OS Tools: Publishing papers

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VO Sharing is daring: Open Science approaches to Digital Humanities

Please read the lesson script below and complete the tasks.

Questions, remarks, issues? Participate in the Zoom meeting on Mon, 04.05.2020, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.!
This week's topic of discussion:
Self-archiving is simple, quick, and costs nothing. So why do researchers bother to go the "traditional way" of publishing in journals or with publishing houses?

Mon, 04.05., 16:45 - 18:15: Open Science Tools: Publishing papers[Bearbeiten]

We have covered all our bases and are now finally ready to dive into the practical side of doing Open Science. The first practical thing we want to take a closer look at is publishing papers. In your university career, you have already written seminar papers about topics that you researched. This is training for the work as a scholar, as humanities scholars spend most of their time on writing about the research that they do. Once you have finished writing, you submit your seminar paper to your teacher, who comments on it. Scholars do the same when they finish writing an article: They submit it to the editor(s) of a journal or to the editor(s) of the book they want to publish their article in, who comment on it and return the article with their comments.

What is your next step when you get your paper back from your teacher? Have you ever gotten feedback that was so encouraging that you wanted to make your paper available to the world? For a scholar, this is the next step: publication. But even if you don't try to have your paper "printed" (or published digitally), you are probably not deleting it right after you get your grade; instead, you will probably archive it somewhere, most likely on your own computer. The scholar usually does the same; regardless if the paper was published or not, the author will keep it in some kind of personal archive. Like this, the paper is available

  1. to the author through their personal archive and anyone who the author is willing to give the paper to directly (e.g. their students)
  2. to the publishers of the paper (the editors, the publishing house) and anyone who the publishers are willing to give the paper to directly (if they are willing to give it to anyone for free)
  3. to those who are able and willing to pay for buying the book / subscribing to the journal that the article is published in (typically individuals or libraries - the latter usually have to pay for the book / journal with public money)

However, many people argue that in this system, the public (who funds the universities) triple pays for the article: First, the scholar (= university employee) receives their salary for writing the article from the state. Second, the university pays "Article Processing Charges" (APCs) to the publisher (for copy-editing, design, printing, etc) so that they will publish the article. Finally, the university library pays for the book so that it can supply the book to its researchers and students.

When the internet emerged, people soon realized that we no longer necessarily have to lock up books and articles in libraries, but could access them online all over the world. The publishers realized this too and quickly invented the "paywall" - the idea that even if an article is available online, people can pay for it before being able to read it, therefore eliminating printing costs, but otherwise not changing the system described above.

This is where the concept of Open Access comes in.

Task 1[Bearbeiten]

To learn more about the concept and history of Open Access, about the "green" and the "gold" route, and the idea of "self-archiving", visit the Open Science Training Handbook. In the section "Open Science Basics: Open Access to Published Research Results", read the chapters "What is it?", "Rationale", and "Key components".

Task 2[Bearbeiten]

Now that we have learned what Open Access is basically about, we can move on to understand in more detail why it's a good idea and how to do it in practice. Please read the entire blog post "Open Access guidelines for the arts and humanities: recommendations by DARIAH" by Erszebeth Tóth-Czifra and Laurent Romary before we go through DARIAH's recommendations in more detail to learn abut the individual steps to be taken to publish a paper Open Access.

As scholars with a focus on today's topic of publishing papers, we are particularly interested in two of the "commitments" made by DARIAH: The recommendation of self-archiving and the recommendation to exclusively publish in fully Open Access journals instead of hybrid journals. We will look at these two recommendations and test out paths to put them into practice.


In order to be able to archive something yourself that you also wish to publish, your contract with the publisher has to grant you the according rights (i.e. it shouldn't take that right away from you, see our session on copyright). If that is the case, your publisher can publish the "proper", official version of your paper in an open or closed environment AND in addition, you can provide the paper to anyone by self-archiving it in an open repository. Even if you don't plan to publish a text or other type of research output you created in the traditional manner (e.g. the text of a presentation you gave, a poster, a short abstract or a working paper), public self-archiving is still recommended as it allows you to contribute the knowledge you created to the research environment. From the practical perspective, we have already gotten to know one of the most prominent repositories that is used by researchers and scientists to self-archive their work: Zenodo. Another fully open repository that is widely used by digital humanities scholars is HAL. If you are looking for an overview of the many, many repositories out there, you can visit the Directory of Open Access Repositories OpenDOAR.

Task 3[Bearbeiten]

Please visit OpenDOAR and check what Austrian repositories are listed there. Do you know any of them, have you used any of them yet? Find your university's repository an access it.

Publishing exclusively in fully Open Access publishing forums, not in hybrid Open Access journals

If you want to take the next step and not only self-archive your paper in an open environment, but actually properly publish it on such a channel, there is an environment similar to OpenDOAR that can help you find a proper journal for this endeavor: The Directory of Open Access Journals DOAJ.

Task 4[Bearbeiten]

To gain a better understanding of how the topics we discussed in previous sessions and the im/possibilities of openly publishing our work play together, please check out the "Open Access Toolkit". Pay special attention to the illustration "How to make our research Open Access for free and legally" and to the "lifecycle of a publication".

Now that we have learned all about the green and the gold way to Open Access and the tools that can help us implement both, we are ready to publish. Unfortunately, there are so many publishing possibilities out there that it can be hard to choose the appropriate place for the publication of our paper - especially because there are many "predatory publishers" out there who are trying to make financial gain from offering researchers a place to publish their work "without checking articles for quality and legitimacy and without providing the other editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide" (Wikipedia). Therefore, we have one last tool to get acquainted with.

Task 5[Bearbeiten]

For our final task of this lesson, let's test a very practical tool that can support us in choosing the most open environment possible for publishing our work. First, watch the video "Think. Check. Submit." to understand that we need to use our common sense to understand that sometimes, an offer that sounds "took good to be true" actually is. Subsequently, visit the thinkchecksubmit website and use it to check a hypothetical submission you want to make (either you want to submit a seminar paper to a journal, your thesis as a book to a publisher, or a presentation to a conference that sounds interesting - use thinkchecksubmit to see if the channel you chose is the appropriate place for your work).

Congratulations, you are ready to publish your paper! Next week, we will move on to make sure that the data you describe in this paper is also available openly.

Questions, remarks, issues? Participate in the Zoom meeting on Mon, 04.05.2020, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.!
This week's topic of discussion:
Self-archiving is simple, quick, and costs nothing. So why do researchers bother to go the "traditional way" of publishing in journals or with publishing houses?