Press, the first open access university press in North America

Pamela Holway, senior editor, and Megan Hall, marketing and production coordinator, Athabasca University Press

AU Press was founded in 2007 as a fully open access press and we often pause during Open Access Week to reexamine our mission and reflect on our experience as the first open access university press in North America. Our mandate was one response to a crisis that has been developing in scholarly monograph publishing, a crisis with which we are all familiar. As university libraries, facing their own economic crises, purchase fewer and fewer books, sales of printed titles have been steadily dwindling. University presses that were founded on cost recovery models have thus been finding it...

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SSH News: Academics respond to Ottawa attack, Open Access Week, First Nations children

A day after the gun attack in Ottawa, the debate has started over how Canada should respond. Among these are the voices of academics. Wesley Wark, professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, urges Canadians in his Globe and Mail op-ed to be resilient, and ensure that our democratic society does not get “bent out of shape” by recent events. Le Devoir interviewed Criminology professor Maurice Cusson, who reminds us that homicide claims far more victims annually in Canada...

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Digital open access collection complements print books

Antoine Del Busso, General Director at Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal

“Rather than attempting to predict the future, we should consider the future we would like to see…”

I appreciate this reflection by Marcello Vitali-Rosati, co-founder with Michael Sinatra of the collection “Parcours numériques” (“Digital trails”) launched at Presses de l’Université de Montréal (PUM) last March. It highlights the urgent need to rethink traditional modes of knowledge dissemination. We know that the world of print publishing is in a period of profound self-questioning. Not only is marketing changing radically, but so are reading habits and, as a result, content creation. Can we, without incalculable risk, renounce the printed book...

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