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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
A Problem of Access
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0286  Tuesday, 13 May 2008

From:		Gabriel Egan <
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Date:		Saturday, 10 May 2008 13:37:59 +0100
Subject: 19.0280 A Problem of Access
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0280 A Problem of Access

Larry Weiss is right that there are fewer Open Access (OA) journals than 
reader-pays journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals at 
www.doaj.org lists 3352 titles across all disciplines. Of those 16 are 
in Performing Arts, 106 in History and 125 in Languages and Literature, 
including of course Early Modern Literary Studies about which SHAKSPER 
readers are regularly informed.

Larry is also right that the two journals I help to edit are not Open 
Access. Would that they were.  As I said in my original post, OA is the 
ideal solution to Jack Heller's problem of access, and I concede that 
this ideal is a long way off. I don't propose we all stop what we are 
doing and wait for it.

What can those involved in journal publishing do right now? One useful 
step is to persuade publishers to cease demanding that journal 
contributors sign over their copy-right to the publisher, and instead 
have the contributor give the publisher the exclusive right to publish. 
(Later, we can lobby for this being a non-exclusive right.) I'm pleased 
to report that at the journal _Shakespeare_ we convinced Taylor and 
Francis of this, and no contributor is asked to give away her copy-right.

Larry writes:

 >But to my mind, people who pay to attend a lecture
 >would probably rather be edified than used as unpaid
 >research assistants.

I gave the example of conference paper dissemination not to suggest that 
one's audience should be exploited, but to indicate that even publishers 
accept that some forms of pre-publication circulation are good for a 
paper.  Increasingly, this circulation includes self-archiving of a 
pre-print version on a website, which is another route to OA.

Gabriel Egan

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