Open Access? An Important Question. A Handful of Links.

From Cathy Davidson’s HASTAC-hosted blog comes the news that “the Academic Council at Duke University unanimously adopted an Open Access policy for scholarly articles written by the Duke faculty.” In a post at Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Kevin Smith writes

One thing that librarians often believe is that faculty will only be motivated for open access by their own self-interest — impact, citation and the like. But yesterday Cathy Davidson made an eloquent plea for greater access for people around the world who are blocked by high subscriptions costs and other “toll-access” policies. All round the room, heads were nodding as she spoke. I was reminded that most faculty members genuinely do care about the overall welfare of scholarship and learning.

Smith, in turn, links to Joseph Esposito’s “Let’s Make Open Access Work,” published at The Scholarly Kitchen, a blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing Esposito’s post opens with

This is a blog post that will please no one. That is not the intention; I am not writing it to pick fights. But the topic is open access (OA), and on this topic, fights inevitably erupt; it is scholarly communications’ equivalent of the Culture Wars. For my part, I stand with Voltaire: The perfect is the enemy of the good. Already in the background I can hear advocates of perfection beginning to sharpen their swords. So, without reference to the many arguments on all sides of the matter, How can we make OA work?…

Yesterday, during the first of our 2 “Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” roundtable discussions, the issue of access to and cost of digital scholarly materials came up with regard to Gale/Cengage’s commercial, full-text database of primary materials Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO). (See “18th connect and the sustainability of scholarly collaboration,” by David Mazella at The Long 18th, 6 July 2009) This is not the same kind of resource as, say, peer-reviewed scholarly articles, but many of the issues at stake are the same. A full summary of the back-and-forth that took place is beyond the scope of this quick blog post, but an extremely brief précis would note that on the one hand is awareness of the cost associated with creating and maintaining such a resource, while on the other hand is a desire to see as wide an audience as possible of scholars and teachers and students gain access.

More conversation to continue this morning at the second “Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” roundtable…

ASECS 2010: a few details, a few ideas

“The Digital Eighteenth-Century 2.0”

Below are a few details (and a few ideas) about the 2 ASECS 2010 roundtables we’re organizing under the above title.

2 different sessions, but 1 big conversation: We see these two sessions as one roundtable, and we strongly hope to see all participants at both sessions.

Availability of digital tools: The conference organizers have assured us that each session will have a live Internet connection, an LCD projector, and an audio system. However, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, just in case.

Online supplements: Posting presentation-related material on this site before, during, and after the conference is strongly encouraged. You might provide screenshots, screencasts, PDFs or other documents.

Length and format of presentations: Each presentation should be no more than 10 minutes. The “Pecha Kucha” format (20 slides X 20 seconds each) is encouraged but not required. (For background on this format and instructions for how to set up your slides, click here.)

Time for questions, discussions, more elaborate demonstrations: After the short roundtable presentations, there will be plenty of time for audience members to ask further questions, to request more detailed demonstrations of certain things, or (perhaps) to talk 1-on-1 with individual roundtable participants if it seems that format would work best.

Post-roundtable gathering: Roundtable participants and audience members are encouraged to arrange to meet afterwards for further discussion, demonstration, and brainstorming. If history is any indication, the conversations will expand to a size larger than the time constraints of each session.

Details of Sessions

Session 67. “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – I (Roundtable)
Thursday, March 18: 4:15-5:45pm in Alvarado E
Chair: Lisa MARUCA (Wayne State University)
1. Randall CREAM (University of South Carolina): “The Human Voices Project: Semantic Units, Citational Meanings, and Imaginary Texts”
2. Molly O’Hagan HARDY (University of Texas at Austin): “Mapping Collaboration: Eighteenth-Century Textual Production”
3. Laura MANDELL (Miami University, Ohio): “Future plans for 18thConnect and ECCO”
Session 109. “The Digital Eighteenth Century 2.0” – II (Roundtable)
Friday, March 19: 9:45-11:00am in Alvarado E
Chair: George H. WILLIAMS (University of South Carolina, Upstate)
1. Sharon HARROW (Shippensburg University) “Performing 18th-century British Literature:
Facebook & Pedagogy in the Web 2.0 Classroom”
2. Tonya HOWE (Marymount University) “Collaborative Research Tools in the Methodologies Course”
3. Benjamin PAULEY (Eastern Connecticut State University) “Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker”
4. Adrianne WADEWITZ (Indiana University, Bloomington) “Wikipportunities”

To participants in the Digital Eighteenth-Century 2.0 Roundtables…

We wish to remind you that both of the Digital Eighteenth-Century 2.0 panels (which we consider one project spread across two sessions) are roundtables. In other words, we expect that presentations will be kept short, leaving most of our time available for questions & answers, discussion, and audience participation. We encourage you to use to post materials that can be accessed both before and after our sessions (we will announce its availability beforehand). The site runs on WordPress, which is a blogging platform you may already be familiar with. If you’d like your own account on EighteenthCentury.or, please let us know. We would like to have your materials posted online by March 4, two weeks before the start of this year’s meeting.

That said, you should consider this an invitation to brainstorm with us about how more specifically to set up the panel and the accompanying online material.

  • Would you like to do this pecha kucha style or leave it more open?
  • Should we videotape or audiotape the panels?
  • What should we post on, what should be covered by you, the presenters, and how much should we keep open to what the audience wants?
  • How can we ensure continuity and conversation across the two sessions? (We’re assuming, of course, that presenters will attend both.)

Finally, at the end of our second session on Friday, we also hope to specifically discuss the formation of an ASECS Digital Humanities caucus.

Thanks for your participation in planning what we hope will be two very interactive roundtables!

George and Lisa