For quite some time, I have been interested in/incensed by the scholarly publication system; the exclusions, iniquities and absurdities of it can be clearly seen from only a brief survey of the economic field. I have watched with despair as the sciences have made projects work while the humanities and social sciences have almost sleepwalked into a disaster. The Finch Report published in the UK and accepted by the government will wreak havoc on our modus operandi and work to stratify an already split field.
Following conversations with various figures by email, including Cameron Neylon, Tim McCormick and Mike Taylor, I have decided to extend a call for those who share my thoughts, most notably: it doesn't have to be this way. We can eradicate much exclusion by building a system that is fit for purpose, more egalitarian and sustainable -- a Public Library of Science model for the Humanities and Social Sciences. I can't do it on my own, though. I need individuals and organizations to contact me so that I can form a mailing list, start brainstorming ideas, accrue startup funding, get the reputation and intellectual capital behind the system and generally get this massive project rolling.
Whatever your expertise, please get in touch; here are some examples:
- Senior (or not so senior) academics who can lend their experience, knowledge and reputation to the project
- Journal editors who would like to move to a sustainable Open Access model
- Journalists who can promote the project
- People with experience in finance who can help with sustainability forecasts
- Librarians and infrastructure specialists/programmers to build the platform
- Institutions who are interested in participating and supporting the project
- Those with experience of funding applications for a project of this size
- Anybody who generally supports the idea and wants to express this!
This is an invitation and a challenge: help me build a better future for academic publication.