Posts Tagged ‘book ownership’

I’ve blogged here a number of times about my concerns about the new UK Research Councils’ policy on Open Access. I’m in favour of Open Access, but have concerns about the way they are implementing it, particularly the effective push towards Gold Open Access. This is where the author pays the publisher an APC or article processing charge, effectively to compensate them for loss of income from people downloading the article for free. APCs can run into thousands of pounds, and are a particular problem for independent unaffiliated scholars like me. The other form of Open Access, Green Open Access, is virtually unheard of in humanities, unlike in sciences where it is widespread. In this form of open access there is no fee paid by authors up-front, and instead they are allowed, sometimes after an embargo period, to put an online version of their journal paper in an institutional repository, or a personal website, or a central one like ArXiv.

Well I am delighted today to say that two of my old academic journal papers are now available freely online. This is thanks to Edinburgh University Press, which is one of the few humanities publishers which supports Green Open Access. I double-checked their rules with them, and got the go-ahead today to put the final as-published versions of my papers online in my personal website.

One paper was my very first history academic journal paper, published way back in 2006, long before Open Access in its modern form had even been dreamed of. This was derived from part of my history PhD, then still in progress, and looked at the borrowing registers of Gray Library in Haddington, East Lothian, from 1732 through to 1816. This was published in the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies.

The other paper that’s just gone freely online was published a year ago, in Scottish Historical Review, probably the most eminent Scottish history journal, which was a real coup for me to get a single author paper into not long after completing my PhD. This paper, too, developed work studied in my PhD, this time examining books in people’s houses, using a case study of after-death inventories in late 18th century Dumfriesshire.

Both papers, in downloadable PDF form, are available via my publications page in my personal website.

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My latest journal paper was published last month in Scottish Historical Review. It’s derived from part of a chapter of my PhD thesis, and looks at book ownership in Scotland in the late 18th century using a local case study of after-death inventories. For a more detailed description see the abstract on the SHR website.

I’d seen the PDF copy last month. Of course I was familiar with the text, but it was really nice to see it laid out in a new format for the new journal. But it’s even more exciting to hold the print copies, which I received today, and to flick through the journal. My husband was very impressed and commented: “It’s a proper journal paper! Goes on for ever! Pages and pages!” He also marvelled at the number of footnotes (80) in my paper, which is far more than he is used to in the science papers he reads (he is an academic science researcher).

On the downside a little typo crept into the author biography which I didn’t pick up on proofreading. Not my typo, but introduced either in editing or typesetting. Very minor though. And I haven’t spotted anything else wrong. I picked up on 17 things to be corrected when I proofread the journal paper prior to printing, and was really relieved to manage to spot that many things (some my fault, others introduced at editing, others at typesetting) given that I had to proofread during a hospital chemotherapy infusion, juggling all the bits of paper one-handed while hooked up to a toxic drip coming into my left wrist. I’d hoped to proofread in the days before then, but the proofs were delayed, and it was either proofread during chemotherapy or not manage it in time, given how ill I knew I would be post-chemo over the subsequent week.

Anyway it’s lovely to see it in print and to hold the physical copies. It’s my third single-authored history journal paper. I have earlier publications from my computer science postgraduate days, but those are co-authored, and my contributions to them were relatively small. I’m far more proud of my history papers, as a single author, and particularly proud of this latest one, given that it has been published in probably the most eminent journal in Scottish historical research. For an independent scholar, only two years post PhD, that is an enormous achievement.

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