Marin Dacos (Aix-Marseille): Can we reach Open Access in the Humanities and the Social Sciences?


Sherbrooke 688 rm 461, 688 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 3R1, CA

Marin Dacos (Aix-Marseille): Can we reach Open Access in the Humanities and the Social Sciences?

All are welcome

The arrival of the web has increased opportunities to democratise access to knowledge. This is particularly the case in the humanities and social sciences, which fulfil a social function in interpreting and understanding societies, their culture, history and sociology. Though the open access movement was pioneered by physicists (ArXiv), the movement now includes the humanities and social sciences through projects relating to journals (Redalyc, Scielo,, books (Oapen, OpenEdition Books), open archives (HAL, SSRN) and even blogs (Hypothèses, Culture visuelle). While some commentators denounce open access as a utopia dangerous for the entire publishing system, others argue that it represents a historic opportunity for the humanities and social sciences to position themselves at the vanguard of all disciplines, rather than cultivating a quiet conservatism. Above and beyond these theoretical arguments, however, is the question of how to attain open access. The "green" and "gold" approaches are pitted against one another, though they are in fact complementary. Many commentators propose to shift the onus of payment from post- to pre-production, from reader to author. Others propose alternative solutions such as crowdsourcing or subscription mechanisms. OpenEdition, for its part, provides commercial services while maintaining its content in open access. In all events, a balanced, long-term and economically sound solution will depend on a new alliance between the actors of the scholarly publishing system: publishers, libraries, academics and platforms.

Marin Dacos is Director of the Centre for Open Electronic Publishing - CNRS - EHESS - Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) ( His OpenEdition is now a Facility of Excellence (Equipex).

This talk is sponsored by the Outreach Committee of the Department of History and Classical Studies, and hosted by McGill Digital Humanities



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