We need to say yes to academic self-publishing but senior academics must lead the way | Impact of Social Sciences

Items tagged with oa.latex in Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) 2012-09-07


“A tweet back in July from the @LSEimpactblog with a link to Aimee Morrison’s blog on guerrilla self-publishing asked if it was time for more academics to consider it. I’d started tentatively nearly a year ago–August 2011– with a short article on a newly discovered concordance for a medieval motet, and was asked to write this post about the experience. My three most recent ‘articles’ (see my publications page) are currently blog-only publications, although the most recent wasn’t designed that way. I’ll refer to them as X, Y, and Z (links for those that are interested are given in the discussion below).  In what follows I conclude that senior academics need to lead the way on getting online self-publication accepted. The advantages (immediacy of publication and feedback, accessibility, use of links, revisability of text) seem to vastly outweigh the disadvantages (which I think are largely imaginary; see my responses to common questions below).  I have experimented with different publication formats. Each item has a blogpost introducing the publication and then a link to an HTML version of the article hosted on my institutional webspace; X also has a PDF version produced by the typesetting software LaTeX. To ensure the full content is accessible to web searches I have posted them all in HTML and I recently moved to using Scrivener to enable output in various formats from one file. Technical limitations with its handling of HTML code have meant that I’ve had to host the HTML files off my WordPress site. This is a shame because it divorces the comments box (on the supporting blogpost at WordPress) from the full text (on my university Webspace)... Pros and cons... One drawback with self-publishing is thus immediately apparent: it’s time consuming and requires that the author learn to use new applications and be prepared to fiddle with them. The advantages, however, are great, many of which are conferred by the online medium itself. Article Y is vastly improved from its flat draft paper version by having links to the high quality colour images of the medieval manuscript illuminations it discusses in detail – what journal would do that?! I’ve also taken the decision to make all the articles a bit more friendly for students and general readers by peppering the main text with hotlinks to open access entries, mainly in Wikipedia, that serve as a glossary of terms and/or thumbnail sketches of the historical figures, works, and events mentioned. I’ve retained links in the footnotes to more traditional academic publications (books, articles, dictionaries and databases), which are typically paywalled, for those that want them.  The speed of being able to get one’s work out to people who might find it interesting is certainly an advantage of self-publishing...”



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Date tagged:

09/07/2012, 12:36

Date published:

09/07/2012, 08:36