A Matter of Discipline: Open Access, the Humanities, and Art History
alespierno's bookmarks 2017-11-06
Recent events suggest that open access has gained new momentum in the humanities, but the slow and uneven development of open-access initiatives in humanist fields continues to hinder the consolidation of efforts across the university. Although various studies have traced the general origins of the humanities' reticence to embrace open access, few have actually considered the scholarly practices and disciplinary priorities that shape a discipline's adoption of its principles. This article examines the emergence, potential and actualized, of open access in art history. Part case study, part conceptual mapping, the discussion is framed within the context of three interlocking dynamics: the present state of academic publishing in art history; the dominance of the journal and self-archiving repository within open-access models of scholarly production; and the unique roles played by copyright and permissions in art historical scholarship. It is hoped that tracing the discipline-specific configuration of research provides a first step toward both investigating the identity that open access might assume within the humanities, from discipline to discipline, and explaining how and why it might allow scholars to better serve themselves and their audiences.