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Free Content Humanities and social science journals: a pilot study of eight US associations

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The paper summarizes the findings of a pilot study for the National Humanities Alliance, including the methodology, research tools, analysis, and initial conclusions about the publishing business of eight association published humanities and social sciences journals in the context of a move to an open access (author/producer pays) publishing model. The eight disciplines represented by these journals are modern languages, history, religion, economics, sociology, anthropology, politics and statistics. Specific tools were developed for the study to enable like-for-like comparison of the journals. Detailed information on current trends in revenue, costs, and surplus is included. Significant differences between HSS and STM journals are reviewed. Open access to research articles on publication as the 'gold' author/producer-pays approach would not be sustainable for this sample of HSS journals for reasons articulated in the report. Further studies using the tools and methodology developed are required to broaden and confirm these results.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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