ATG Book of the Week: Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future

by | Dec 8, 2014 | 1 comment

Open access 9781107484016Title: Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future
Author: Martin Paul Eve
Hardback: ISBN
: 9781107097896, £30.00; Paperback: ISBN: 9781107484016, £12.99
Imprint: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014

If you work in a university, you are almost certain to have heard the term ‘open access’ in the past couple of years. You may also have heard either that it is the utopian answer to all the problems of research dissemination or perhaps that it marks the beginning of an apocalyptic new era of ‘pay-to-say’ publishing. In this book, Martin Paul Eve sets out the histories, contexts and controversies for open access, specifically in the humanities. Broaching practical elements alongside economic histories, open licensing, monographs and funder policies, this book is a must-read for both those new to ideas about open-access scholarly communications and those with an already keen interest in the latest developments for the humanities.


  • Provides a comprehensive guide to open access for humanities researchers, written by a humanities researcher
  • Covers a full range of phenomena concerning open access and the humanities, including economics, funder policies, open licensing and monographs.
  • Situates open access within broader paradigms of politics and the university, not shying away from controversy.

Reviews & Endorsements:


Eve’s book gives a synoptic and multi-layered overview of many of the different factors at play in scholarly communication in the humanities, and offers valuable suggestions about how a transition to open access in the humanities might take better account of these factors, bringing much needed critical and constructive reflection to the contemporary pursuit of a long held dream. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of open access and scholarly communication in the humanities, and a rallying call for more researchers to join those working to shape this future.’  – Jonathan Gray, Director of Policy and Research at Open Knowledge


‘Open access for scholarly communication in the Humanities faces some longstanding cultural/social and economic challenges. Deep traditions of scholarly authority, reputation and vetting, relationships with publishers, etc. coupled with relatively shallow pockets in terms of funding (at least compared to the Sciences) and perceptions that the costs associated with traditional modes of scholarly communication are reasonable (at least compared to the Sciences) can make open access a hard sell. Still, there are new opportunities and definite signs of change. Among those at the forefront confronting these challenges while exploring open access opportunities for the Humanities is Martin Paul Eve.’ – Gary F. Daught,

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