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Humanist Archives: April 13, 2020, 8:01 a.m. Humanist 33.753 - preprint servers, repositories & 'shadow libraries'

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 753.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: Jeff Love 
           Subject: Preprint Servers and Open Repositories (Zenodo) (46)

    [2]    From: Christian Wittern 
           Subject: Beyond Academia.edu: Shadow Libraries (38)

        Date: 2020-04-11 13:54:30+00:00
        From: Jeff Love 
        Subject: Preprint Servers and Open Repositories (Zenodo)

Hi Everyone,

I was very pleased to see a couple of references to the Humanities
Commons Core, to which I frequently refer as a good example of community
sharing in the humanities. A few people have also expressed a desire to
have something like an arxiv.org for their discipline, which sounds
entirely feasible to me. I wanted to point out, however, that arxiv.org
and other arxiv sites (e.g. psyarxiv.com for Psychology) are, to the
best of my knowledge, intended to be preprint servers (someone more
informed about these please correct me). This means that they are used
specifically for shared/published drafts of material one deems fit for
public consumption or papers submitted prior to peer-review. They serve
a variety of purposes, particularly in fields where haste is common,
transparency is essential and duplication of studies is possible and
potentially costly.

While I do not consider speed to be an essential factor of most
scholarship in the humanities, I could certainly see some benefits to
having a preprint server for some humanities/humanities-adjacent fields
for work of which 80% can be done fairly rapidly but the remaining 20%
can take years. I think immediately of textual editions, archeological
reports and the like, where others might derive benefit from seeing
initial materials. An intrepid few even set up Bodoarxiv
(https://osf.io/preprints/bodoarxiv) a year or so ago for medievalists,
but it doesn't seem to have gotten much uptake quite yet.

At the risk of recommending a service already widely known to members of
this list, I wanted to mention Zenodo (www.zenodo.org) as a complement
for materials people might like to make available but don't quite fit
the scope of Humanities Commons (3d models? databases? white papers?).
Zenodo is essentially a vast, general repository where people can put
all manner of 'things', as my colleagues occasionally call them, so long
as they pertain to research. The repository was initially created by
CERN to house persistent datasets supplemental to publications, but now
users of the platform (including quite a few flavours of humanist) can
and do use it to store all manner of other materials. It's not flashy
and does not include what I would call 'social features' offered by
other services, but it is reliable, accessible to everyone with an
internet connection, free of charge and maintained by a trusted research
institution. Perhaps at least a few more of us can make use of this as a
home for those items we'd like to have out in the digital world.


        Date: 2020-04-11 02:33:39+00:00
        From: Christian Wittern 
        Subject: Beyond Academia.edu: Shadow Libraries

Dear Humanists,

I have been following the interesting statements in the thread around
Academia.edu and would like to contribute a different angle. In /Shadow
Libraries, Access to Knowledge in Global Higher Education/ (MIT Press 2018; 
CC BY-NC 4.0)[1] edited by Joe Karaganis, the authors look at a variety of
cases involving access to research publications, from the samizdat
underground literature to sites such as LibGen, especially in countries
with a recent high growth in student population such as India, Brazil,
Poland and South Africa.

 From the introduction:

"Shadow Libraries explores this reorganization of
the flow of educational and research materials as they pass from authors to
publishers and libraries, to students and researchers, and from
comparatively rich universities to poorer ones.

 From the top down, Shadow Libraries explores the institutions that shape
the provision of these materials, from the formal sector of universities and
publishers to the broadly informal ones organized by faculty, copy shops,
student unions, and students themselves. It looks at the history of policy
battles over access to education in the post–World War II era and at the
narrower versions that have played out in relation to research and
textbooks, from library policies to book subsidies to, more recently, the
several “open” publication models that have emerged in the higher
education sector."

All the best,


[1] https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/shadow-libraries , scroll down to the
download link, interestingly hosted on Dropbox.

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