Open Access for Historians

open-accessFollowing the rapid developments in Open Access (OA) in recent months and the implementation of the RCUK OA guidelines on 1 April 2013, it is important for researchers to be fully informed of the proposals, what it means for them and what they need to do.

If you are in receipt of RCUK funding (e.g. AHRC) or Wellcome Trust funding, you will need to comply with their OA publishing guidelines. There are two permitted routes to publishing under Open Access:

Gold route (Author pays or Author Processing Charge APC): a fee is paid to the publisher to make the article freely and immediately accessible. Authors should apply to the University for APC funding. The RCUK policy currently mandates use of the Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ license CC-BY (see below).

Green route (institutional repository): a refereed, but un-copyedited version is deposited in a local institutional repository (e.g. ORA in Oxford) after an embargo period of 12 months for arts and humanities. This is University of Oxford's preferred route. At the start, an embargo period of 12/24 months will be acceptable but it is expected that withinn 5 years the norm of 6/12 months will apply.

Below are key information resources for historians and a list of key history journals.

What is Open Access?

Published on YouTube, Oct 25, 2012 
What is open access? Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it's all about. (from Open Access Oxford website)

Open Access Oxford

The official Open Access website for Oxford University, it provides information about the University's position on Open Access (Green Route wherever possible), give practical guidance on how to deposit using the Gold Route, how to apply to APC funding, OA requirements of major funders, news, blog and local support.

It also advertises WISER briefing sessions on Open Access. OA Oxford posts updates on Twitter as @oaoxford.

Oxford Research Archive (ORA)

Oxford's institutional repository, ORA was established by the University some years ago as a permanent and secure online archive of research materials produced by members of the University of Oxford. It provides a means for institutional compliance with funders’ Open Access requirements (Green Route).

Open access: an information resource for historians in the UK (IHR)

Provides links to the key reports, policy documents and consultations, links to discussions online and in the press, a forum for debating the issues on their blog.

Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. It provides a choice of six licenses which sit alongside copyright laws. Two types of licenses are relevant for OA:

CC BY attribution 88x31 CC-BY (Attribution) is the RCUK's preferred option. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation

CC BY NC Non commercial CC-BY-NC (Noncommercial). This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

About to submit an article? Here is a decision tree to help you navigate the maze


Open Access policies for key history journals

[working hard on this so please watch this space. Check Sherpa Romeo in the meantime.]

Open Access for historians

Slides from 5 June 2013 briefing session (pdf) are now available.

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