Scholarly Communications in the Humanities Study Group
Members of the Scholarly Communications in the Humanities Study Group includes Sherri L. Barnes (U.S. History and Writing Studies), Jane Faulkner (English and French Literatures), and Eunice Schroeder (Music, Classics and German). All are members of the UCSB Library Humanities Collection Group.
The purpose of the group is to study the issues related to the crisis in scholary publishing as it relates to the humanities. Initially, the focus of the group was to study the open access movement from a humanities perspective, and to share our findings with members of the Humanities Collection Group, in order to best prepare them for outreach to faculty. The objective is to first educate, then advocate. The open access movement seeks to increase access to research and create a more stable and sustainable journal pricing environment for libraries. The Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook says it best, where they state "Rapid price escalations in journal subscription rates have been adversely effecting access to scholarly information.
We've discovered that scholarly communication issues in the humanities go well beyond the journal pricing issues that the STM-centered open access movement tends to focus on and is certainly important to libraries, but less so to humanities and social science scholars. While the economics of open access as a sustainable business model is still experimental and unclear, with no apparent sustainable models for the humanities, libraries have begun playing a greater role in self-publishing endeavors on campuses by providing actual publishing services and or guidance to departments engaged in self-publishing. Thus, the open access movement and emerging trends in scholary communications present issues with regard to library services as well as collections and budgets. For more information see the four page June 2008 ARL article Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for Universtiy Publishing and New Roles for Libraries The article was based on the results of a study published as the much larger report Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing.