Support for Open Access Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Added by Michael Jubb on 10 April 2007 20:26

I was interested to see that the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada announced last week a special funding scheme to support the publication of articles in open access journals. As they put it in their announcement:

SSHRC recognizes that the peer-reviewed scholarly journal is a primary tool for fostering intellectual debate and inquiry. Today, new information and communications technologies are beginning to change the way research results are published and disseminated. Open-access journals, published online and made available to the reader without charge, are allowing for increased and more broad-based and efficient access to scholarly literature, and, ultimately, knowledge. SHRC welcomes this change and, through this Aid to Open-Access Research Journals program, will contribute to maximizing the national and international impact of advanced scholarship in the social sciences and humanities.”

The scheme provides grants of $850 for each article, up to a maximum of $25,000 in the coming year. Articles do not have to stem from research funded by the SSHRC; but the editor of the journal, and a majority of the editorial board, must be affiliated to a Canadian institution.

Although the UK Research Councils agreed their policy of seeking to encourage open access last June, none has gone so far as to support open access journals in this way. And the AHRC is still to publish its own specific policy to put alongside those of the other Research Councils in the UK. It will be interesting to see the results of this Canadian initiative.

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