In a post at AHA today, Kritika Agarwal (AHA) interviews William Deverell (Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West) about the publication of his new OA monograph Water and Los Angeles: A Tale of Three Rivers, 1900–1941, released in 2016 by the University of California’s Luminos OA imprint.
Q. Do you see any clear advantages or disadvantages to publishing an open-access monograph?
Access beyond traditional publishing pathways, marketing, sales, and inventories: all that is great. Is there a barrier in the shape of up-front author-carried funding? Yes. The amounts are not huge, but I do hope that the academy continues to be supportive of, for instance, junior or non-tenure-track scholars (and others) whose access to research funding that can support open-access publishing is limited in ways that it might not be for more senior faculty at institutions that can provide such support. That seems obvious, but it is a real concern.
Q. Much of the open-access content right now is in the natural and physical sciences. Why is open access a good format for historians and for historical research?
For the same reasons, I’d guess. And for the opportunity to bring first-rate humanities work to wider publics hungry for scholarly insight, analysis, and argument.
The interview provides a case study for librarians supporting open access publishing in the humanities and offers a faculty perspective on the benefits and and concerns of open access.