20th International Conference
on Electronic Publishing
Positioning and Power in Academic Publishing: Players, Agents and Agendas 7–9 June 2016 in Göttingen, Germany


Whither Open Access? Four Scenarios and Four Choices, Jean-Claude Guedon, University of Montréal, Canada

Because we tend to look at the future through our rear-view mirrors, we tend to treat electronic publishing as a simple transposition of print. The late 15th century played the same trick on manuscripts. This mindset has led to a first phase of electronic documents that have been correctly characterized as "digital incunabula" (G. Crane).
We are now entering a second, more crucial, phase where the very rise of open access acts as a symptom of the experienced changes: Because electronic documents do not behave, circulate or work like printed documents, issues like access are being foregrounded. However, the evolution of open access has also revealed important fault lines between various actors who hold divergent agendas. Predictably, the transition is neither smooth nor simple. We may ask, therefore: Whither Open Access? The future of Open Access will compound a number of different perspectives. Here, we shall explore four of them: the researchers, the librarians, the funders, and the publishers. The form Open Access will ultimately take cannot be predicted, but each one of us can have a clearer view of the available choices.

Jean-Claude Guédon is a professor of comparative literature at the Université de Montréal and a specialist of digital culture, internet studies, and electronic publishing, He has been an advocate for open access to research for many years. He was one of the original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative Declaration in 2002 and again of the BOAI 10 Declaration last year, and has served on the board of numerous international organizations that support openness and digital scholarship such as the Electronic Information for Libraries and the Information Programme of the Open Society Foundations.

Image credits: "Jean-Claude-Guedon" by Andrei Romanenko - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-Claude-Guedon.jpg#/media/File:Jean-Claude-Guedon.jpg

After the Spring: digital forms of scholarship and the publication ecosystem, Tara Andrews, University of Bern, Switzerland

How do you cite a database query? Which academic publisher will be the first to accept a Jupyter notebook as a journal article? One of the great promises of the digital medium has been that it would revolutionise the established forms academic publishing. Over the last few years we have seen a somewhat different form of revolution, however; the awareness that the traditional system for academic publication is deeply flawed has taken hold in the consciousness of academics throughout the world, but publication is still usually understood in terms of journal articles, edited collections, and monographs. The uprising against the established business model for academic publication has provided us with an opportune moment to take stock of the other revolution. In this talk I will look at some forms of publication that I believe will be critical to digitally-enabled science and scholarship, and consider from the perspective of a researcher what sort of publishing ecosystem might meet our needs.

Tara Andrews, Assistant Professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland, obtained her D.Phil. in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford in 2009; she also holds an M.Phil. in Byzantine Studies (2005) from Oxford and a B.Sc. in Humanities and Engineering (1999) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tara’s research interests include Byzantine history of the middle period (in particular the tenth to twelfth centuries), Armenian history and historiography from the fifth to the twelfth centuries, and the application of computational analysis and digital methods to the fields of medieval history and philology.
From 2010–2013, Tara worked at the KU Leuven with Prof. Caroline Macé on the ‘Tree of Texts‘ project, which is an investigation of the theory behind stemmatic analysis of classical and medieval manuscript texts. The suite of online tools developed for the project are freely available online as Stemmaweb.