Berlin 9: Future of Open Access in Humanities

Howard Hughes Medical Institute where Berlin 9 Conference will take place

The Berlin Declaration, a document from 2003 that outlines concrete steps to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, sees this distribution of knowledge as an obligation for the signing members: “We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge.” The vision from a Berlin 9 document is a vision of a sustainable, interactive, and transparent web.

Starting today with a pre-conference on open access publishing and development of open access policies, the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, organized by ARL libraries, SPARC, Max Planck, Marine Biological Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Washington where the conference will take place, will be held throughout November, 9 to November, 10, 2011

Stem Cells or Greek Drama? Which is more urgent?

On Thursday, one important subject of this open conversation will be the impact of Open Access and open repositories on research in the humanities. Simultaneously,  open access has a transformative impact on research in the humanities and the dynamics of scholarship demand that approaches toward open sharing in the humanities differ from those in  other disciplines.

Presenters at the Berlin 9 are to explore key questions and opportunities such as:

  • What are the unique challenges of moving toward open in the humanities and social sciences?
  • What are the new kinds of research questions that the open availability of material makes it possible to ask?
  • What new ways of disseminating results are made possible?
  • How is peer review changed when reviewers have access to the full scope of sources used and not just a few lines of citation?
  • What is the potential when resources across the humanities are not only open, but fully interoperable?

A speaker at Berlin 9: Dean Rehberger, Director of MATRIX - the Center for Humane Art, Letters, and Social Science Online

The key presenters at the conference were directly involved in developing pioneering online tools for a web of interactive, sustainable and transparent – humanities. Munoz organized first Humanities Data Curation Summit, Rehberger is a director of MATRIX  that develops, among other, multimedia and media archives such as KORA, Fitzpatrick is a co-founder of Media Commons, Schoeplin is a member of the project team of ECHO (European Cultural Heritage Online ) which is an open access infrastructure for working with sources in the humanities. Many other prominent professors, scholars and conference delegates will be engaged in a discussion.

What has been previously discussed by Peter Suber and others, is that humanities journals are still affordable, STM research is better funded than research in humanities, humanities journals have higher rejection rates, they often require a reprint of illustrations that require a permission from a copyright holder and finally, humanists tend to report their interpretations in monographs rather than journals. That a crisis is in the making and openness in humanities is becoming more urgent – is now obvious, but what new tools await us, how they will enable us to use the material more intuitively, how they will change how we do humanities and how it will help invest more in this field of study – will this be revealed on Thursday? I am looking forward to seeing some notes.

To find out more about the whole program or the conference visit the official website where you can download a pdf with details on themes and speakers.
This year’s Berlin 9 conference is sponsored by InTech Open Access Publisher.

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One Response to Berlin 9: Future of Open Access in Humanities

  1. Pingback: Berlin 9: List of blog posts on the conference

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