I contributed to this Manifesto, kindly coordinated by Andrea Pia at the London School of Economics. I guess we are calling for a revolution in a small area of academic practice. Much discussion happening on social media about this, nonetheless.
Andrea E Pia, Simon Batterbury, Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, Marcel LaFlamme, Gerda Wielander, Filippo M Zerilli, Melissa Nolas, Jon Schubert, Nicholas Loubere, Ivan Franceschini, Casey Walsh, Agathe Mora, Christos Varvantakis. 2020. Labour of Love: an Open Access Manifesto for freedom, integrity, and creativity in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, Commonplace https://doi.org/10.21428/6ffd8432.a7503356
We are a group of scholar-publishers based in the humanities and social sciences who are questioning the fairness and scientific tenability of a system of scholarly communication dominated by large commercial publishers. With this Manifesto we wish to repoliticise Open Access to challenge existing rapacious practices in academic publishing—namely, often invisible and unremunerated labour, toxic hierarchies of academic prestige, and a bureaucratic ethos that stifles experimentation—and to bear witness to the indifference they are predicated upon. We mobilise an extended notion of research output, which encompasses the work of building and maintaining the systems, processes, and relations of production that make scholarship possible. We believe that the humanities and social sciences are too often disengaged from the public and material afterlives of their scholarship. We worry that our fields are sleepwalking into a new phase of control and capitalisation, to include continued corporate extraction of value and transparency requirements designed by managers, entrepreneurs, and politicians. We fervently believe that OA can be a powerful tool to advance the ends of civil society and social movements. But opening up the products of our scholarship without questioning how this is done, who stands to profit from it, what model of scholarship is being normalised, and who stands to be silenced by this process may come at a particularly high cost for scholars in the humanities and social sciences.