DOAJ: handmaiden to despots? or, OA, we need to talk

As any movement grows and flourishes, decisions made will turn out to have unforeseen consequences. Achieving the goals of the movement requires critical reflection and occasional changes in policy and procedure.The purpose of this post is to point out that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) appears to be inadvertently acting as a handmaiden to at least one despotic government, facilitating dissemination of works subject to censorship and rejecting open access journals that would be suitable venues for critics of the despotic government. There is no blame and no immediately obvious remedy, but solving a problem begins with acknowledging that a problem exists and inviting discussion of how to avoid and solve the problem. OA friends, please consider this such an invitation.

As I posted recently, SpringerOpen is currently publishing 13 journals that are sponsored by the Government of Egypt, a government that has been criticized for numerous major violations of the human rights and academic freedoms of scholars (by “major” I mean consequences up to and including murder). These journals are listed in DOAJ.

In contrast, a number of journals that welcome global authors that would be suitable venues for critics of the Egyptian government (a number of the Global Communication Journals network journals and the International Journal of Communication) are no longer listed in DOAJ, in spite of the facts that these journals are fully open access and meet the quality criteria for DOAJ, as discussed here.

It seems very unlikely that anyone in the OA movement deliberately decided on a strategy of facilitating the inclusion of works sponsored by a despotic government and suppressing venues suitable for critique of despotic governments. But in effect this is what is happening. I do not know if this scenario is unique. There are reasons to think that it is not. As reported in previous posts on this blog, large commercial companies partnering with various sponsors is not unusual. A large company with dedicated staff and a number of open access journals is in a better position to ensure that their journals are included in DOAJ than a small one-off not-for-profit journal.

There is no blame and no instant remedy, but to achieve the vision of the global sharing of the knowledge of humankind, solutions must be found. The first steps in solving a problem are acknowledging that a problem exists and inviting discussion and brainstorm on potential solutions. OA friends, please consider this an invitation.

Links to posts referred to:

SpringerOpen pricing trends 2018 – 2019

by Heather Morrison


270 SpringerOpen journals were studied. 33 (12%) have ceased publication, 15 have been transferred to another publisher, and 7 are now hybrid. Of the 215 active journals published by SpringerOpen, 54% charge APCs. The average APC was 1,212 EUR, an increase of 8% over the 2018 average, 6 times the EU inflation rate for June 2019 of 1.3%. 58% of the 96 journals for which we have 2018 and 2018 data did not change in price; 5% decreased in price; and 36% increased in price. Price increases for journals that increased in price ranged from 3% to 109% (double the inflation rate to double in price). Journals with the highest volume of publishing were the most likely to have increased in price. This will amplify the effective percentage of articles with price increases for APC payers. 40% of the journals are sponsored by a university, society, government, or other not-for-profit partner, and have no publication fee. The sustainability of these sponsorships is not clear. 12 journals appear to have recently switched from “no APC” to “now APC”, with APCs only slightly below the SpringerOpen average. The affordability of the SpringerOpen partnership approach is called into question. SpringerOpen’s average APC does not compare favorably either to average academic salaries in a low to middle income country (with Egypt as an example) or to OJS Premium journal hosting services (the break-even point is 2 articles per year, i.e. a journal that publishes 3 articles per year saves money with OJS Premium as compared to SpringerOpen). Even a sponsor based in Germany only pays half the APC, raising a question about whether SpringerOpen sponsorships are sustainable anywhere.


PDF Springer Open Pricing Trends 2018_2019

Table 1: 2019 SpringerOpen Journal Publication and APC status summary

2019 SpringerOpen Journal Publication and APC status summary


Status * # Journals Percent
APC 117 43%
No publication fee 85 31%
Ceased publication 33 12%
Transferred to another publisher 15 6%
No cost found 13 5%
Now hybrid 7 3%
Total ** 270 100%

* status data is found in “2019 APC publisher website original currency” column

** total excludes 1 predecessor title and 12 journals previously listed under Springer now listed under BMC

Pricing trends 2018 – 2019

Of the 270 journals total:

  • 13 titles are new in 2019 (included in 2019 overall analysis but not 2018 – 2019 trend analysis)
  • 33 are ceased, 7 now hybrid, 15 transferred to another publisher: these titles are not included in the price trends analysis

Total journals included in price trend analysis:

  • 2019 overall: 215
  • 2018 – 2019 comparison: 202

Of the 215 titles, as illustrated in the chart and table below, an APC amount is confirmed for just over half the journals (54%). 40% are confirmed as having no publication fee, while for 6% of the journals it was not possible to confirm whether or not a publication fee is charged.

Chart 1: % of SpringerOpen active times by APC status (has APC, no publication fee, no cost found)


Table 2: SpringerOpen active titles 2019 by APC status

Springer Open active titles 2019 by APC status
Status Number Percentage
APC 117 54%
No publication fee 85 40%
No cost found * 13 6%
Grand Total 215

* No cost found = we could not identify whether or not there is a publication charge.

Of the 85 titles with no publication fee in 2019, 73 were published in partnership with a university (31), society (17), government (17), or not-for-profit organization (8).  Many of these journals’ websites indicate that there is no publication fee due to sponsorship, for example “…agreement between Springer Nature and the Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research (Government of Egypt), therefore author-payable article-processing charges do not apply”. 7 of these titles are new to the Springer Open website in 2019. This suggests that either Springer Nature is actively soliciting sponsoring partners, or that not-for-profit publishers are actively seeking commercial partnerships.

APC Model, currency and some notes re data collection

SpringerOpen uses a straightforward per-article article processing charge. A SpringerOpen APC list that includes pricing for Springer, BioMedCentral, and Nature journals was downloaded from the Springer website on July 16, 2019. Pricing is listed in 3 currencies for each journal: EUR, GBP, and USD. EUR was selected for analysis as this was the currency included in the 2018 OA Main spreadsheet, hence the best for comparison (because Springer is based in Germany, it was assumed that this was the “primary” currency).

For some journals the SpringerOpen APC list states “see website” for pricing. Pricing information for these journals was taken from the SpringerOpen website.

Information about waivers etc., and pricing information for hybrid journals, was not gathered as outside the scope for this project.

APC information from the Jan. 31, 2019 DOAJ metadata forms part of the main spreadsheet. Originally, I had hoped to be able to rely on this data, at least for journals added to DOAJ in 2018 and 2019, at least for journals that do not charge APCs. However, after a quick check I realized that there are a number of journals that indicated no publication charge in DOAJ that currently have a publication charge in the SpringerOpen APC list or website. For this reason, DOAJ data is not used as a basis for 2019 information.

Table 3: 2019 and 2018 SpringerOpen APC central tendency in EUR

2019 and 2018 APC central tendency in EUR


2019 2018 % increase
Average 1,212 1,128 8
Median 1,155 1,035 12

The table above provides the central tendencies for all SpringerOpen titles with an APC for either 2019 (117 journals) or 2018 (104 journals) in EUR. There has been an 8% increase in the average APC and a 12% increase in the median APC.

Price changes 2018 – 2019

There are 96 journals for which we have an APC amount in both 2018 and 2019.

Table 4: SpringerOpen price changes 2018 – 2019 (96 journals)

Direction of change *
Price decrease 5%
No change 58%
Price increase 36%
* Note: does not include change to / from no publication fee

As illustrated in the Table 4 above, a majority of these journals (58%) did not change prices in EUR from 2018 to 2019, while more than a third (36%) increased in price and a few (5%) decreased in price.

The 2018 prices of journals with price increases ranged from 630 EUR (well below average) to 1,750 EUR (well above average). The 2018 average price of these journals was 1,160 EUR, above the 2018 average of 1,128 EUR. The median was 1,100 EUR, above the 2018 median of 1,035 EUR. In other words, while some journals with below-average APCs increased in price, a majority of journals with price increases had above-average APCs in 2018.

For the 35 journals that increased in price, the increases in percentages ranged from 3% to 109% (slightly more than double in price).  According to the European Commission (2019), “Euro area annual inflation was 1.3 % in June 2019, up from 1.2 % in May 2019.” All prices increased were more than double the inflation rate. 23 journals had price increases of 14% or more, more than 10 times the current inflation rate.

All of the 5 journals with APC price decreases had above-average APCs in 2018 (from 1,050 to 2,035 EUR).

Volume of publishing and direction of APC price change

Volume of publishing per journal was calculated using Walt Crawford’s (2018) Global Open Access Journals. The number of articles published per year was summed to get a total # of articles published per journal from 2011 – 2018. A few journals for which no such data was available were excluded. Not surprisingly, volume of publication appears to correlate with APC pricing trend. As illustrated in the table below, journals that decreased in price had on average fewer articles than journals that did change in price, with the highest volume of publication noted for journals with price increases.

Table 5: average SpringerOpen articles published 2011 – 2018 by APC trend

Average # articles published* 2011 – 2018 by APC trend


Price decrease No change Price increase
Average # articles 118 162 674
Median # articles 41 115 243
* from Walt Crawford’s Gold Open Access Journals (2018)


Table 6: 2018 -2019 price changes and # of articles by journal title

Journal title 2019 APC (EUR) 2018 APC (EUR) 2019 – 2018 # 2019 – 2018 % WC # articles total 2011 – 2018
Environmental Sciences Europe 2,040 975 1,065 109% 216
Environmental Systems Research 1,690 885 805 91% 150
Injury Epidemiology 1,465 930 535 58% 176
Agricultural and Food Economics 1,000 650 350 54% 136
Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture 1,570 1,085 485 45% 135
EJNMMI Research 2,170 1,600 570 36% 609
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental 1,870 1,425 445 31% 1,351
Progress in Earth and Planetary Science 1,300 1,000 300 30% 244
Heritage Science 1,180 930 250 27% 276
Boundary Value Problems 1,180 930 250 27% 1,532
Advances in Difference Equations 1,180 930 250 27% 2,523
Journal of Inequalities and Applications 1,180 930 250 27% 2,786
International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility 1,000 800 200 25% 37
Annals of Intensive Care 2,170 1,750 420 24% 581
Nanoscale Research Letters 1,570 1,300 270 21% 4,038
EURASIP Journal on Information Security 760 630 130 21% 91
Applied Adhesion Science 1,180 1,000 180 18% 119
Journal of Big Data 1,180 1,000 180 18% 161
EPJ Quantum Technology 1,290 1,100 190 17% 54
EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing 1,290 1,100 190 17% 200
The Journal of Mathematical Neuroscience 1,290 1,105 185 17% 104
Pastoralism 1,290 1,105 185 17% 190
Rice 1,990 1,745 245 14% 335
Journal of Cloud Computing: Advances, Systems and Applications 860 800 60 8% 419
EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing 1,290 1,200 90 8% 475
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 1,290 1,200 90 8% 1,035
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 1,290 1,200 90 8% 1,962
Critical Ultrasound Journal 1,870 1,745 125 7% 241
Crime Science 990 930 60 6% 107
Fixed Point Theory and Applications 990 930 60 6% 1,181
European Transport Research Review 1,200 1,150 50 4% 270
International Journal of Bipolar Disorders 1,790 1,745 45 3% 162
Sports Medicine – Open 1,790 1,745 45 3% 171
AMB Express 1,790 1,745 45 3% 851
Botanical Studies 1,690 1,745 -55 -3% 355
European Journal of Hybrid Imaging 1,570 1,745 -175 -10% 42
Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Modern Processes 690 1,050 -360 -34% 40
CVIR Endovascular 1,060 1,745 -685 -39% 35

Table 6 above lists all Springer journals with APC changes from 2018 – 2019 in descending order by % change, with the total number of articles published from 2011 – 2018 from Crawford (2018)

“No APC” to “Now APC” journals (12 journals

As of July 26, 2019, there are 12 journals listed in DOAJ where DOAJ indicates “No” Article Processing Charges (APCs) that have APCs according to the Springer Open website. For example, DOAJ information on Brain Informatics is as follows


Article Processing Charges (APCs): No.

Submission Charges: No.

Waiver policy for charges? No.”

(Screen scrape from DOAJ website July 26, 2019)

An investigation was conducted to answer the following questions:

  • Are these errors in DOAJ or an actual change from non-charging to charging?
  • What are the characteristics of these journals (age, country of publication, journal license, current APC, society / institution partnerships, timing of switch from non-charging to charging)

Information to answer these questions was drawn from DOAJ and the APC project (data gathered from the publishers’s website) for 2014 – 2019.

Of the 12 journals, 9 are confirmed as having had no publication fee as of 2016, the first year we began systematic gathering of data from the SpringerOpen website. 1 journal listed as “no cost found” in 2016 is listed as “no publication fee” in 2015 and “0” in 2014 (reflecting a change in data collection practices). The remaining 2 journals were identified as “no publication fee” in 2018. Therefore, it was confirmed that all 12 journals were at some point between 2015 and today “No publication fee” journals, that is, journals that had wording on the website clearly indicating that there is no publication charge.

10 of the 12 journals (83%) have a society or institution listed in DOAJ as of Jan. 31, 2019. This suggests two possible reasons for the change from non-charging to charging: 1) the society or institution may have provided interim sponsorship to cover Springer APCs but did not obtain ongoing funding or 2) Springer may have offered an initial low or no-cost deal then raised prices (a common business strategy). The two reasons are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible that other factors are involved that I am not aware of.

Country of publication of no to now APC journals

As illustrated in the table below, 11/12 (92%) of the journals are published in the EU/UK, suggesting a regional trend. 8/12 (two thirds) of the journals are published in Germany, the home country of the ownership and management of parent company SpringerNature (see Who owns SpringerNature? Section below). Does this hint at a direction the company expects to take with all sponsored journals in future?

Table 7: Country of Publication of SpringerOpen “no” to “now” APC journals

Country Journals
Germany 8
Netherlands 1
Singapore 1
United Kingdom 2
Grand Total 12

First calendar year journal provided online Open Access content (no to now journals)

The DOAJ metadata element “First calendar year journal provided online Open Access content” for Jan. 31, 2019 was used a surrogate for age of the journals, with the following results.

Table 8: First calendar year of open access (from DOAJ)

Year Journals
2008 1
2012 1
2013 2
2014 4
2015 1
2016 1
2018 2

The table above indicates a fairly wide range of dates of first online content, with some clustering in 2014. These results are not sufficient to draw inferences about age of journal and tendency to shift from charging to non-charging.

Timing of switch from non-charging to charging

APCs were first found on the SpringerOpen website for these journals as follows:

2017:   1

2018:   3

2019:   8

This data suggests a recent increase in tendency to switch from non-charging to charging. This makes sense in the context of funder push for transition to OA via APCs (OA2020, PlanS).

The APC amounts for these journals are very similar to the overall pattern for SpringerOpen journals, as is illustrated in the following table:

Table 9: SpringerOpen APC no to yes APC v. all

SpringerOpen APC 2019 (EUR)
No to Yes APC only All
Average 1,089 1,212
Median 1,000 1,155
Mode 1,155 885
Range 800 – 1,745 510 – 2,480

Table 10: SpringerOpen Transferred publications

Journal title Transferred to
Bandung: Journal of the Global South Brill
China Finance and Economic Review A new publisher
IZA Journal of Development and Migration Sciendo (de Gruyter imprint)
IZA Journal of Labor Economics Sciendo (de Gruyter imprint)
IZA Journal of Labor Policy Sciendo (de Gruyter imprint)
Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity MDPI
Pacific Journal of Mathematics for Industry World Scientific Publishing
Scientific Phone Apps and Mobile Devices APD SKEG Pte Ltd
Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction Jaypee
Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy The Association of Visual Pedagogies

Of the 10 journals that were transferred to other publishers, 8 were transferred to other commercial publishers, 1 was transferred to the association partner, and 1 simply indicated “new publisher”. 3 of these journals were picked up by deGruyter imprint Sciendo.


One of the goals of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project is to assess the sustainability of approaches to open access. This analysis of Springer Open as of summer 2019 raises some concerns. APC price increases far beyond inflationary rates, particularly when correlated with journals with higher volume, raises questions about the sustainability of the APC approach. The following section focuses on questions about the sustainability of the SpringerOpen partner-sponsor approach that currently accounts for 40% of SpringerOpen journals.

Journal and partnership sustainability

SpringerOpen is a relatively new entrant into open access journal publishing. SpringerOpen appears to be growing through a combination of starting new commercial journals and partnerships with societies, universities, and other not-for-profits that appear to start out with sponsorship approach. In this context, a 12% attrition (“ceased publication”) rate is a concern, particularly when ceased journal titles are no longer listed on the SpringerOpen website or DOAJ, as explained in detail in Morrison (July 22, 2019).

The sustainability of sponsoring partnerships needs further examination. 12 journals that formerly had no publication fees, now have fees. A glance at the list of new sponsoring journals raises questions about sustainability. One of the sponsoring agents is the Government of Egypt. This raises concerns about academic freedom as the Government of Egypt has been described as actively directing academic research and major abuses of the human rights of students and faculty, as discussed in detail elsewhere (Morrison, Aug. 7, 2019). This section will focus on the question of the economic sustainability of this approach.

As we noted a few years ago (Salhab and Morrison, 2015), as of 2015 it would have taken 3 months’ salary for a full professor in Egypt’s public university system to pay an APC of $1,500 USD. The current average APC rate is 1,212 EUR for Springer, equivalent to 1,357 USD (as of August 8, 2019 according to XE currency converter).

As of July 2019, SpringerOpen publishes 13 journals supported by “Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research (Government of Egypt), so author-payable article-processing charges do not apply.” The titles are listed below. This arrangement appears to be in growth mode as 5 of these titles are new to the SpringerOpen list in 2019. In addition, The Journal of Basic and Applied Zoology, is published by an Egyptian society.

Table 11: Egypt sponsored SpringerOpen journals, July 2019

Ain Shams Journal of Anesthesiology
Bulletin of the National Research Centre
Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control
Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics
Egyptian Journal of Neurosurgery
Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
Egyptian Pediatric Association Gazette
Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association
Middle East Current Psychiatry
The Cardiothoracic Surgeon
The Egyptian Heart Journal
The Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery

I hope that the salaries of professors in Egypt’s public university system have improved substantially since 2015. However, if this is not the case, this raises questions about the sustainability of this kind of sponsorship. If the Government of Egypt were to pay SpringerOpen average APCs (1,212 EUR or 1,357 USD) for a small journal publishing 40 articles per year, this sponsorship would cost 54,280 USD per year. If the salary rate for a full professor is still about 6,000 USD per year (1,500 for 3 months x 4), then the cost for sponsoring just one journal with SpringerOpen would be equivalent to the salaries of 9 full professors.

Optimistically guessing that the salaries of professors have doubled in the last few years, sponsoring just one small journal of 40 articles per year would cost the equivalent of the salaries of 4.5 full professors. Egyptian authors would be eligible for a 50% SpringerOpen discount because Egypt is listed as a lower-middle income economy by the World Bank (2019) (SpringerOpen, 2019). Assuming that the discount is applied to the sponsoring partner (the Government of Egypt), this still leaves the situation where a 40-article-per-year journal costs the equivalent of 4.5 full professors’ salaries. Assuming these waivers are applied and are not simply absorbed by a SpringerOpen profit rate of 50%, if the sponsor did not pay the full cost, who does?

Are these sponsorships affordable in the long run even for wealthy countries? The following statement of partial coverage of the 1,155 EUR APC of one of SpringerOpen’s journals may be relevant here as it suggests that SpringerOpen’s business plan involves charging sponsors similar amounts to their average APCs, and raises a question about whether a relatively well-funded research organization based in the same country as SpringerNature can afford to maintain this sponsorship model on an ongoing basis: “50% of the Article Processing Charge for Geothermal Energy is covered by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology” (from SpringerOpen website, July 2019).

There are other options for a country like Egypt that are more sustainable and a better fit with the original goal of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) to “lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge”. As an initial step, I recommend developing a national open access repository or a system of institutional repositories, including an approach such as LOCKSS for preservation purposes, and developing a policy requiring Egyptian researchers to deposit their work for open access in these repositories. This is important to ensure that Egypt (and any other country) does not risk losing access to its own funded research. Relying for access on servers and suppliers in other countries is not wise in the long run because wars (military and trade) and natural disasters could result in temporary or permanent loss of access.

For publishing, there are significant advantages to a local approach, such as hosting local journals using the open source Open Journal Systems (OJS) and hiring local academics, technicians, and administrative assistants to do the work of publishing. OJS is just one example that I use, partly due to familiarity and partly due to open posting of their pricing. In the short term, this provides the immediate benefit of the lower and more predictable costs of local wages. In the long term, this approach cultivates the development of local expertise (technical and academic) and prepares Egyptian researchers for a larger role in international research. As an interim step, the Government of Egypt could contract with OJS for hosted systems at a cost of 850 USD – 2,700 USD per journal, depending on the level of service preferred. Assuming a 40-article per year journal and premium OJS service at 2,700 USD, this would save 51,580 USD per year as compared to publishing with SpringerOpen. Assuming SpringerOpen only expects half due to Egypt’s income status (27,140 USD), this still saves 24,440 USD per year.

Multiplying by 13 journals would result in an estimated cost savings of 317,720 USD – 670,540 USD per year. Assuming 2015 salary figures are still fairly accurate, this sum would be enough to pay the salaries of 55 – 110 full professors.

If half of this amount is redirected to hiring local staff (e.g., pay part of the time of a full-time professor to oversee academic quality, a librarian shared among several journals to look after journal hosting, a part-time administrative assistant), the Government of Egypt benefits from both cost savings and building of local expertise and leadership, and is developing the expertise to benefit even further down the road as this approach is good preparation for eventual further savings from downloading and hosting the software, eliminating the hosting fees. Aside from cost savings, this approach helps us to move towards equity – equal participation – and away from the charity model of APCs with waivers.

A simpler way to express the difference in affordability of the 2 approaches: 2 APCs at 1,357 USD (SpringerOpen average) = 2,714 USD. OJS premium journal hosting is 2,700 USD. The break-even point for a journal using OJS hosting as compared to partnering with SpringerOpen is 2 articles / year. Any journal that publishes 3 or more articles per year saves money with OJS’ premium service.

Perhaps this model would be helpful to institutions like Helmholtz in Germany, too? This basic approach (support local publishing) is a popular model in North and Latin America.

Who owns SpringerNature? According to the SpringerNature website:

“Springer Nature is organised as a German partnership limited by shares…which combines elements of a German stock corporation…and elements of a German limited partnership…  Shares in Springer Nature are held by entities controlled by the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and funds advised by BC Partners.

The management …is undertaken by a “general partner” (or “GP”)… For Springer Nature the GP is a German stock corporation held by entities controlled by the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and funds advised by BC Partners….” Screen scraped from July 26, 2019 (German omitted).

Raw data  in excel: (Springer portion of main spreadsheet). Caution: this is a working document without documentation and does not include analysis.



Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002). Read the initiative. Retrieved August 8, 2019 from

Crawford, W. (2018). Gold Open Access Journals 2013 – 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2019 from

European Commission (2019). Eurostat statistics explained. Retrieved July 29, 2019 from

Morrison, H. July 22, 2019. SpringerOpen ceased, now hybrid, and OA identification challenges. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons.

Morrison, H. August 7, 2019. SpringerOpen, Egypt, and academic freedom. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons.

Salhab, J. & Morrison, H. (2015). Who is served by for-profit gold open access publishing? A case study of Hindawi and Egypt. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons

SpringerOpen (2019). APC waivers and discounts. Retrieved August 8, 2019 from

World Bank (2019). World Bank country and lending groups. Retrieved August 8, 2019 from

Cite as: Morrison, H. (2019). SpringerOpen pricing trends 2019. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons August 13, 2019

No-fee inclusive journals, and disappointment with DOAJ

by Heather Morrison


This post highlights two living models for inclusive, no-fee journals. One is a global network of not-for-profit journals that are diverse in language and content (the Global Media Journal network). The other is an English language journal with content that is global in scope (the International Journal of Communication, IJOC). These two examples were selected because the journals are fully open access, inclusive, have no publication charges, and are the journals that I would recommend irrespective of OA and fee status. They are in my discipline and I am acquainted with some of the members of their highly qualified editorial boards and have discussed with them their involvement in these journals. I am disappointed to find that most of these journals are no longer listed in DOAJ. If journals like these are not included in DOAJ, in my field, another list is needed. Recommended actions for sustainability of not-for-profit no-fee inclusive journals like these: re-direct financial support from the large for-profit commercial publishers to provide support for these journals (library journal hosting, a common practice in North America, can be part of the solution); reach out to understand their needs, recognizing that a small not-for-profit no-fee journal has no funds to send staff to OASPA or lobby on their behalf; include in listings like DOAJ for maximum dissemination of their works; and find examples of journals like these and make them a priority in open access education.

PDF version: Morrison_No_fee_inclusive_journals_2019_08_13


This post is inspired by the useful information provided by Egyptian scholarly ElHassan ElSabry to the Global Open Access List (GOAL) in August 2019, which can be found here:

Two points raised by ElHassan ElSabry are that publication charges in international journals are a barrier for scholars in a country like Egypt, where scholars must pay out of pocket. Even the 50% waiver provided by a publisher like SpringerOpen for authors from a low to middle income country like Egypt still leaves a very substantial cost for the author. Aside from cost, another barrier is that international journals often do not welcome authors from outside the developed world. This post features examples of two no-fee, inclusive approaches to journal publishing.

These and similar journals can provide an immediate solution for some scholars. A major limitation is that a tendency to welcome authors from around the world may vary depending on discipline, sub-discipline, region and among particular communities of scholars. In the field of communication, many scholars and journals welcome submissions from authors around the world. My own research is global in scope, so it is not surprising that this is reflected in the journals published by scholars in my communities.

Global Media Journals Network

The Global Media site describes the network as follows: “Founded by Dr. Yahya R. Kamalipour, in 2002, the Global Media Journals network includes the following independent open-access peer-reviewed editions. Published in many languages, each edition is hosted by a major university and has its own managing editor and advisory board”.  I first met Dr. Kamalipour at a 2014 Global Communication Association conference in Ottawa, Canada, hosted by scholars at St. Paul University, with which the University of Ottawa has a long-standing relationship. I was very favorably impressed with Dr. Kamalipour, the Global Media Journals network, the conference, and the Global Communication Association (also founded by Dr. Kamalipour). I have discussed the journals with some of the editors, respected scholars including scholars associated with my own University.

GMJ Editions Status Hosts/Sponsors
Global Media Journal: Arabian Edition Active Amity University Dubai
Global Media Journal: Canadian Active University of Ottawa
Global Media Journal: Chinese Active Tsinghua University
Global Media Journal: German Active Freie University Berlin/Germany and the University of Erfurt/Germany
Global Media Journal: Indian Active University of Calcutta
Global Media Journal: Malaysian Active University Putra Malaysia
Global Media Journal: Mexican Active Texas A & M International University and Tecnologico de Monterrey at Monterrey
Global Media Journal: Persian Active University of Tehran
Global Media Journal: Russian Active Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University
Global Media Journal: Turkish


Active Yeditepe University


Global Media Journal: Australian Active Western Sydney University


Browsing through the URLs on this list, I found that 7 of the 11 journals exhibit publishing activity in 2019, and an additional 3 in 2018. Only one, the Malaysian journal, may be inactive, having last published in 2016. The URLs for the Malaysian and Persian versions do not work, but the journals can be found here: Malaysian: and Persian:

As of August 12, 2019, only 3 of the 11 journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. In previous years, it appears that all were listed.

International Journal of Communication

The International Journal of Communication (IJOC) was founded by scholars at the University of Southern California – Annenberg, and USC-Annenberg hosts the journal. There is no fee for publication. How is this possible? In North America, it is common for academic libraries to provide journal hosting services for journals faculty are involved with. It makes sense for universities to provide this kind of technical support for services needed by faculty members, just as universities provide facilities for advanced computing, word processing, statistical analysis, bibliographic management and pedagogical tools, to name a few examples. The infrastructure (hardware, software, staffing) requirements are very similar. To learn more about this North American approach, I recommend starting with the website of the Library Publishing Coalition:

Although IJOC is published exclusively in English, a quick glance at the Table of Contents for the most recent issue (Volume 13, 2019) illustrates global diversity in topics. Articles covering U.S. based issues are intermingled with articles focused on China, South Korea, the EU, Africa, Afghan Media, and Chile. There is a special section on East Asia, and one on Extreme Speech in different countries that directly addresses questions of growing social exclusion in the broader society of which academic exclusion is just one example.

As of today, IJOC is no longer listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Recommended actions for sustainability of these inclusive not-for-profit examples of open access:

  • Re-direct economic support (library budgets) from large for-profit commercial publishers to support journals like this. This can be accomplished at significant cost savings to libraries – see my 2013 First Monday article for an explanation:
  • Library journal hosting can be part of the solution, but journals need some financial support for academic and support staff time and incidentals; the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program provides one model of this type of support, and in addition provides a model for journal-level peer-review, ensuring academic quality:
  • Reach out to journals like these to understand their needs; recognize that a small not-for-profit no-fee journal does not have funding to send staff to conferences like OASPA or to lobby (unlike large commercial publishers).
  • Include the journals in major lists and indexing services such as DOAJ to increase dissemination for the journals and their authors.
  • To encourage not-for-profit inclusive journals like these ones, find examples like these and make them a priority in open access education.

Comments are welcome. Exceptions to the commenting policy requiring attribution can be made if public commenting is a risk to the author.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2019). No-fee inclusive journals, and disappointment with DOAJ. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons August 13, 2019.


SpringerOpen, Egypt, and academic freedom

SpringerOpen 2019 and the Government of Egypt

by Dr. Heather Morrison

SpringerOpen is currently publishing 13 journals sponsored by the Government of Egypt. This is an opportunity to discuss some issues of relevance to the goals and sustainability of open access, starting with academic freedom. As described by Holmes and Aziz (2019) there are very serious problems with academic freedom in Egypt, ranging from tight government control over what is studied and published to extrajudicial killings of 21 students in the last few years. The University of Liverpool considered, then rejected, a lucrative offer to set up a campus in Egypt due to concerns about reputational damage. This raises some interesting questions. Academic freedom is critical to any kind of meaningful open access. Nothing could possibly be more in opposite to open access than a dead student whose research was destroyed because of what was studied. Why is SpringerOpen partnering with the Government of Egypt? Should academics boycott SpringerOpen because of this partnership? What, if anything, can academics do to support academic freedom in a country like Egypt? Some believe that the Creative Commons license CC-BY (attribution only) is the best for open access (I don’t agree, but this is a separate topic). If your research could get you killed, attribution might not be a good idea. Today, some of us might assume that these kinds of problems would never happen in our own countries; but times change, and it has happened that places that enjoyed freedom at one point in time came under the control of a dictator.

Following is the list of titles which state on the SpringerOpen site that they are supported by the “Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research (Government of Egypt), so author-payable article-processing charges do not apply”.

Journals supported by the Government of Egypt published by SpringerOpen as of July 2019
Ain Shams Journal of Anesthesiology
Bulletin of the National Research Centre
Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control
Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics
Egyptian Journal of Neurosurgery
Egyptian Journal of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
Egyptian Pediatric Association Gazette
Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association
Middle East Current Psychiatry
The Cardiothoracic Surgeon
The Egyptian Heart Journal
The Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery

Holmes, A. & Aziz, A. (2019). Egypt’s lost academic freedom. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved August 9, 2019 from



SpringerNature and Macmillan: one company, two directions: open access and IP maximization

SpringerNature, owner of Springer Open, Nature, and BioMedCentral, positions itself as a leader in the open access movement. However, Springer, Nature, and BMC are only 3 of the brands of the parent company, SpringerNature Group. The purpose of this post is to raise awareness about the dual approach of the parent company with respect to copyright and intellectual property – positioning itself as both a leader in open access and a leader in IP maximization, and to encourage those with a sincere interest in the goal of open access to learn about, and question, organizations with an interest in serving this area.

While the SpringerNature site today states that it is:

“A new force in research publishing
Springer Nature is the world’s largest academic book publisher, publisher of the world’s most influential journals, and a pioneer in the field of open research” (from:

…another of the company’s brands, Macmillan, is sending letters to creators complaining that library lending is cannibalizing sales, and is further restricting paid library use of works. See the Canadian Urban Libraries’ Council on this matter here:

Following are the brands listed on the SpringerNature group site as of today:

Our brand sites
Nature Research
Palgrave Macmillan
Macmillan Education
Springer Healthcare
Scientific American

In addition to open access, this company is involved in toll access textbook publishing and rentals and educational services that appear to compete with public education services. Even among the 3 brands involved in open access, 2 (Springer and Nature Research) have a long history of making money through subscriptions and sales. Even today, this is probably a much larger source of income than open access, and one of these brands’ main assets is copyright ownership of a large corpus of works.

To understand the potential futures of open access, it is important to understand the nature of the players involved. The friendly staff of Springer Open are no doubt a pleasure to work with for people in the OA movement, and sincere in their embrace of OA. However, when they tell you that true open access requires open licensing granting blanket downstream permission for commercial uses, they might not be aware that some of these commercial uses could involve for-profit textbook sales and rentals.

Unlike Elsevier, SpringerNatureGroup does not post financial information on its website. As a publicly traded corporation, Elsevier is obliged to provide this kind of transparency, including profits and business strategy. The corporation as a form of business can be viewed as an early form of openness in business; anyone can buy shares and participate in profits and decision-making. Springer is privately owned, and has no such obligation. In this respect, Springer is far less open than Elsevier.

Originally posted on the Global Open Access List and the Radical Open Access List.

Springer Open: ceased, now hybrid, OA identification challenges


SpringerNature, owner of Nature Publishing Group, Springer Open, and BioMedCentral, is the world’s largest fully open access journal publisher as measured by number of journals. The purpose of this post is to underscore what appears to be a significant open access attrition rate at SpringerOpen (15% OA attrition in the past few years) and raise questions about challenges to finding and identifying these journals as open access. Ceased journals that were always open access are listed on the SpringerLink (mostly subscriptions) site, not the SpringerOpen website. Subscriptions articles are clearly marked as such; the OA status of an article is not stated on the journal home page. Information provided by a library about License Terms may not mention or resemble a CC license.


We have been tracking 258 Springer Open titles up to 2018 (excluding journals new in 2019 and journals now listed under BioMedCentral). Of these, 31 (12%) have ceased publication and 7 (3%) are now hybrid journals, combining subscriptions and optional open access (Open Choice) articles. Together, these two categories add up to a combined OA attrition rate of 15%.

Finding the titles and/or identifying the open access status of journals and articles could be challenging. For example, all 38 journals are listed on the main SpringerLink site; none are listed on the Springer Open site. The SpringerLink site includes thousands of journals (a SpringerLink search for “journal” yields over 3,500 results), almost all of which are subscriptions based.

For example, if you click on the link to now ceased Earth Perspectives from the SpringerLink website, while as pictured on the bottom right hand side there is a link to the open access collection there is no prominent mention of the open access status of this journal. Earth_Perspectives_1

Clicking on the latest volume, as shown, brings up a list of articles in the volume, with no indication at this stage that the articles are open access. Earth_Perspectives_2.

Once you get to the actual article, the open access status is stated clearly at the top and the copyright link goes to the CC-BY license (all ceased titles were licensed CC-BY).

18 of the 31 ceased titles were listed in DOAJ in 2018; only 2 are listed in DOAJ as of Jan. 31, 2019.

Journals ceased by year
2015 1
2016 6
2017 8
2018 8
2019 1
not stated 7
Grand Total 31

As illustrated by the table above, most of these journals ceased quite recently. Authors who selected a journal for publication in 2017 or 2018 because it was on the Springer Open website and/or in DOAJ might be surprised to know that their journal has been de-listed by these sites, perhaps shortly after their article was published.

When I look up the titles through the University of Ottawa library’s A to Z journal list, the journals are identified as open or free access, however the link to the License Terms of Use, while they indicate broad use, are very different from CC-BY. For example, the answer to the question: “Can I post a copy in a course management system?” is: “The licensee and authorized users may incorporate parts of the licensed materials in Virtual Campus.” There is no indication of the CC license. As an aside, this is not meant as a critique; identifying an entire journal as under one CC license might solve some problems, but would likely create others.

Some examples of problems arising from identifying CC licensing at a journal level

  • third party content is generally under a different license than an article or journal
  • different articles and different types of content may have different licenses
  • the journal may have changed its default license over time; in the case of journals that began publishing before CC licenses became available, this is almost always the case

6 of the 7 journals that are now hybrid are clearly hybrid, mixing open access and subscriptions content. In the list of articles in a particular volume, subscription articles are clearly marked with a lock, and lead to information that an article can be purchased for $39.95, rented through DeepDyve, or subscribed to. There is no open access note or symbol for open access content, although on the bottom right hand of the screen there is a link to an open access collection search, and items are marked as open access once the reader gets to the article level.

Following are lists of the ceased and hybrid publications, remember if you would like to look them up, use SpringerLink site, not the Springer Open site:


Applied Informatics
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health
Brazilian Journal of Science and Technology
Computational Cognitive Science
Decision Analytics
Earth Perspectives — Transdisciplinarity Enabled
Earthquake Science
EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems
Fields Mathematics Education Journal
In Silico Cell and Tissue Science
Infrastructure Complexity
International Journal of Dharma Studies
Journal of Chinese Management
Journal of Chinese Studies
Journal of Computational Surgery
Journal of Frugal Innovation
Journal of Solid State Lighting
Journal of Trust Management
Journal of Uncertainty Analysis and Applications
Lingua Sinica
Mathematics-in-Industry Case Studies
Multilingual Education
mUX: The Journal of Mobile User Experience
Psychology of Well-Being
Robotics and Biomimetics
Sustainable Chemical Processes
Technology, Innovation and Education
Textiles and Clothing Sustainability
The Journal of Global Positioning Systems
Zoological Studies

Now hybrid

Fire Science Reviews (technically open access predecessor to hybrid Fire Technology)
In Silico Pharmacology
Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation
Maritime Studies
Research in the Mathematical Sciences
Science China Life Sciences
Journal of Remanufacturing

Full but messy, working, undocumented data is available for download here:



This is only one aspect of the Springer Open 2019 analysis.

For earlier posts on Springer, see

Open peer review: a preliminary review, an open offer, observations and discussion

This post links to a preliminary review of Debat & Babini’s preprint PlanS in Latin America: a precautionary note (citation details below) – in brief, Latin America has long been a leader and role model, and these authors have no peers; an open offer to conduct a full peer review (with conditions), and a link to a post highlighting my current perspective on open peer review and an invitation to participate in experimentation with, and discussion about, open peer review. A link to this post as an offer for a full open peer review will be sent to Debat, Babini, and the editor of PeerJ.

Open offer to conduct a full peer review (with conditions): if desired by the authors and the journal should the journal wish to accept my conditions, I offer to conduct a full peer review of this article under the following conditions:

  • My peer review would be open access but published under, and clearly marked as, All Rights Reserved Copyright, and will include a detailed explanation of this choice at the bottom of the peer review.
  • If the journal, PeerJ, wishes to publish the review, what is required:
    • An exception to the journal’s CC-BY policy
    • A mechanism for a “one-time-only” review, i.e. if I agree to review one article, this does not mean that I wish to join the PeerJ community as an author or receive further review requests
  • The authors and journal must commit to a particular version for the review, grant a reasonable time frame (minimum two weeks) for the review, and commit to reading and responding to the review. Rationale: it is not a good use of a reviewer’s time to review a version while the authors are already working on another version and/or if the work itself might be complete before the reivew.

The peer review itself becomes an item that I wish to retain and include in my CV, hence the official version from my perspective is included in my institutional repository. Following is a sample of a recent open peer review I did on a related topic:

Observations and discussion

Please see my post Open Peer Review: a Model & an Invitation (2019 update) for current perspective and an invitation to participate in discussion and experimentation to further open peer review.

Debat & Babini article – citation, abstract and links

Humberto Debat, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (IPAVE-CIAP-INTA), Argentina

Dominique Babini, Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO), Argentina

Latin America has historically led a firm and rising Open Access movement and represents the worldwide region with larger adoption of Open Access practices. Argentina has recently expressed its commitment to join Plan S, an initiative from a European consortium of research funders oriented to mandate Open Access publishing of scientific outputs. Here we suggest that the potential adhesion of Argentina or other Latin American nations to Plan S, even in its recently revised version, ignores the reality and tradition of Latin American Open Access publishing, and has still to demonstrate that it will encourage at a regional and global level the advancement of non-commercial Open Access initiatives.

Access to full-text in English:

Access to full-text in Spanish:

Latin America long-time peerless leader in open access

This post is a preliminary review of Debat & Babini’s preprint PlanS in Latin America: a precautionary note (citation details and links below).

Preliminary review:  Latin America has long been a leader in open access, and had achieved substantially the goals of PlanS more than a decade ago. In 2007, I wrote: “Scielo is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a nationally subsidized open access program. While the Scielo portal encompasses the scholarly work of many latin countries, Brazil alone, in 2005, brought 160 fully open access journals to the world at a very modest cost of only $1 million dollars” (republished here).

This article is written by experts without peers, and does not really require peer review. This perspective is every bit as worthy of consideration by policy-makers everywhere as anything written by the EU-based OA2020 initiative.

This post will be accompanied by an open offer to conduct a full peer review (with conditions), and some observations on open peer review that are meant to stimulate discussion, however this affirmation of the leadership of Debat, Babini, Scielo & Redalyc warrants a unique post.

Humberto Debat, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (IPAVE-CIAP-INTA), Argentina

Dominique Babini, Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO), Argentina

Latin America has historically led a firm and rising Open Access movement and represents the worldwide region with larger adoption of Open Access practices. Argentina has recently expressed its commitment to join Plan S, an initiative from a European consortium of research funders oriented to mandate Open Access publishing of scientific outputs. Here we suggest that the potential adhesion of Argentina or other Latin American nations to Plan S, even in its recently revised version, ignores the reality and tradition of Latin American Open Access publishing, and has still to demonstrate that it will encourage at a regional and global level the advancement of non-commercial Open Access initiatives.

Access to full-text in English:

Access to full-text in Spanish:

Open Peer Review: a Model & an Invitation (2019 update)

This is a 2019 update of a post originally published in 2005 on The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics; the original is republished here. This version reflects experience with open peer review (mine and that of others), further reflection, and research conducted since 2005.

These are some ideas for open peer review that can be used today in experiments that may be helpful to shape future systemic approaches. The overall goal is to facilitate open research by opening up preprints, increase transparency in the peer review process, and to allow peer reviewers to take credit for their work. Interested authors and/or reviewers can experiment with this approach today. For example, an author can post a preprint in a repository, seek volunteer reviewers through a listserv or other social media service for a relevant scholarly community and/or ask a colleague to serve as an editor to coordinate the review process and/or serve as a contact for blind reviews.

Examples and links:

Gibney (2016) wrote an article for Nature on peer review overlay journals built on arXiv that includes links to the journals.

A copy of my peer review of a recent article can be found in the University of Ottawa Institutional Repository here: In this way my peer review constitutes a scholarly work with a stable URL that I include in my online CV.

See the Open Access Tracking Project tag oa.open_peer_review for 32 items as of July 15, some posted in the past week.

This model would be compatible with, but does not depend on, peer review overlay journals, featuring an overlay of peer review on articles submitted to and archived in institutional and/or subject repositories, the method recommended in 2009 for the UK for transition to open access in the medium to long term by Houghton et al. (2009) as the most transformative and most cost-effective approach.

The idea of open peer review is not new. While this post will not include a full review of related literature, as one example, Stevan Harnad talks about one approach to open peer review as early as 1996, in Implementing Peer Review on the Net: Scientific Quality Control in Scholarly Electronic Journals.

The goals of this model are:

transparent peer review: unlike blind peer review, readers can see the peer review process in action. Rather than accepting an assessment of certification based on a closed system, readers can judge the peer review process per se, for themselves. This model could accomodate a combination of open and blind peer review – that is, a peer reviewer could publish a signed peer review, or provide comments confidentially, depending on the preferences of authors or the discretion of editors. As an example of the latter, when reviewing opinion pieces in an emotionally heated area, some blind review might be seen as preferable to open peer review.

increased scholarly literacy: it is assumed that a transparent peer review process will facilitate science literacy teaching, as more people will be able to see the peer review process in action

better peer review: exposing the peer review process per se will allow for thoughtful reflection on peer review per se, and facilitate research. This will allow for the development of better and more efficient peer review.

peer-reviewer credit: peer review is an important task, which a great many academics undertake on a voluntary basis. A portfolio of signed peer reviews can be added to the author’s c.v. The best peer-reviewers, those who are thorough, considerate, and respond quickly, can be recognised for their work.

facilitate and recognise author controlled peer review: There are advantages and disadvantages to author-controlled peer review, where the author takes responsibility to seek out peer reviewers. While this is not presently recognised as peer review, it is widely practiced. In the author’s view, an article which has been peer reviewed and edited accordingly prior to submission for publication, is likely to be a better article. Authors who seek out comments from colleagues, and peer reviewers who are sought out by authors, are both demonstrating an openness to collaboration and willingness to listen to critique – both important elements in conducting scholarly research. Author controlled peer review could be used to supplement editor-coordinated peer review (a pre-peer-reviewed article might need only one outside peer reviewer, for example, while an unreviewed work might need two or three).

In some cases, author controlled peer review could be an alternative to editor-coordinated peer review. It would be desirable to develop a set of criteria outlining the optimum for peer review (peer reviewer meets certain criteria, is not a former student, teacher, co-researcher or co-author, at least one peer reviewer from a different cultural background – more important in social than hard sciences – and so forth). Authors should explain whether and how they have met these criteria; this could be accomplished by an automated list, where the relevant criteria are checked off. Some of this could be be automated, as well – for example, a database of the author’s works will reveal former co-authors, and automated comparison of the c.v.’s of author and peer reviewer will reveal common affiliations.

Comments on this blogpost or via e-mail are welcome.

Last updated July 15, 2019.


Gibney, E. (2016). Open journals that piggyback on arXiv gather momentum. Nature 530: 7558. Retrieved July 15, 2019 from

J. Houghton, B. Rasmussen, P. Sheehan, C. Oppenheim, A. Morris, C. Creaser, H. Greenwood, M. Summers, and A. Gourlay, 2009. “Economics implications of alternative scholarly publishing models: Exploring the costs and benefit” (27 January). Retrieved July 11, 2019 from:

See also
Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) Editorial 1978 on Open Peer Commentary Thanks to Stevan Harnad.

National open access journal subsidy

This post, originally published on December 7, 2007, on the Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, (IJPE) is just as relevant today. I am re-publishing today because of technical difficulties for some with access to IJPE and as support for an open peer review post in progress.

National open access journal subsidy

Jean-Claude Guédon, in Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, talks about how some of the really important questions have been overlooked in open access debates, questions like the potential impact of open access on power structures in science.

Open access has the potential to overcome the divide between the mainstream and the periphery, which is particularly important in the developing world.

One model for economic support for open access which has not received as much attention in open access debates is a national open access journal subsidy program. Outside of a very few countries, scholarly publishing has never been profitable, and subsidies have always been the norm. There are a few exceptions, such as the U.s. and the U.K.; even here, when the work given away by authors, peer reviewers, research funders, and the indirect subsidies through library subscriptions are factored in, it is likely that scholarly publishing is basically indirectly

Where journals are directly subsidized, switching to open access just makes sense, as the cost is lower without toll barries (no licensing, authentication, or subscription tracking, for example), and the impact is much greater.

Subsidized journals is a model that works very well for authors of developing countries, who may not have funding to pay article processing fees. A national program can ensure that local journals have the infrastructure and technology they need to succeed and be visible internationally.

Local control of academic publishing has other benefits as well. One example is that a local journal would appear to be much more likely to consider an article on a topic of high priority locally as relevant, than would an international journal. In a scholarly publishing industry heavily dominated by a few international players, medical researchers in developing countries may be more likely to focus on illnesses that impact peoples in northern countries, rather than illnesses such as malaria which have a greater impact at a lower level. A well-supported local scholarly publishing system can address this imbalance.

Librarians are very familiar with the difficulty of locating information of local importance. In Canada, our library patrons are often wanting information of relevance to Canada; when our tools are almost entirely international in nature, it is very difficult to find the local. This is true not only in Canada, but everywhere else as well.

While many aspects of scholarly knowledge are universal in nature, there is much of the local that is important, too.

For example, in humanities, I sometimes wonder whether the need to publish in international journals leads our literary scholars to study the works of authors considered important on an international level, when without this pressure they might be more inclined to study the works of local authors. Could a shift in focus from the international to the local increase the breadth and depth of our understanding of literature – and, at the same time, support local cultures everywhere? Could this result in a happy flourishing of literature and culture around the world?

Scielo is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a nationally subsidized open access program. While the Scielo portal encompasses the scholarly work of many latin countries, Brazil alone, in 2005, brought 160 fully open access journals to the world at a very modest cost of only $1 million dollars.

Canada is experimenting with subsidized open access journals, through the Aid to Open Access Journals program.

In my opinion, it is not only governments that should be thinking about fully subsidizing open access journals. This makes sense for libraries, too. After all, we are already subsidizing scholarly publishing, through subscriptions. After a little careful reworking of economics, we could transform the system to directly support the journals.

Many libraries are already providing support to facilitate a transition to open access for journals their faculty publish, for example by hosting and supporting journal publishing software.

A useful next step would be to examine the monies spent on journals, and consider whether libraries or library consortia are already paying enough, or more than enough, to fund a fully open access journal. Given that many journals are currently sold in bundles, often international in scope, this will be complex at first; we will need to ask questions that publishers / vendors will not have immediate answers for.

However, we will have to begin asking such questions at any rate. With many journals providing open choice options, libraries will have to begin examining how much is paid for through open choice, and ensure that subscription fees are reduced accordingly, simply to avoid double-dipping; it is, one might argue, a needed element just for due diligence.

If we must focus on such issues in the transition to open access, why not be proactive and determine whether and how libraries can contribute to a fully subsidized, fully open access scholarly publishing system?

full reference:
Jean-Claude Guédon, in Open Access and the divide between “mainstream” and “peripheral” science, in Ferreira, Sueli Mara S.P. and Targino, Maria das Graças, Eds. Como gerir e qualificar revistas científicas (forthcoming in 2007, in Portuguese). The eloquent and profound Guédon is one of the world’s earliest open access leaders, and still among the most active around the world; one of the reasons why we have such strong Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

This post is part of the Transitioning to Open Access Series.

Open Peer Review: A Model & An Invitation

In preparation for some current work in open peer review, this is a re-publication of my August 15, 2005 post on The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics (IJPE), drawing from and building on Harnad’s 1996 work in this area. IJPE is live but some readers (including myself while at work) are reporting that they are not able to connect. Other links have not been tested.

Open Peer Review: A Model & An Invitation

This is one model for an open peer review system. The idea is to automate a great deal of the coordination of peer review, make much of it transparent, and allow peer-reviewers to take credit for their work. This model could fit well with either an institutional repository / peer review overlay approach, or a traditional journal approach for either OA or non-OA journals, or any combination thereof. Readers are welcome to comment, peer-review, and/or experiment with software approaches based on this model, which is under the Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics’ Attribution-NonCommercial-Share and Share Alike License.

The idea of open peer review is not new. While this post will not include a full review of related literature, as one example, Stevan Harnad talks about one approach to open peer review as early as 1996, in Implementing Peer Review on the Net: Scientific Quality Control in Scholarly Electronic Journals.

The goals of this model are:

transparent peer review: unlike blind peer review, readers can see the peer review process in action. Rather than accepting an assessment of certification based on a closed system, readers can judge the peer review process per se, for themselves. This model could accomodate a combination of open and blind peer review – that is, a peer reviewer could publish a signed peer review, or provide comments confidentially, depending on the preferences of authors or the discretion of editors. As an example of the latter, when reviewing opinion pieces in an emotionally heated area, some blind review might be seen as preferable to open peer review.
increased science literacy: it is assumed that a transparent peer review process will facilitate science literacy teaching, as more people will be able to see the peer review process in action
better peer review: exposing the peer review process per se will allow for thoughtful reflection on peer review per se, and facilitate research. This will allow for the development of better and more efficient peer review.
peer-reviewer credit: peer review is an important task, which a great many academics undertake on a voluntary basis. A portfolio of signed peer reviews can be added to the author’s c.v. The best peer-reviewers, those who are thorough, considerate, and respond quickly, can be recognised for their work.
automate coordination of peer review: it should be possible to establish databases of peer reviewers, most likely distributed databases with central harvesting of key metadata (similar to institutional repositories & OAI), interoperable with other relevant software programs such as publishing software and calendaring systems, to automate much of the coordination of peer review.
peer review improvements through automation: the efficiencies of automation may make it possible to enhance peer review in ways that are not feasible with a system relying largely on one-on-one contact between editor and peer review. For example, there are many good reasons why it might be desirable to seek out an international peer review panel. An automated system would make it possible to easily identify experts in far-away countries, that the editor is unlikely to know personally. It is also possible to think about peer reviewers checking bits of an article, rather than the whole thing. That is, one paragraph of an article may refer to a completely separate area of expertise from the speciality of the author and main peer reviewers; there could be opportunities to ask a specialist to check just the one paragraph, rather than the whole article.
facilitate and recognise author controlled peer review: There are advantages and disadvantages to author-controlled peer review, where the author takes responsibility to seek out peer reviewers. While this is not presently recognised as peer review, it is widely practiced. In the author’s view, an article which has been peer reviewed and edited accordingly prior to submission for publication, is likely to be a better article. Authors who seek out comments from colleagues, and peer reviewers who are sought out by authors, are both demonstrating an openness to collaboration and willingness to listen to critique – both important elements in conducting scholarly research. Author controlled peer review could be used to supplement editor-coordinated peer review (a pre-peer-reviewed article might need only one outside peer reviewer, for example, while an unreviewed work might need two or three).

In some cases, author controlled peer review could be an alternative to editor-coordinated peer review. It would be desirable to develop a set of criteria outlining the optimum for peer review (peer reviewer meets certain criteria, is not a former student, teacher, co-researcher or co-author, at least one peer reviewer from a different cultural background – more important in social than hard sciences – and so forth). Authors should explain whether and how they have met these criteria; this could be accomplished by an automated list, where the relevant criteria are checked off. Some of this could be be automated, as well – for example, a database of the author’s works will reveal former co-authors, and automated comparison of the c.v.’s of author and peer reviewer will reveal common affiliations.

The model

Peer Reviewer Profiles
An academic who is willing to participate in peer review process creates a profile, which could be stored in the institutional repository. Elements of the profile could include:

  • author name
  • affiliation
  • title / position
  • areas of expertise (ideal might be using a standard list)
  • qualifying notes to each area of expertise – e.g., research specialist, practitioner expert
  • links to author’s own works
  • links to samples of work – open, signed peer reviews
  • comments from authors and/or editors
  • comments from recognised experts on the peer-reviewer’s expertise / ability to peer review in a particular area
  • author’s availability – time and number of peer-review requests the author is willing to accept at any given time.
    The time element could potentially be integrated with calendaring systems, e.g. no or fewer requests at particular times
  • author preferences for peer review – e.g. open access and/or fully green journals preferred, professional researchers only, researchers from developing countries welcome, students welcome (in limited numbers, perhaps?)
  • mutuality – in areas of controversy, authors might elect to publish critical reviews from peers with different perspectives, on the condition that their peer mutually publishes the author’s own peer review. This could provide readers with a good service, in alerting them to the existence of alternate viewpoints.

At the Institutional Repository

  • hosting or linking to author profiles and peer review
  • flexibility to accomodate clusters of versions. For example, lead readers first to the final peer-reviewed version, when available, but also make it easy for readers to find the original draft and peer reviewers’ comments.

Publishing software

  • links to author profiles
  • links to peer reviews
  • means of matching available peer reviewers with authors, editors, journals, or other certifying bodies

Comments or peer reviews can be sent to heather dot m at eln dot bc dot ca. Any comments or reviews may be incorporated in future versions of this model. Please indicate if you are willing to allow your comments or review to be posted on this blog.


Peter Suber, August 18, 2005:

Note: Peter wants me to make clear that he does *not* believe that OA depends on peer-review reform, that OA has to wait for peer-review reform, or that OA is valuable primarily for its contribution to peer-review reform. OA is compatible with every kind of peer review and we should pursue it regardless of our position on peer review. (I completely agree, by the way!)

“Just for the record, I believe that peer-review definitely needs improvement and that many promising reforms have exciting synergies with OA. One of my pet ideas (which I wrote about more in the early days than recently) is retroactive peer review. Put the preprint in an OA repository as soon as it’s ready, then apply for review from a journal or free-floating editorial board. If approved, with or without revision, the approved version is also put in the repository with a citation and metadata showing its approved status. So far, this is just an overlay journal. What’s most exciting is the prospect of multiple editorial boards reviewing the same work, say, from different methodological or disciplinary perspectives, with the possibility of each giving (or withholding) its approval, creating something like a market in endorsements and tools that can search and sort by endorsement.”

E-LIS already has many of the components needed
by: Heather Morrison

E-LIS, the open archive for Library and Information Science, already has many of the components that would be needed for an open peer review system. One can already add comments to articles already in the archive – a reviewer could indicate if a comment is intended as a peer review, and link to a Peer Reviewer Profile. All that is needed is some editorial oversight, and communication with the author, and we’re almost there!

An illustration
An illustration of open peer review in action can be found in my Dramatic Growth of Open Access: Revised Update. This illustrates how an update to a peer-reviewed article can be improved, based on helpful constructive criticism on invitation from a friend.

Head and Neck Medicine
Head and Neck Medicine, a new Open Access Journal from BioMedCentral, is planning to follow an open peer review approach. Thanks to Open Access News, Aug. 30.

See also
Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) Editorial 1978 on Open Peer Commentary Thanks to Stevan Harnad.

Last updated September 26, 2005.

Sabbatical projects 2019 – 2020

Following is what I am working on during my academic leave (sabbatical) from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020.

Overall project:   Transitioning economics of scholarly publishing for open access: Sustaining the Knowledge Commons

Summary: this project is a phase in my Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) research program currently funded through a SSHRC Insight Grant (2016 – 2021). The overall goal of this research program is to advance our knowledge on how to transition economic support for scholarly publishing from demand side (e.g. purchase of books and journal subscriptions) to supply side economics (e.g. sponsorship such as the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program, support for scholar-led publishing such as library publishing services, article processing charges) to facilitate economically sustainable open access to scholarly publishing.

This phase will focus on 3 major sub-projects: a major literature review, a holistic theoretical analysis from a global political economics perspective, and a major release of a large dataset and documentation. Anticipated outcomes are all non-traditional formats, for reasons explained later in this letter, in case this might be of interest to reviewers of this request.

Major literature review: a neutral academic literature review is needed because there is a great deal of substantial research published recently or in progress in this area. The majority of this research focuses on just one of the approaches, potential and currently in use. Most of the major research is this area is business research conducted by organizations with a primary or exclusive focus on their own needs, regions, and/or preferred approach. For example, the Research Councils U.K. several years ago made a business decision to support article processing charges (APC) for U.K. scholars; they publish substantial and very useful research that is focused on the needs of U.K. scholars and universities and the APC model. The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) and érudit, both originating in Canada, have developed and support popular software to support journal publishing. Both conduct research with a focus on collaborative approaches to economic support for journal publishing, such as developing new consortia of journals and/or libraries, or working with existing consortia. The International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM) regularly conducts research focused on market opportunities for their members. Anticipated outcome: major literature review in the form of a report made available for open peer review (approximately 30 – 40 pages).

Holistic theoretical analysis from a global political economics perspective: there is currently substantial agreement on a global scale regarding one common goal of open access, that is scholarship that is free for anyone to read. However, there is limited understanding of the necessity to move forward towards this goal in the context of multiple and often conflicting socio-political contexts. For example, the U.K. is unilingual, its university system is highly centralised, and the U.K. enjoys a favorable balance of trade in the existing scholarly communication landscape as the corporate home of some of the largest commercial scholarly publishers (Relyx, parent company of Elsevier, and informa.plc, parent company of Taylor & Francis). These are motivating factors behind the current U.K. approach, designed to transition to open access while protecting the profits of traditional scholarly publishers. In Canada, universities are under provincial jurisdiction, the country is bilingual, and the U.K.’s positive balance of trade is a negative balance of trade for Canada, and so there is motivation to question the wisdom of sustaining the existing system in the process of moving to open access. In the developing world, there is an additional motivation to increase the participation and impact of scholars in global scholarly communication in the transition process. There is scholarship on the latter topic, but this has never been brought together in a holistic way along with conditions particular to the developed world. Anticipated outcome: major theoretical analytic paper made available for open peer review (approximately 30 – 40 pages).

2019 open access article processing charges (APC) dataset: since 2014, the SKC project has been annually collecting and collating data on fully open access journals relating to APC. Although the primary focus is on APCs (whether or not journals charge, and if so how much), the dataset includes rich metadata that can support a wide variety of correlational studies. The dataset (currently over 17,000 journals and over one hundred metadata points per journal) is released as open data periodically with full documentation. Anticipated outcome: release of an open dataset with approximately 18,000 journals and close to two hundred metadata points per journal with detailed documentation (about 10 – 15 pages) for open peer review.

Anticipated outcomes: why a non-traditional approach: there are several reasons for following a non-traditional approach to publication. 1) The most useful formats for outcomes do not fit traditional scholarly publication formats. A major literature review or theoretical analysis in this area will be far too long for a peer-reviewed journal article. For example: recently, in order to fit the page length for the peer-reviewed ELPUB proceedings, I was forced to eliminate entire sections of research even though these logically fit with this work. A major literature review or theoretical analysis in this area will be far too long for most peer-reviewed journals or for a journal chapter, but too short for a monograph. 2) Open peer review is becoming a standard in open scholarship, and this works well in my area. I consider my scholarly and research blogs to be my most important works. When I publish a blogpost about a particular scholarly publisher, I frequently receive review comments from that particular publisher and/or questions as well as comments from funders and other scholars. 3) Timeliness. For example, recently, I posted about high price increases by one particular publisher. Almost immediately, I received a request from [an APC payer], in the process of making annual budget decisions about support for the APC approach, regarding the practices of other publishers. The SKC team had already gathered the data and so I was able to quickly analyse and publish this research. One publisher that was not included spontaneously conducted research on their own data using my methodology, published it via a listserv, and agreed to re-publication on the SKC blog. This rapid sharing of research made it possible to identify early on an essential conflict between the market-based approach of some new publishers (i.e. charge as much as you think you can get) and the accountability-based approach of most payers (i.e. universities, libraries and research funders have fixed and cost-based budgets). This gives the publisher an opportunity to consider business models moving forward that are a better fit with the budgets of payers.

The dialectic of open

Presentation to the Canadian Communication Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 6, 2019.


In contemporary Western society the word open is used as if the concept were essentially good. This is a logical fallacy; the only concept that is in essence good is the concept good itself. In this paper I will argue that this is a dangerous fallacy that opens the door to misdirection and co-optation of genuine advocates of the public good accidentally through misconception and deliberately by actors whose motives are far from open, that a critical dialectic approach is useful to unravel and counter such fallacies, and present a simple pedagogical technique that I have found to be effective to teach critical thinking to university students in this area. The province of Ontario under the Ford government describes itself as open for business. In this context, open means open for exploitation, and closure is protection for the environment and vulnerable people. This is one example of openwashing, taking advantage of the use of the term by large numbers of “open” advocates whose work is based on very different motives.

Open access, according to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, is a potential unprecedented public good, a collective global sharing of the scholarly knowledge of humankind. A sizable portion of the open access movement is adamant that open access requires nothing less than all of the world’s scholars making their work not only free of charge, but free for downstream manipulation and re-use for commercial purposes. This frees up knowledge for creative new approaches to more rapidly advance our knowledge; it is also a new area for capitalist expansion and can be seen as selling out scholarship. Is this necessary, sufficient, or even desirable to achieve the vision of global sharing of open access? Open education can be seen as the next phase in the democratization of education, a new field for capitalist expansion, a tool for authoritarian control and/or a tool for further control of the next generation proletariat or precariat. Open government can facilitate an expansion of democracy, to further engage citizens in decision-making, a means of enhancing and improving government services, and/or another means of transitioning public services to the private sector that is typical of the (perhaps post) neoliberal era. Proactive open government can mean more transparent, accountable government; it can also mean open access to the documents and data that those in power choose to share. This paper will analyze the rhetoric of key documents from the open movements, evidence presented to support these beliefs, and explore whether these belief systems reflect myth based on misconception and/or misdirection by actors with ulterior motives using a theoretical lens drawn from the political economics, particularly Hegelian dialectics in the tradition of the Frankfurt School and contemporary Marxist analysis.

Link to full presentation:

Dɔnko. Études culturelles africaines

Sous la direction d’Isaac Bazié et Salaka Sanou

Pour accéder au livre en version html, cliquez ici.

Pour télécharger le PDF, cliquez ici (à partir du 15 juin 2019).

Pour commander le livre en version imprimée au Québec, en France ou en Afrique, cliquez sur le bouton Paypal ci-dessous (information à venir).

Acheter un livre, c’est nous soutenir et permettre à ceux et celles qui ne peuvent l’acheter de le lire en libre accès.

Comment lire et comprendre les pratiques culturelles africaines? Comment mobiliser les savoirs sur l’Afrique, ses arts et ses cultures sans verser dans la réification ou le folklorisme? Profondément novateur, cet ouvrage collectif mobilise les outils théoriques des cultural studies pour proposer un généreux panorama de l’étude de la culture en Afrique. Il rassemble des textes d’auteurs et d’autrices d’Afrique de l’Ouest, théoriques ou descriptifs, qui mettent en lumière la réévaluation passionnante des modes d’appréhension des pratiques et objets en contexte africain que proposent les études culturelles africaines. L’épilogue qui clôt le livre n’est donc point fermeture, mais plutôt ouverture sur les enjeux relatifs à ce nouveau champ d’études, plein de promesses pour rendre compte de l’extraordinaire créativité des cultures africaines.

ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-82-6
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-81-9
501 pages
Date de publication : juin 2019

Utilisez le bouton Paypal ci-dessous (à venir) pour commander le livre imprimé au Canada ou en Europe ou l’obtenir en format ePub (prêtable).  Le livre sera bientôt disponible dans nos librairies dépositaires : la Librairie du Quartier à Québec, Zone libre à Montréal, à venir pour Paris, Genève et l’Afrique.

Table des matières

Table des matières


Regards pluriels sur les cultures africaines comme lieux de savoirs
Isaac Bazié et Salaka Sanou

Le recyclage : un paradigme des études culturelles africaines
Philip Amangoua Atcha

Littérature-monde ou littérature-mode? Éloge du copiage chez Sami Tchak et Alain Mabanckou
Adama Coulibaly

La critique africaine : de l’autorégulation à la systématisation
Kaoum Boulama

Sociologie des petits récits. Essai sur « les écritures de la rue » en contexte africain
David Koffi N’Goran

Littératures africaines et lecture comme médiation. Réflexions sur l’appréhension des cultures africaines à partir des violences collectives dans le roman francophone
Isaac Bazié

Pour une taxinomie des genres littéraires bààtɔnù
Gniré Tatiana Dafia

Le mariage polygamique dans les arts en Afrique. La polyandrie comme parodie de la polygynie dans deux œuvres africaines
Aïssata Soumana Kindo

Masques, alliances et parentés à plaisanterie au Burkina 173 Faso : le jeu verbal et non verbal
Alain Joseph Sissao

Épilogue. D’hier à demain, les études culturelles africaines
Salaka Sanou

NECS – Statement on Open Science and Scholarship

At the NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) conference in Gdańsk, the publication committee organizes a workshop on open access/open scholarship on Friday, June 14th, 2019, 13:45-15:30.

After a short introduction to the topic by Jeroen Sondervan and some reflective notes by Catherine Grant, we will collectively work on a NECS statement on Open Scholarship during the rest of the session by using a Google Doc for collective writing. The document (click here) is now open for commenting prior to the workshop.

Our aims for are:
1) To share with participants NECS´s draft statement on Open Science and Scholarship and invite views on a number of pre-selected points (this document will be opened for commenting prior to the conference);

2) To engage in a conversation about the nature and implications of Open Science and Scholarship for researchers, educators, practitioners and archivists in the area of Media Studies.

Spread the word, come join the conversation, participate (in person or virtually), and keep an eye out for more when the conference approaches.

Évaluation des interventions de santé mondiale. Méthodes avancées.

Sous la direction de Valéry Ridde et Christian Dagenais

Pour accéder au livre en version html, cliquez ici.

Pour télécharger le PDF, cliquez ici ( à partir du 15 juin).

Pour commander le livre en version imprimée au Québec, en France ou en Afrique, cliquez sur le bouton Paypal ci-dessous (information à venir).

Acheter un livre, c’est nous soutenir et permettre à ceux et celles qui ne peuvent l’acheter de le lire en libre accès.

Une couverture universelle des soins de santé en 2030 pour tous les êtres humains, du Nord au Sud? Réaliser cet objectif de développement durable aussi ambitieux que nécessaire exigera une exceptionnelle volonté politique, mais aussi de solides données probantes sur les moyens d’y arriver, notamment sur les interventions de santé mondiale les plus efficaces. Savoir les évaluer est donc un enjeu majeur. On ne peut plus se contenter de mesurer leur efficacité : il nous faut comprendre pourquoi elles l’ont été (ou pas), comment et dans quelles conditions. Cet ouvrage collectif réunissant 27 auteurs et 12 autrices de différents pays et de disciplines variées a pour but de présenter de manière claire et accessible, en français, un florilège d’approches et de méthodes avancées en évaluation d’interventions : quantitatives, qualitatives, mixtes, permettant d’étudier l’évaluabilité, la pérennité, les processus, la fidélité, l’efficience, l’équité et l’efficacité d’interventions complexes. Chaque méthode est présentée dans un chapitre à travers un cas réel pour faciliter la transmission de ces savoirs précieux.

ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-60-4
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-58-1
501 pages

Utilisez le bouton Paypal ci-dessous pour commander le livre imprimé au Canada ou en Europe ou l’obtenir en format ePub (prêtable).  Le livre sera bientôt disponible dans nos librairies dépositaires : la Librairie du Quartier à Québec, Zone libre à Montréal, à venir pour Paris, Genève et l’Afrique.

Table des matières

Partie I. La phase pré-évaluative et la pérennité

L’étude d’évaluabilité
Une intervention de prévention de l’usage de drogues à l’école au Québec
Biessé Diakaridja Soura, Jean-Sébastien Fallu, Robert Bastien et Frédéric N. Brière

L’évaluation de la pérennité
Une intervention de financement basé sur les résultats au Mali
Mathieu Seppey et Valéry Ridde

Partie II. Les approches qualitatives et participatives

L’évaluation qualitative, informatisée, participative et inter-organisationnelle (EQUIPO)
Exemple d’un programme en faveur des femmes victimes de violences en Bolivie
Mathieu Bujold et Jean-Alexandre Fortin

La méthode photovoix
Une intervention auprès de populations marginalisées sur l’accès à l’eau potable, l’hygiène et l’assainissement au Mexique
Lynda Rey, Wilfried Affodégon, Isabelle Viens, Hind Fathallah et Maria José Arauz

L’analyse d’une recherche-action
Combinaison d’approches dans le domaine de la santé au Burkina Faso
Aka Bony Roger Sylvestre, Valéry Ridde et Ludovic Queuille

Partie III. Les méthodes mixtes

Les revues systématiques mixtes
Un exemple à propos du financement basé sur les résultats
Quan Nha Hong, Anne-Marie Turcotte-Tremblay et Pierre Pluye

L’intégration en méthodes mixtes
Cadre conceptuel pour l’intégration des phases, résultats et données qualitatifs et quantitatifs
Pierre Pluye

La pratique de l’intégration en méthodes mixtes
Les multiples combinaisons des stratégies d’intégration
Pierre Pluye, Enrique García Bengoechea, David Li Tang, Vera Granikov

Partie IV. L’évaluation de l’efficacité et de l’efficience

Les méthodes quasi-expérimentales
L’effet de l’âge légal minimum sur la consommation d’alcool chez les jeunes aux États-Unis
Tarik Benmarhnia et Daniel Fuller

Les essais randomisés en grappe
Un exemple en santé maternelle et infantile
Alexandre Dumont

La mesure de l’équité
Un exemple d’intervention de gratuité des soins obstétricaux
Tarik Benmarhnia et Britt McKinnon

L’analyse coût-efficacité
Une intervention de décentralisation des soins VIH/SIDA à Shiselweni, Swaziland
Guillaume Jouquet

L’analyse spatiale
Un cas d’intervention communautaire de lutte contre le moustique Aedes aegypti au Burkina Faso
Emmanuel Bonnet, France Samiratou Ouédraogo et Diane Saré

Partie V. L’évaluation des processus et de la fidélité d’implantation

L’analyse des processus de mise en œuvre
Une intervention complexe au Burkina Faso : le financement basé sur les résultats
Valéry Ridde et Anne-Marie Turcotte-Tremblay

L’évaluation de la fidélité d’implantation
Un projet de distribution d’omble chevalier aux femmes enceintes du Nunavik
Lara Gautier, Catherine M. Pirkle, Christopher Furgal et Michel Lucas

L’évaluation de la fidélité et de l’adaptation
Un exemple de mise en œuvre des interventions en santé mondiale
Dennis Pérez, Marta Castro et Pierre Lefèvre

L’évaluation réaliste
L’exemple de l’adoption d’une politique publique de santé au Bénin
Jean-Paul Dossou et Bruno Marchal

Évaluation des interventions en santé mondiale. Méthodes avancées

Sous la direction de Valéry Ridde et Christian Dagenais

Une couverture universelle des soins de santé en 2030 pour tous les êtres humains, du Nord au Sud? Réaliser cet objectif de développement durable aussi ambitieux que nécessaire exigera une exceptionnelle volonté politique, mais aussi de solides données probantes sur les moyens d’y arriver, notamment sur les interventions de santé mondiale les plus efficaces. Savoir les évaluer est donc un enjeu majeur. On ne peut plus se contenter de mesurer leur efficacité : il nous faut comprendre pourquoi elles l’ont été (ou pas), comment et dans quelles conditions. Cet ouvrage collectif réunissant 27 auteurs et 12 autrices de différents pays et de disciplines variées a pour but de présenter de manière claire et accessible, en français, un florilège d’approches et de méthodes avancées en évaluation d’interventions : quantitatives, qualitatives, mixtes, permettant d’étudier l’évaluabilité, la pérennité, les processus, la fidélité, l’efficience, l’équité et l’efficacité d’interventions complexes. Chaque méthode est présentée dans un chapitre à travers un cas réel pour faciliter la transmission de ces savoirs précieux.

What counts in research? Dysfunction in knowledge creation & moving beyond

One of the long-term challenges to transitioning scholarly communication to open access is reliance on bibliometrics. Many authors and organizations are working to address this challenge. The purpose of this post is to share some highlights of my work in progress, a book chapter (preprint) designed to explain the current state of bibliometrics in the context of a critique of global university rankings. Some reflections in brief that are new and relevant to advocates of open access and changes in evaluation of scholarly work follow.

  • Impact:it is not logical to equate impact with quality, and further, it is dangerous to do so. Most approaches to evaluation of scholarly work assume that impact is a good thing, an indicator of quality research. I argue that this reflects a major logical flaw, and a dangerous one at that. We should be asking whether it makes sense for an individual research study (as opposed to weight of evidence gained and confirmed over many studies) should have impact. If impact is good and more impact is better, then the since-refuted study that equated vaccination with autism must be an exceptionally high quality study, whether measured by traditional citations or the real-world impact of the return of diseases such as measles. I argue that this is not a fluke, but rather a reasonable expectation of reward systems that favour innovation, not caution.  Irreproducible research, in this sense, is not a fluke but rather a logical outcome of current evaluation of scholarly work.
  • New metrics (or altmetrics) serve many purposes and should be developed and used, but should be avoided in the context of evaluating the quality of scholarship to avoid bias and manipulation. It should obvious that metrics that go beyond traditional academic citations are likely to reflect and amplify existing social biases (e.g. gender, ethnicity), and non-academic metrics such as tweets are in addition subject to manipulation by interested parties including industry and special interest groups (e.g. big pharma, big oil, big tobacco).
  • New metrics are likely to change scholarship, but not necessarily in the ways anticipated by the open access movement. For example, replacement of the journal-level citation impact by article-level citations is already very well advanced, with Elsevier in a strong position to dominate this market. Scopus metrics data is already in use by university rankings and is being sold by Elsever to the university market.
  • It is possible to evaluate scholarly research without recourse to metrics. The University of Ottawa’s collective agreement with full-time faculty reflects a model that not only avoids the problems of metrics, but is an excellent model for change in scholarly communication as it is recognized that scholarly works may take many forms. For details, see the APUO Collective Agreement 2018 – 2021 section 23.3.1 – excerpt:

23.3.1. General Whenever this agreement calls for an assessment of a Faculty Member’s scholarly activities, the following provisions shall apply.

a) The Member may submit for assessment articles, books or contributions to books, the text of presentations at conferences, reports, portions of work in progress, and, in the case of literary or artistic creation, original works and forms of expression

b) Works may be submitted in final published form, as galley proofs, as preprints of material to be published, or as final or preliminary drafts. Material accepted for publication shall be considered as equivalent to actually published material…

h) It is understood that since methods of dissemination may vary among disciplines and individuals, dissemination shall not be limited to publication in refereed journals or any particular form or method.

There may be other models; if so, I would be interested in hearing about them, please add a comment to this post or send an e-mail.

The full book chapter preprint is available here:


This chapter begins with a brief history of scholarly journals and the origins of bibliometrics and an overview of how metrics feed into university rankings. Journal impact factor (IF), a measure of average citations to articles in a particular journal, was the sole universal standard for assessing quality of journals and articles until quite recently. IF has been widely critiqued; even Clarivate Analytics, the publisher of the Journal Citation Reports / IF, cautions against use of IF for research assessment. In the past few years there have been several major calls for change in research assessment: the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the 2015 Leiden Manifesto (translated into 18 languages) and the 2017 Science Europe New vision for meaningful research assessment. Meanwhile, due to rapid change in the underlying technology, practice is changing far more rapidly than most of us realize. IF has already largely been replaced by item-level citation data from Elsevier’s Scopus in university rankings. Altmetrics illustrating a wide range of uses including but moving beyond citation data, such as downloads and social media use are prominently displayed on publishers’ websites. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of how these metrics work at present, to move beyond technical critique (reliability and validity of metrics) to introduce major flaws in the logic behind metrics-based assessment of research, and to call for even more radical thought and change towards a more qualitative approach to assessment. The collective agreement of the University of Ottawa is presented as one model for change.


Frontiers in 2019: 3% increase in average APC

by Hamid Pashaei and Heather Morrison

The data for 2019 shows that while most 2019 journals by Frontiers incurred no changes in article processing charge comparing to 2018, but the increase in APC of 23 journals (40% of Frontier journals) is significant, with APC increases of 18% – 31%.

Frontiers currently publishes 62 journals that shows 10% growth in the number of journals comparing to 56 journals in 2018. Of these, 23 journals (40%) have an increase of $774 in article processing charges but the other journals have no change in comparison to 2018 data. Therefore, the overall increase in Article processing journals for all Frontiers open access journals is 3 percent.

The raw data for Frontiers journals in 2019:

See also:

Frontiers: 40% journals have APC increases of 18 – 31% from 2017 to 2018

BioMed Central in 2019: Sharp increase in article processing charge

by Hamid Pashaei and Heather Morrison

Update May 1, 2019:

Based on an inquiry from Christopher Pym from Springer Nature (owner of BioMedCentral) on the Global Open Access List I (Heather) have re-calculated the observed BMC pricing changes from 2018 – 2019, in GBP rather than USD. BMC reports pricing in 3 currencies (a common practice for large publishers). We use GBP for historical purposes. In brief, this re-analysis confirms our original finding of a sharp increase in APCs. 66% of BMC journals for which we have APC data in GBP for both 2018 and 2019 have increased their APCs; 61% have increased their APCs at far beyond inflationary levels, causing the overall average (including journals that did not change APCs or lowered APCs) to increase by 15%, a rate far beyond inflationary levels. We thank Christopher Pym for his interest in our research.

We have APC data for both 2018 and 2019 for 260 BMC journals. The average APC for these journals was 1,416 GBP in 2018, 1,555 GBP in 2019, an average increase of 139 GBP or an average 9% increase. The pricing changes are more complex, however, as some BMC journals have maintained or lowered their prices. In USD (using XE currency converter May 1, 2019), the average APC for these journals rose from 1,852 USD to 2,034 USD, an increase of 181 USD (note rounding error of $1).

Of the 260 BMC journals for which we have 2018 and 2018 APCs:

  • 172 (66%) increased in price
  • 55 (21%) maintained the same price
  • 33 (13%) decreased in price

Of the journals that increased in price, the range of percentage increase was from under 1% to 55%. 158 journals (61% of all journals) had APC price increases clearly beyond inflationary levels, ranging from 7% – 55%.

Because of this challenge, I have re-downloaded the BMC APC list from and checked GBP pricing for several journals, finding no difference from our data gathering date of April 4.

On the basis of this selective re-analysis of 260 BMC journals for which we have price data I conclude that the average APC price increase for BMC journals is 15%, (factoring in journals that did not change APC or lowered APC), a rate far above inflation, and that the majority of BMC journals (61%) increased their APCs. This confirms our original findings of a sharp APC increase for BMC in 2019. Please note that this re-analysis using the same basic dataset but slightly different methods. The re-analysis is limited to journals for which we have data in both 2018 and 2019, and is limited to GBP. When new journals and journals no longer published by BMC are factored in, this changes the averages; there can also be differences in findings based on which currency is selected for analysis.

A list of BMC APCs in GBP in 2018 and 2019 follows, in order by percentage change (highest price increase first).

Journal Title2019 APC  (GBP)2018 APC (GBP)2019-2018 change in GBP (amount)2019 – 2018 change in GBP (percentage)
Tropical Medicine and Health157070586555%
Molecular Cancer24901,4701,02041%
Acta Neuropathologica Communications157095062039%
Particle and Fibre Toxicology21701,37080037%
Molecular Autism 21701,37080037%
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research22901,47082036%
Journal of Hematology & Oncology24901,65084034%
BMC Pulmonary Medicine19901,37062031%
Immunity & Ageing19901,37062031%
Journal of Translational Medicine19901,37062031%
World Journal of Emergency Surgery19901,37062031%
Cardiovascular Diabetology21701,54063029%
Journal of Nanobiotechnology18701,37050027%
Pediatric Rheumatology18701,37050027%
Cell Division19901,47052026%
Genome Medicine25701,90067026%
BMC Veterinary Research15701,16540526%
Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials17901,37042023%
Behavioral and Brain Functions17901,37042023%
Cardiovascular Ultrasound17901,37042023%
Cell Communication and Signaling17901,37042023%
Diagnostic Pathology17901,37042023%
Genes & Nutrition17901,37042023%
Molecular Cytogenetics17901,37042023%
Reproductive Health17901,37042023%
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling17901,37042023%
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 17901,37042023%
International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 17901,37042023%
Thyroid Research 17901,37042023%
Clinical Epigenetics20401,56547523%
Journal of Physiological Anthropology12701,00027021%
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation17901,43036020%
Nutrition & Metabolism17901,43036020%
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine16901,37032019%
BMC Geriatrics16901,37032019%
BMC Medical Research Methodology16901,37032019%
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders16901,37032019%
BMC Neurology16901,37032019%
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health16901,37032019%
Clinical Sarcoma Research16901,37032019%
Conflict and Health16901,37032019%
Fluids and Barriers of the CNS16901,37032019%
Globalization and Health16901,37032019%
Head & Face Medicine16901,37032019%
International Breastfeeding Journal16901,37032019%
International Journal of Health Geographics16901,37032019%
Microbial Cell Factories16901,37032019%
Neural Development16901,37032019%
Patient Safety in Surgery16901,37032019%
Radiation Oncology16901,37032019%
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology16901,37032019%
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy16901,37032019%
Virology Journal16901,37032019%
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice 16901,37032019%
Journal of Ovarian Research 16901,37032019%
Breast Cancer Research 22901,86043019%
Genome Biology23801,95043018%
Cancer Cell International17901,47032018%
Journal of Inflammation17901,47032018%
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery16901,39030018%
Stem Cell Research & Therapy16901,39030018%
BMC Research Notes99082516517%
Biological Procedures Online18701,56530516%
Biotechnology for Biofuels18701,56530516%
Human Genomics18701,56530516%
International Journal for Equity in Health16901,42027016%
Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy16501,39026016%
Nutrition Journal17901,51028016%
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology16901,44524514%
Gut Pathogens17901,54025014%
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases17901,54025014%
BMC Cancer15901,37022014%
BMC Health Services Research15901,37022014%
BMC Public Health15901,37022014%
BMC Medicine21701,88029013%
AIDS Research and Therapy16901,47022013%
Biomarker Research16901,47022013%
Archives of Public Health15701,37020013%
Basic and Clinical Andrology15701,37020013%
BMC Anesthesiology15701,37020013%
BMC Biotechnology15701,37020013%
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders15701,37020013%
BMC Evolutionary Biology15701,37020013%
BMC Gastroenterology15701,37020013%
BMC International Health and Human Rights15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Genetics15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Imaging15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making15701,37020013%
BMC Microbiology15701,37020013%
BMC Palliative Care15701,37020013%
BMC Pediatrics15701,37020013%
BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology15701,37020013%
BMC Psychiatry15701,37020013%
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation15701,37020013%
BMC Surgery15701,37020013%
BMC Systems Biology15701,37020013%
Clinical Proteomics15701,37020013%
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation15701,37020013%
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes15701,37020013%
Infectious Diseases of Poverty15701,37020013%
International Journal of Mental Health Systems15701,37020013%
Population Health Metrics15701,37020013%
Thrombosis Journal15701,37020013%
Epigenetics & Chromatin17901,56522513%
Harm Reduction Journal17901,56522513%
Journal of Neuroinflammation17901,56522513%
Biology of Sex Differences  17901,56522513%
Molecular Medicine17901,56522513%
Critical Care19901,75024012%
Experimental Hematology & Oncology16901,49519512%
Molecular Brain15701,39517511%
Implementation Science16901,51018011%
Respiratory Research17901,61517510%
Journal of Biological Engineering15701,4301409%
Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice15701,4301409%
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer16901,5401509%
BMC Infectious Diseases14901,3701208%
Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine13701,2651058%
Asthma Research and Practice14801,3701107%
BioData Mining14801,3701107%
BMC Biochemistry14801,3701107%
BMC Bioinformatics14801,3701107%
BMC Clinical Pathology14801,3701107%
BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders14801,3701107%
BMC Ecology14801,3701107%
BMC Hematology14801,3701107%
BMC Nephrology14801,3701107%
BMC Nursing14801,3701107%
BMC Ophthalmology14801,3701107%
BMC Oral Health14801,3701107%
BMC Physiology14801,3701107%
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth14801,3701107%
BMC Structural Biology14801,3701107%
BMC Urology14801,3701107%
Cancers of the Head & Neck14801,3701107%
Clinical and Molecular Allergy14801,3701107%
Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology14801,3701107%
Contraception and Reproductive Medicine14801,3701107%
Disaster and Military Medicine14801,3701107%
Fertility Research and Practice14801,3701107%
Journal of Clinical Movement Disorders14801,3701107%
Lipids in Health and Disease14801,3701107%
Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology14801,3701107%
Movement Ecology14801,3701107%
Proteome Science14801,3701107%
Translational Medicine Communications14801,3701107%
Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines14801,3701107%
Women’s Midlife Health14801,3701107%
Addiction Science and Clinical Practice 14801,3701107%
Annals of General Psychiatry16901,5651257%
Cancer & Metabolism16901,5651257%
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine16901,5651257%
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders16901,5651257%
Arthritis Research & Therapy18701,7501206%
Veterinary Research 11751,150252%
BMC Biophysics13901,370201%
BMC Genetics13901,370201%
Cerebellum & Ataxias13901,370201%
Fungal Biology and Biotechnology13901,370201%
Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Disorders13901,370201%
Research Integrity and Peer Review13901,370201%
Sleep Science and Practice13901,370201%
Irish Veterinary Journal 13901,370201%
Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters13901,420-30-2%
World Journal of Surgical Oncology15701,650-80-5%
Research Involvement and Engagement14801,565-85-6%
Bioelectronic Medicine14801,565-85-6%
Big Data Analytics12901,370-80-6%
Marine Biodiversity Records12901,370-80-6%
Porcine Health Management12901,370-80-6%
Source Code for Biology and Medicine12901,370-80-6%
Journal of Biomedical Semantics 12901,370-80-6%
Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki13901,510-120-9%
Pilot and Feasibility Studies13901,565-175-13%
Systematic Reviews13901,565-175-13%
Environmental Evidence12901,470-180-14%
BMC Dermatology11801,370-190-16%
BMC Emergency Medicine11801,370-190-16%
Journal of Congenital Cardiology11801,370-190-16%
Diagnostic and Prognostic Research 14801,745-265-18%
EvoDevo  16901,995-305-18%
Agriculture & Food Security12901,565-275-21%
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome  14201,810-390-27%
Sustainable Earth690900-210-30%
Animal Biotelemetry11801,565-385-33%
European Journal of Medical Research 14801,995-515-35%
BMC Medical Ethics9901,370-380-38%
BMC Nutrition9901,370-380-38%
BMC Obesity9901,370-380-38%
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine9901,370-380-38%
BMC Psychology8601,370-510-59%
Canine Genetics and Epidemiology8601,370-510-59%
Journal of Eating Disorders8601,370-510-59%
BMC Zoology7901,370-580-73%
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica15101,5100 
Advances in Simulation15651,5650 
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology13701,3700 
Biological Research14301,4300 
Biology Direct13701,3700 
Biomaterials Research13701,3700 
BioPsychoSocial Medicine13701,3700 
BMC Biology17801,7800 
BMC Developmental Biology13701,3700 
BMC Endocrine Disorders13701,3700 
BMC Family Practice13701,3700 
BMC Genomics13701,3700 
BMC Immunology13701,3700 
BMC Medical Education13701,3700 
BMC Medical Genomics13701,3700 
BMC Molecular Biology13701,3700 
BMC Neuroscience13701,3700 
BMC Plant Biology13701,3700 
BMC Women’s Health13701,3700 
Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation13701,3700 
Cell & Bioscience13701,3700 
Chinese Medicine13701,3700 
Clinical and Translational Allergy14701,4700 
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology13701,3700 
Environmental Health14201,4200 
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity13701,3700 
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences13701,3700 
Frontiers in Zoology15101,5100 
Genetics Selection Evolution11751,1750 
Gynecologic Oncology Research and Practice13701,3700 
Health Research Policy and Systems15651,5650 
Human Resources for Health15651,5650 
Infectious Agents and Cancer13701,3700 
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity16501,6500 
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance16001,6000 
Journal of Ecology and Environment13701,3700 
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research13701,3700 
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition13701,3700 
Journal of Medical Case Reports8258250 
Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences14201,4200 
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition13701,3700 
Malaria Journal14301,4300 
Mobile DNA13701,3700 
Molecular Neurodegeneration16501,6500 
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine13701,3700 
Parasites & Vectors13701,3700 
Perioperative Medicine15651,5650 
Plant Methods14301,4300 
Public Health Reviews13701,3700 
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural12401,2400 
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine14851,4850 
Cancer Imaging 13701,3700 
Journal of Otolaryngology : Head and Neck Surgery13701,3700 
The Italian Journal of Pediatrics13701,3700 
Cancer Communications13701,3700 
BioMedical Engineering OnLine13751,3705 
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research15701,5655 
Skeletal Muscle 15701,5655 
Algorithms for Molecular Biology13901,37020 

Our recent analysis of BioMed Central publishing company journals reveals a sharp increase both in number of open access journals and also article processing fees.

BMC currently publishes 330 open access journals that comparing to 2018 data shows an increase of 11% in number of journals. While 25 journals have no article processing fee for authors to publish their articles, there has been a 57% increase in average article processing charge comparing to the last year, as the average processing fee was $1402 in 2018 and now it is $2200.

Comparing to the last year, 264 journals have increased and 5 journals have decreased in APC (article processing charge). The average APC increase for journals is $917 and the average decrease is $124.

The raw data for BMC in 2019 is provided below:

Similar posts:

Ceased and transferred publications and archiving: best practices and room for improvement

Recent APC price changes for 4 publishers (BMC, Hindawi, PLOS, PeerJ)


Open access versus the commons, or steps towards developing commons to sustain open access

by Heather Morrison


The concept of open access is complementary to, and in opposition to the commons. The similarities and overlap appear to be taken for granted; for example, many people assume that open access and Creative Commons just go together. The purpose of this post is to explore the essential opposition of the two concepts. The so-called “tragedy of the commons” is actually the tragedy of unmanaged open access. Understanding this opposition is helpful to analyze the potential of commons analysis to develop and sustain actual commons (cool pool resources) to support open access works. Ostrom’s design principles for common pool resources are listed with comments and examples of open access supports that illustrate the principles and a proposed modified list design to meet the needs of open access infrastructure is presented.


The purpose of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons research program (and blog) is to advance our knowledge of how to build and sustain a global knowledge commons. I define the knowledge commons as a collective sharing of the knowledge of humankind that is as open access as possible, in the sense of free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. My vision of the knowledge commons is one that is inclusive, that is, all who are qualified are welcome to contribute. The vision is simple. Understanding and articulating what is necessary to achieve the vision is not simple, and I argue that it will require developing new theoretical and empirical knowledge.

The purpose of this post is to focus on the relationship between two basic concepts, “open access” and “the commons”. There is an intuitive complementarity between the two concepts that might be best understood as an outcome of recent historical developments. The open sharing of Web 2.0 or social media, the open access movement, renewed interest in the concept of the commons, and the development and growth of Creative Commons, have all occurred in the past few decades. The nature and title of this research program Sustaining the Knowledge Commons reflects an ellipse of the two concepts. To advance our knowledge, sometimes it is necessary to question our basic assumptions. For this reason, acknowledging the complementarity of the two concepts, this post focuses on open access and the commons as oppositional in essence. I explain why this matters and how commons design principles might be used to develop and sustain open access organizations and infrastructure (as opposed to open access works).

As Ostrom (2015) points out in the second chapter of her ground-breaking Governing the Commons, the example of the “tragedy of the commons” as presented by Harding in an influential article – a pasture where any herdsman can graze – is not a commons, but rather a pasture that is open to all, an open access resource. A commons is not an open access resource, but rather a resource that is collaboratively managed by a group of people who benefit from the resource who develop, monitor and enforce rules for collective management of the resource. Ostrom presents empirical examples of successful and unsuccessful commons or common pool resources (CPRs) and articulates design principles for successful CPRs.

Ostrom’s research focuses on limited physical resources such as fisheries and water, and acknowledged that research on such CPRs is at a very early stage. The extent to which design principles based on physical CPRs can be employed to understand the potential for electronic commons, where there is no limit to the re-use of resource per se is not known. A few researchers have made an effort at this analysis. For example, Hess and Ostrom (2007) edited a book on understanding knowledge as a commons, one of the influences inspiring my own work and the title of this research program and blog.

Resources versus infrastructure

To understand why it matters that open access and the commons are oppositional concepts, consider the difference between open access works (articles, journals, books, data etc.) and the infrastructure that is needed to create and sustain open access resources. The only restriction to use of an open access resource is reader-side infrastructure (computer and internet) and ability to read and understand. However, the creation and ongoing support of open access works requires resources (hardware, software, internet connectivity, editors). This – the infrastructure to build and sustain open access works – is where Ostrom’s design principles for common pool resources is most likely to be fruitful. Examples of open access infrastructures that are, or could be, managed as common pool resources include: OA journals produced by independent scholars or groups of scholars (e.g. society or university-based); open source journal publishing (e.g. Open Journal Systems); university consortia sharing of infrastructure and /or support for open access (e.g. Scielo, Ontario’s Scholar’s Portal, Open Library of the Humanities).

Design principles for common pool resources

Table 3.1 of design principles is Ostrom’s (2015, p. 90) summary of her findings of characteristics of successful CPRs. Following are proposed minor modifications of the design principles for open access infrastructure, and examples of how these design principles might be useful for open access infrastructure (as opposed to open access works).

“Table 3.1. Design principles illustrated by long-enduring CPR institutions

  1. Clearly defined boundaries
    Individuals or households who have rights to withdraw resource units from the CPR must be clearly defined, as must the boundaries of the CPR itself.
  2. Congruence between appropriation and provision rules and local conditions Appropriation rules restricting time, place, technology, and/or quantity of resource units are related to local conditions and to provision rules requiring labor, material, and/or money.
  3. Collective-choice arrangements
    Most individuals affected by the operational rules can participate in modifying the operational rules.
  4. Monitoring
    Monitors, who actively audit CPR conditions and appropriator behavior, are accountable to the appropriators or are the appropriators.
  5. Graduated sanctions
    Appropriators who violate operational rules are likely to be assessed graduated sanctions (depending on the seriousness and context of the offense) by other appropriators, by officials accountable to these appropriators, or by both.
  6. Conflict-resolution mechanisms
    Appropriators and their officials have rapid access to low-cost local arenas to resolve conflicts among appropriators or between appropriators and officials.
  7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize
    The rights of appropriators to devise their own institutions are not challenged by external governmental authorities.

For CPRs that are parts of larger systems:

  1. Nested enterprises
    Appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises”.

Can Ostrom’s CPR design principles might be applied to OA resources? Examples, comments, and proposed modified design principles

Ostroms’ design principle “1: Clearly defined boundaries
Individuals or households who have rights to withdraw resource units from the CPR must be clearly defined, as must the boundaries of the CPR itself”.

Proposed modified design principle:

1: Clearly defined boundaries
Individuals or organizations who have rights to participate in and benefit from CPR must be clearly defined, as must the boundaries of the CPR itself.


Scielo (Scientific Electronic Library Online): Criteria, policies and procedures for admission and permanence of scientific journals in the SciELO <country> Collection

  • Anyone with internet access can read the Scielo journals. Journals that wish to be included must meet the criteria.

PubMedCentral: How to include a journal in PMC

  • Anyone with internet access can read the journals included in PMC. To be included, journals must meet scope, technical and quality requirements.

Ostrom’s Design Principle 2: “Congruence between appropriation and provision rules and local conditions. Appropriation rules restricting time, place, technology, and/or quantity of resource units are related to local conditions and to provision rules requiring labor, material, and/or money”.

Proposed modified design principle:

2: “Congruence between participation and provision rules and local and/or disciplinary conditions. Appropriation rules restricting time, place, technology, and/or quantity of resource units are related to local and/or disciplinary conditions and to provision rules requiring labor, material, and/or money”.


Institutional repositories such as uO Recherche are very well aligned with design principle 2. Policies are set by the university and reflect regional practice and law (e.g. copyright law). Staff are paid local wage rates in local currency. Decisions about software, hardware and support can reflect local preferences (e.g. for open source software or proprietary solutions, stand-alone or collaborative repositories) and budgets. In the case of my own university, the University of Ottawa, the institutional repository reflects the official French / English bilingualism of the university.

The HAL is a collaborative repository reflecting the research community and language of France.

Ostrom’s Design Principle 3: “Collective-choice arrangements
Most individuals affected by the operational rules can participate in modifying the operational rule

This principle fits smaller CPRs; see design principle 8 on nested enterprises for global open access. For example, university-based researchers can participate in policy consultations for the local institutional repository; members of the editorial board of a journal can participate in setting policy (the principle is the same whether the journal is open access or not).

Ostrom’s Design Principles 4:, 5, and 6 are treated together as OASPA provides examples of all:

“4. Monitoring
Monitors, who actively audit CPR conditions and appropriator behavior, are accountable to the appropriators or are the appropriators”.

5. Graduated sanctions
Appropriators who violate operational rules are likely to be assessed graduated sanctions (depending on the seriousness and context of the offense) by other appropriators, by officials accountable to these appropriators, or by both.

6. Conflict-resolution mechanisms
Appropriators and their officials have rapid access to low-cost local arenas to resolve conflicts among appropriators or between appropriators and officials”.

Example: the Open Access Scholarly Publisher’s Association (OASPA) Membership Applications, Complaints and Investigations displays characteristics of a CPR where members (appropriators) actively practice monitoring, graduated sanctions, and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Even after being accepted as members, OASPA members may be identified by other members as not meeting the criteria for acceptance (monitoring); these complaints trigger a conflict-resolution mechanisms that involves a series of graduated sanctions, investigation, possible requirement for the member to alter policies and/or practice and potential termination of membership.

Ostrom Design Principle “7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize
The rights of appropriators to devise their own institutions are not challenged by external governmental authorities”.

Proposed modified Design Principle “7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize
The rights of participants to devise their own organizations are not challenged by external authorities or bodies”.

Comment: this principle could be applied in the context of open access to the rights of researchers to develop their own institutions or organizations (e.g. based on common disciplinary requirements) and/or rights of local institutions to develop their own approach (as opposed to global open access policy).


The Open Library of the Humanities was developed by scholars in the humanities to support open access in the humanities. Design Principle 7 recognizes the right of scholars to organize in this fashion.

Ostroms’ Design Principle 8. “Nested enterprises
Appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises”.

Comment: this is the principle that most needs development for sustainable open access on a global scale. Every country, region, and discipline needs to contribute to create and sustain open access. This requires many organizations of different types and sizes, each with its own set of principles and approach to monitoring, sanctions, and conflict resolution. This needs to be coordinated (but not controlled) at a higher level for permanent open access to succeed.

Proposed modified design principles for a global knowledge commons

  1. Clearly defined boundaries
    Individuals or organizations who have rights to participate in and benefit from CPR must be clearly defined, as must the boundaries of the CPR itself.
  2. Congruence between participation and provision rules and local and/or disciplinary Appropriation rules restricting time, place, technology, and/or quantity of resource units are related to local and/or disciplinary conditions and to provision rules requiring labor, material, and/or money.
  3. Collective-choice arrangements
    Most individuals affected by the operational rules can participate in modifying the operational rules.
  4. Monitoring
    Monitors, who actively audit CPR conditions and appropriator behavior, are accountable to the appropriators or are the appropriators.
  5. Graduated sanctions
    Appropriators who violate operational rules are likely to be assessed graduated sanctions (depending on the seriousness and context of the offense) by other appropriators, by officials accountable to these appropriators, or by both.
  6. Conflict-resolution mechanisms
    Appropriators and their officials have rapid access to low-cost local arenas to resolve conflicts among appropriators or between appropriators and officials.
  7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize
    The rights of participants to devise their own organizations are not challenged by external authorities or bodies”.
  8. Nested enterprises
    Appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises.


This post builds on conversations with prior SKC research collaborator Alexis Calvé-Genest.


Hess, C. & Ostrom, E., eds. (2007). Understanding knowledge as a commons: from theory to practice. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Ostrom, E. (2015). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Canto Classics). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316423936

Why I oppose conflating OA and open licensing

In brief, my reasons for opposing conflation of open access and open licensing is that open licenses are not sufficient, necessary, or always desirable for open access.

Not sufficient: there are two reasons why open licenses are not sufficient. One is that there is nothing in CC licenses that obligates any copyright holder or downstream re-user to continue to make a work available at all, never mind free of charge. For example, an obvious beneficiary of works made available for commercial downstream re-use is Elsevier through their toll access search service Scopus. If we consider “free of charge” to be an essential element of open access (I do), CC licenses allowing downstream commercial use are not enough. The second reason is that scholars will always need to study and draw from works that are beyond the scope of research, and for this reason we need strong fair use / fair dealing provisions in copyright. For example, while PLOS is a model for open licensing with respect to articles published, as a scholar in the area of open access economics, I need to be able to quote language from the PLOS website in this area, and the PLOS website per se is All Rights Reserved; my work requires fair dealing rights. PLOS is not unusual in this; differential licensing is common for “CCBY by default” publishers.

Not necessary: works that are online, free to read and free of most technological restrictions on re-use are in effect sufficient for most of the intended purposes of open licensing. Consider what Google is able to do with internet-based works without having to restrict searching to works that are openly licensing. A work in HTML or XML with no technological protection measures (TPM) and no copyright statement (automatic All Rights Reserved copyright in any Berne country) can be used for text mining and portions of the work can be copied, with attribution, under fair dealing. In contrast, a work with an open license that is produced in a format that includes TPMs is less available for the purposes intended by open licensing than many works that are openly licensed. It is important to understand that TPMs are used not only to protect copyright, but also to protect the integrity of works, for example to look and feel of graphics as well as their position with respect to text.

Not necessarily desirable: open licensing, I argue, is not always desirable. For example, researchers who work with human subjects (very common in the social sciences) have a primary ethical duty to protect their subjects from harm. There is a wide range of sensitivity of information shared with researchers, ranging from quasi-public to extremely sensitive. Material such as stories and images shared with researchers for the purposes of advancing knowledge should not be made available on a blanket basis for re-use including commercial purposes. In developing policy attention should be paid to common commercial uses of this kind of material, particularly in the area of social media. Decisions about open licensing are in effect decisions about balancing the benefits of open licensing and our ethical duty to protect human subjects. I argue that our ethical duty to protect human subjects requires a conservative approach, in individual research projects, research support services, and policy-making.

This post is an excerpt of a recent open peer review, presented by way of explanation of why I am posting an open peer review in a journal with a default license of CC-BY under All Rights Reserved copyright. The remainder of the sections of this open review that are relevant to copyright are posted below.

An open peer review of “Few open access journals are Plan S compliant”: third and final round by Dr. Heather Morrison, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa School of Information Studies, and Principal Investigator, Sustaining the Knowledge Commons, a SSHRC Insight Project. Copyright Dr. Heather Morrison, All Rights Reserved (explanation below)…

Copyright Dr. Heather Morrison, All Rights Reserved: explanation The default license for MDPI’s Publications is CC-BY. From the perspective of many open access advocates, open licensing is an inherent part of open access. As discussed by the authors, this assumption forms part of the Plan S compliance criteria; compliance requires CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, or CC-0 licensing, with recognition that funded researchers cannot impose open licensing on third party copyright owners whose works are include in Plan S funded researchers’ works. I argue that conflating open access and open licensing is a major strategic error for the open access movement, and that it is important for open access advocates to understand that arguments opposing open licensing requirements can reflect a strong position in favour of open access. It is a mistake to think that because traditional subscription-based publishers oppose open licensing for business reasons that this is the only reason for this opposition. Oxford University Press is currently imposing differential fees for authors requiring CC-BY, according to my research team that is gathering information on APCs. I oppose CC-BY requirements, but not for the same reason as Oxford. (in the original, from here go to the top of this post).

I have posted similar arguments in the series Creative Commons and Open Access Critique on my original scholarly blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics. I plan to republish some of the content on this blog here and/or in other venues as there are some reports that people are having difficulty accessing the blog (hope this is temporary).

Open peer review

MDPI’s journal is experimenting with open peer review. Reviewers can choose to make their reviews openly accessible. This recent article that I reviewed has just been published. To read my reviews, click on “review reports” – I am Reviewer 1. If you prefer to skip the details of work that was needed and subsequently done, skip to round 3 for the final review.

Following is the citation and abstract of the article and a portion of my final review that focuses on the work per se, and an update based on subsequent conversation with Frantsvåg. I will publish the copyright statement separately.

Frantsvåg, J.E.; Strømme, T.E. Few Open Access Journals Are Compliant with Plan S.  Publications 20197, 26.


Much of the debate on Plan S seems to concentrate on how to make toll-access journals open access, taking for granted that existing open access journals are Plan S-compliant. We suspected this was not so and set out to explore this using Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) metadata. We conclude that a large majority of open access journals are not Plan S-compliant, and that it is small publishers in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) not charging article processing charges (APC) that will face the largest challenge with becoming compliant. Plan S needs to give special considerations to smaller publishers and/or non-APC based journals.

Excerpt of final round of review:

An open peer review of “Few open access journals are Plan S compliant”: third and final round by Dr. Heather Morrison, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa School of Information Studies, and Principal Investigator, Sustaining the Knowledge Commons, a SSHRC Insight Project. Ó Dr. Heather Morrison, All Rights Reserved (explanation below).

This article presents important research and merits publication; conclusions are basically sound and recommendations appear timely and sensible.

One major substantive point of potential confusion remains. This confusion is evident is PlanS implementation guidance per se which states: “cOAlition S acknowledges that some publishers have established mirror journals with one part being subscription based and the other part being Open Access. Such journals are not compliant with Plan S unless they are a part of a transformative agreement since they de facto lead to charging for both access and publishing in the same way as a hybrid journal does. Funding for publishing in such journals will only be supported under a transformative agreement”. From:

It is not clear what PlanS is referring to here. The most common arrangement that seems to fit what is described here in my experience is journals that publish both in print (generally on a subscriptions basis) and online (on a fully open access basis, required for inclusion in DOAJ). A journal that is partially open access and partially subscription-based in its online form is a hybrid journal, contrary to PlanS advice.

This confusion is reflected in this article (Table 1 row G and results lines 461-467). Since this reflects the original, this should not be a barrier to publication.

Conflict of interest: although I am an open access advocate and my research focuses on transforming the underlying economics of scholarly publishing in order to sustain open access, I strongly disagree with the PlanS policy approach. In my expert opinion, all open access policy should require exclusively open access archiving. This is the best means to ensure preservation and ongoing open access, particularly in the region for which funders have responsibility. Market-oriented policy is likely to continue or exacerbate a problematic market that for decades has been described as inelastic at best.

Update based on e-mail with Frantsvåg: it appears that what PlanS means by mirror journals is an emerging phenomenon. Elsevier’s Journal of Hydrology X is an example. Following is the explanation of how this works from the Elsevier website. This appears to be an evolution in the hybrid journal model (some content open access, some not). This is an improvement in terms of access as it addresses criticism of the hybrid model on the basis that it is difficult to identify the open access content.

Journal of Hydrology X is the open access mirror journal of Journal of Hydrology

Journal of Hydrology X offers authors with high-quality research who want to publish in a gold open access journal the opportunity to make their work immediately, permanently, and freely accessible.

Journal of Hydrology and Journal of Hydrology X have the same aims and scope. A unified editorial team manages rigorous peer-review for both titles using the same submission system. The author’s choice of journal is blinded to referees, ensuring the editorial process is identical. For more information please refer to our FAQs for authors.

Open to closed: how releasing government data into the public domain can result in loss of free public access

Boettcher & Dames (2018) raise some important issues regarding public domain government data. In brief, the U.S. federal government releases data into the public domain by default. This raises 2 potential types of issues:
  • privacy and security of individuals’ data
  • potential for enclosure / privatization of free public services if the government’s data is released as open data but the government does not maintain a free human readable version
Boettcher, J. C., & Dames, K. M. (2018). Government Data as Intellectual Property: Is Public Domain the same as Open Access? Online Searcher42(4), 42–48.

Public domain and open data policies and how they are made. Current status of open data policies in the Federal government are changing with new laws. What is HR4174/S4047 and what does it say and mean? What are trends in government data policies regarding access to that statistical data? This article will give the reader an understanding of federal policies and laws regarding data.

Science, let’s talk: your friend, all other knowledges

The purpose of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons research program is to help in the process of transitioning to a stable global knowledge commons, through which everyone can access all of our collective knowledge free-of-charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions and to which all who are qualified are welcome to contribute. One common problem that I see in the open access movement and in the scientific community (OA or not) is a tendency to conflate knowledge and science. I argue that this is a serious problem not only for other forms of knowledge, but a potential immanent existential threat to science itself. At a recent talk I presented a brief explanation of the argument. Following is the abstract and a link to the full presentation.

Presentation by Heather Morrison Feb. 26, University of Ottawa, as part of the CC- UNESCO Science as a Human Right Series.


Article 27.1 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. The central argument of this presentation is that in order to achieve the goal of scientific advancement and its benefits it is necessary to understand science as one of the interdependent forms of the knowledge of humankind. To understand human rights, we need to understand the current and historical struggles through which the needs for human rights were identified and fought for. The conceptual development and implementation of human rights comes from philosophy, law, and politics, not scientific method. Science itself cannot function without logic, and is best not practiced without ethics; both logic and ethics, essential to scientific practice, are philosophy. Science needs philosophy.

Climate change is presented as evidence of why global policy based on scientific evidence is essential to the future, perhaps the very survival of the human species, and why global policy based on scientific evidence depends on more than science alone. If science alone were enough, the scientific consensus on climate change should have compelled effective action a long time ago. Science alone is not enough; political change requires political action. In the area of policy, belief in progress through science is just that, a matter of belief that competes with other belief systems. To help people change, to achieve political change, we need to understand not just what we know (the science), we need to understand how people think (social sciences and humanities) and how to effectively communicate with people (arts). If we in the developed world were to learn from our First Nations peoples about long-term planning, the ideas that we do not inherent the world from our ancestors but rather borrow it from our children, to plan for the seventh generation, we would have the knowledge to understand why we need policy in this area that is informed by the science. In conclusion, as a holistic scholar who is indigenous to, and cares above, the planet earth, on behalf of all the other forms of knowledges, I extend this invitation to science: let’s talk.

Link to download the full presentation:

L’éducation en Afrique

Auteur : Abdou Moumouni Dioffo (1929-1991)

Cette réédition en libre accès de ce livre fondamental publié pour la première fois en 1964 (François Maspéro éditeur) est un projet dirigé par Frédéric Caille (Université de Chambéry), avec l’autorisation de Mme Aïssata Moumouni.

Pour accéder au livre en version html, cliquez ici.

Pour télécharger le PDF (à partir du 30 avril 2019), cliquez ici.

Pour commander le livre en version imprimée, cliquez sur le bouton Paypal ci-dessous.

Acheter un livre, c’est nous soutenir et permettre à ceux et celles qui ne peuvent l’acheter de le lire en libre accès.

«  Si […] on ne perd pas de vue l’importance du facteur culturel et humain pour toute tentative de sortir du sous-développement, pour sauvegarder effectivement l’originalité africaine, la personnalité africaine dans leurs aspects les plus authentiques et les plus positifs, on comprendra l’importance qu’il faut accorder aux questions d’enseignement et d’éducation, l’urgence de leur étude approfondie et de la discussion des voies déjà proposées ou expérimentées, le caractère impératif de l’élaboration de solutions adaptées aux conditions, mais aussi aux objectifs immédiats et lointains de l’ensemble des peuples d’Afrique Noire, aux exigences de la libération totale de l’homme Noir Africain, et à l’éclosion et l’épanouissement de son génie. »

Ce livre écrit en 1964 à propos des enjeux postcoloniaux de l’éducation en Afrique francophone subsaharienne reste d’une pertinence incontestable, tout en offrant des données historiques précieuses. Cette réédition, sous la direction de Frédéric Caille, servira aux étudiants et étudiantes, chercheuses et chercheurs et à toutes les personnes qui continuent à réfléchir à la meilleure manière de garantir un accès universel à l’éducation en Afrique.

ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-77-2
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-75-8
397 pages

Utilisez le bouton Paypal ci-dessous pour commander le livre imprimé au Canada ou en Europe ou l’obtenir en format ePub (prêtable).  Le livre sera bientôt disponible dans nos librairies dépositaires : la Librairie du Quartier à Québec, Zone libre à Montréal, à venir pour Paris, Genève et l’Afrique. À noter que 9 $ de frais de port sont automatiquement ajoutés au prix de base.

Version papier ou ePub

The Center for Open Science, MediArXiv, and BodoArXiv Launch Branded Preprint Services in the Humanities

Press Release: April 2, 2019

MediArXiv BodoArXiv

Charlottesville, VA

MediArXiv is a free, community-led digital archive for media, film, and communication research. The mission of MediArXiv is to open up media, film, and communication research to a broader readership and to help build the future of scholarly communication. The collaboration between COS and MedArXiv will provide a non-profit platform for media, film, and communication scholars to upload their working papers, pre-prints, accepted manuscripts (post-prints), and published manuscripts. The service is open for articles, books, and book chapters. In the course of its developments, MediArXiv is working toward interoperability with other important open access scholarly platforms in the humanities and social sciences, such as Humanities Commons.

MediArXiv offers an open access platform to share research run by and for researchers. Its growing community of scholars and papers in media and communications opens international dialogues on scholars’ own terms. Our field is especially critical of the operations of power and money in cultural evolution: here is a practice that turns critique into an new actuality we can all learn from – Prof. Sean Cubitt, Goldsmiths, University of London.

BodoArXiv, named after a Carolingian peasant made famous by historian Eileen Power (1889-1940), gathers scholarly literature in medieval studies across the disciplines. It provides an open, non-profit repository for papers at different stages of gestation, including works that may later find themselves in article form and/or behind a paywall. Anyone can access and download any item on BodoArXiv freely and immediately, in adherence to the basic tenants of the Open Access movement. Beyond helping authors make their scholarship more visible and discoverable, BodoArXiv fosters collaboration and mentoring as a platform that supports various forms of peer review.

MediArXiv and BodoArXiv are the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth community preprint services built on COS’s flagship platform, OSF, which helps researchers design and manage their research workflow, store their data, generate DOIs, and collaborate with colleagues. COS has leveraged the platform to help research communities in many disciplines discover new research as it happens and to receive quick feedback on their own research prior to publication. COS’s Preprints platform provides an easy, robust, and stable solution for organizations that want to launch their own preprints service. COS is currently supporting branded services in marine and earth sciences, psychology, social sciences, engineering, agriculture, imaging, paleontology, sports research, contemplative research, law, library and information science, nutrition, as well as national, multidisciplinary services in Indonesia, France, the Arab nations, and Africa.

Over 2.2 million preprints have been already indexed from a variety of sources and can be accessed by selecting a subject of interest, entering specific search terms, or browsing the preprints most recently added to the service. OSF Preprints uses SHARE to aggregate search results from a variety of other preprint providers like arXiv, bioRXiv, PeerJ, CogPrints and others into its archive. Preprint contributors are also encouraged to upload their supporting materials, if available.

About Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science

(COS) is a non-profit technology and culture change organization founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools. The OSF is a web application that provides a solution for the challenges facing researchers who want to pursue open science practices, including: a streamlined ability to manage their work; collaborate with others; discover and be discovered; preregister their studies; and make their code, materials, and data openly accessible. Learn more at and

Contact for MediArXiv
All inquiries: Jeroen Sondervan | | +31 (0)6 1422 1443
Twitter: @mediarxiv

Contacts for BodoArxiv
All inquiries: Guy Geltner |

Contacts for the Center for Open Science
Media: Nici Pfeiffer |
Starting a Branded Preprint Service: Nici Pfeiffer |
Twitter: @osframework

Acknowledging a downside to APC: opening up scholars and scholarship to exploitation

Brainard (2019) in an April 3, 2019 article in Science, reports that a U.S. judge has ruled that a “deceptive” publisher [OMICS] should pay $50 million in damages. This is a timely opportunity to acknowledge a downside of the APC business model, that is, opening up scholarship to further commercial exploitation, including exploitation by publishers that do not or may not meet reasonable standards for academic quality and ethics in publishing, and to make recommendations to limit this potential for exploitation.


The SKC team often focuses on the article processing charges (APC) business model for OA journal publishing, in order to observe and analyze trends. However, this focus is not an endorsement of either OA publishing (as opposed to OA archiving), or the APC business model that is used by a minority of fully OA journals. This post acknowledges a major downside to the APC model. APC “opens up” scholars and scholarly works for further commercial exploitation by traditional and new publishers that offers a wide range of quality in academic terms, ranging from excellent to mediocre and including a few with unethical practices that are not compatible with advancing our collective knowledge.This judge’s ruling provides an opportune moment to acknowledge this flaw in the APC business model, and to discuss potential remedies. I argue that it is essential for scholarly publishing to be scholar-led so that advancing scholarship is the primary priority. One model that I recommend as one to build on and expand is the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program. This program provides modest funding to scholarly journals that are under the direction of qualified Canadian academics. This funding is awarded through a competitive process that in effect serves as a journal-level academic peer review process. OA initiatives where key decisions are made by the research community (directly or through librarian representatives) are more likely to ensure high quality and ethical services than policies favouring and/or providing support for OA publishing with no clear vetting process of publication venues.


There are downsides to any model for support of scholarly publishing. One important downside to the APC model is that it further “opens” scholars and scholarly works to exploitation for commercial purposes, including exploitation by publishers that do not meet academic standards for a variety of reasons ranging from lack to experience to deliberate deception. I do not personally evaluate or judge the quality of academic publishing. However, as Brainard (2019) reports, a U.S. judge has literally made a judgement in the case of OMICS.


To understand how scholarly publishing has become vulnerable to this kind of exploitation, it is helpful to unravel the conflation of OA and OA publishing, and of OA publishing and the APC business model.

Open access (OA) is about access to the world’s scholarly knowledge. OA is not the same as OA publishing. There are 2 major approaches to OA; one is OA archiving, which is compatible with diverse publishing models. To get a sense of what has already been achieved through OA archiving, I recommend playing around with 2 major services. One is the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE). BASE cross-searches over 6,000 archives around the world that collectively contain more than 140 million documents, 60% of which are OA. The other is the Internet Archive, which provides access to billions of webpages, videos, audio recordings, and over 20 million texts. If a classic text is out of copyright, it is probably available through the Internet Archive.

The majority of fully OA journals (73% of journals in DOAJ as of today) do not charge article processing charges (APCs). How do they manage? Small journals can often get by with in-kind support such as journal hosting, modest university, funder, and/or scholarly society subsidies, and/or collaborative library-based support (e.g. Knowledge Unlatched, Open Humanities Press).

As of today, OMICs is still active. There is reason to think that there are substantial numbers of APC based OA journals by publishers of unknown and potentially problematic academic quality. As I reported based on the 2018 survey of OA journals at ELPUB 2018, ” 5 of the largest publishers are no longer listed in DOAJ (Canadian Center of Science and Education, Internet Scientific Publications, LLC, Macrothink Institute, SCIENCEDOMAINInternational, and Scientific Research Publishing; Bentham Open is listed in DOAJ in 2017, but not 2018). (Morrison, 2018). There are a variety of reasons why publishers might not be included in DOAJ. Publishers may not have completed the re-application process. This would be understandable as (in my opinion) the questionnaire is onerous and specific questions do not entirely make sense. However, not meeting the DOAJ criteria does raise questions about the quality of the publisher, particularly if DOAJ itself is used as a means of assessing quality. Journals and publishers disappearing from DOAJ raise the question of the advisability of relying on DOAJ inclusion as a criteria for quality. In an author selects a journal in DOAJ today, assuming this assures quality publication, the journal might disappear from DOAJ later, possibly when the author is up for tenure and promotion and reviewers are taking quality of publication venues into account in making recommendations.

Scams and poor quality publishing is not strictly an OA problem. There are scam conferences that are not at all OA, and traditional publishers of journals and monographs have a wide range of quality. However, it is a downside of a particular model for OA, and I recommend that the OA movement acknowledge this and help find remedies. As noted above, my remedy is scholarly leadership of OA initiatives, that is key decisions made by scholars whose primary work is in the university or research sectors, as the best way to make sure that quality of academic work is the top priority.


Brainard, J. (2019). U.S. judge rules deceptive publisher should pay $50 million in damages. Science April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019 from

Morrison, H. (2018). Global OA APCs 2010 – 2017: major trends. Elpub 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2019 from

Content: Learning about Pleasure

Jacob Love

CONTENT: LEARNING ABOUT PLEASURE deals with diverse human relationships to pleasure – and with what it might mean for technology to be learning about these relationships. The images presented come from a work-in progress show installed in a converted church space in South-East London. The show contained four disparate elements that functioned as self-contained experiences. They were intended to be shown together, allowing for new meanings and ideas to arise in the intersections and spaces between the different works.

About Pleasure is a series of large-scale images that look at our relationship to the physical world and to images. The images have been produced robotically, fusing hundreds of individual photographs to create giant highly-detailed prints of landscapes that end up being nonhuman in their viewpoint. They ask questions about experience, specifically, about what it means when the distinction between direct and mediated experience is blurred. The work also deals with alienation from corporeal pleasures that can occur in an image-saturated world and with how strange and intangible our own bodies can sometimes feel.

You’ll Die Laughing is a one-channel video installation that taps into one of our existential fears with regard to Artificial Intelligence: perfection. In comparison to the machine we will always fail, a comparison that reveals our human pride, stupidity and fragility.

Warning: The video works contain strobe effects and explicit content.

Content Learning is a five-channel video installation that looks at how the content we upload and the data about what we consume are enabling technology to learn about human pleasure. Does the lack of a body that feels pose a fundamental obstacle to learning about pleasurable experience, or could it be the key to developing entirely new forms of knowledge – knowledge that is totally unknowable to humans? Algorithms start to produce knowledge about human pleasure, but as Artificial Intelligence has no capacity to experience, what else might be done with that knowledge?

Autoplay is series of unique print works. They address the cultural artefacts that are being automatically created by new types of AI knowledge. They visualise what seems chaotic and offensive to our cognitive faculties but what may feel seductive and rewarding to our preconscious bodily faculties.

Jacob Love lives and works in London. He studied at the University of the West of England and at Goldsmiths, University of London – where he is now a Lecturer in Photography. He has exhibited in solo and group shows, both in the UK and internationally.

Et si la recherche scientifique ne pouvait pas être neutre?

Sous la direction de Laurence Brière, Mélissa Lieutenant-Gosselin et Florence Piron

Parution en ligne en libre accès intégral sous la forme d’un cyberlivre : février 2019. Le PDF du livre sera téléchargeable librement à partir du 15 mars 2019.

Pré-vente de la version imprimée : jusqu’à 15 mars 2019

Les manières de faire de la science aujourd’hui sont multiples et innovantes. Pourtant, un modèle normatif continue d’écraser les autres : le modèle positiviste. Il soutient que la science vise l’étude objective de la réalité en s’appuyant sur l’application rigoureuse de la méthode « scientifique » dont la neutralité est un des emblèmes. Cette vision est vivement contestée dans plusieurs champs de recherche, tels que les études sociales des sciences, l’histoire des sciences et les études féministes et décoloniales. Ces critiques considèrent que les théories scientifiques sont construites et influencées par le contexte social, culturel et politique dans lequel travaillent les scientifiques, ainsi que par les conditions matérielles de leur travail. Cet ancrage social de la science rend impensable, pour ces critiques, l’idée même de neutralité. Faut-il donc renoncer à cette exigence normative? Par quelle autre norme la remplacer?

Né d’un colloque tenu en 2017 à Montréal, ce livre propose les réflexions et analyses sur ces questions de 25 autrices et auteurs issus de sept pays. Études de cas, analyses réflexives et discussions théoriques s’entrecroisent pour permettre une réflexion collective approfondie sur ces enjeux anciens, mais constamment renouvelés, notamment dans le contexte du nouveau statut précaire de l’expertise scientifique dans l’espace public.

ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-54-3
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-52-9
547 pages

Utilisez le bouton Paypal ci-dessous pour pré-commander le livre imprimé à un tarif préférentiel (jusqu’au 15 mars 2019), le commander au tarif normal ou l’obtenir en format ePub (prêtable). Les auteurs et autrices peuvent aussi l’utiliser pour commander des exemplaires supplémentaires. Une contribution de 9 $ aux frais d’envoi est automatiquement ajoutée.

Pré-vente et vente

Table des matières

Introduction. Un espace de réflexions sociales et politiques sur les manières de penser et de faire des sciences
Laurence Brière, Mélissa Lieutenant-Gosselin et Florence Piron

Partie I. (Im)possible neutralité scientifique

L’ancrage sociologique du concept. Réflexion sur le rapport d’objectivation
Marie-Laurence Bordeleau-Payer

La neutralité pour quoi faire? Pour une historicisation de la rigueur scientifique
Oumar Kane

De l’impossible neutralité axiologique à la pluralité des pratiques
Pierre-Antoine Pontoizeau

Sur l’idéal de neutralité en recherche
Julia Morel et Valérie Paquet

Quand les résultats contredisent les hypothèses. La neutralité en question dans la production du savoir sur le cerveau
Giulia Anichini

Les traductions coloniales et postcoloniales à l’épreuve de la neutralité
Milouda Medjahed

Les pratiques d’évaluation par les pair-e-s : pas de neutralité
Samir Hachani

Les faits, les sciences et leur communication. Dialogue sur la science du climat à l’ère de Trump
Pascal Lapointe et Mélissa Lieutenant-Gosselin

Partie II. L’insoutenable neutralité scientifique

L’amoralité du positivisme institutionnel. Critique engagée de l’injonction de neutralité axiologique
Florence Piron

Voyage vers l’insolence. Démasquer la neutralité scientifique dans la formation à la recherche
Maryvonne Charmillot et Raquel Fernandez-Iglesias

La question de la neutralité en sciences de l’environnement. Réflexions autour de la Marche internationale pour la science
Laurence Brière

Neutralité, donc silence? La science politique française à l’épreuve de la non-violence
Cécile Dubernet

Les sciences impliquées. Entre objectivité épistémique et impartialité engagée
Donato Bergandi

Partie III. Au-delà de la neutralité

Neutralisation et engagement dans des controverses publiques. Approche comparative d’expertises scientifiques
Robin Birgé et Grégoire Molinatti

Non-neutralité sans relativisme? Le rôle de la rationalité évaluative
Mathieu Guillermin

Comprendre et étudier le monde social. De la réflexivité à l’engagement
Sklaerenn Le Gallo

Langagement. Déconstruction de la neutralité scientifique mise en scène par la sociologie dramaturgique
Sarah Calba et Robin Birgé

Partie IV. Perspectives réflexives

Que signifie être chercheuse? Du désir d’objectivité au désir de réflexivité
Mélodie Faury

Des relations complexes entre critique et engagement. Quelques enseignements issus de recherches critiques en communication
Éric George

Perspectives critiques et études sur le numérique. À la recherche de la pertinence sociale
Lena A. Hübner

Rapports entre recherche scientifique et action militante. Une neutralité « partielle » pour les réguler?
Stéphane Couture


Les auteurs et les autrices

À propos de la maison d’édition


The difficulty of the plains – 6 theses on open access

The following is a lightly edited text of a keynote address by Malte Hagener at NECS Open Media Studies Post-Conference, 30 June 2018, Hilversum, The Netherlands.

When Bertolt Brecht returned to (East) Germany in 1949 he wrote a short poem in which he reflected upon his own situation. The immediate fight against fascism had been won, but the more daunting task still lay ahead: building a new society. Many believed that the road ahead would be clear and easy from here on, but Brecht doubted this. He writes:

When the difficulty
Of the mountains is once behind
That’s when you’ll see
The difficulty of the plains will start

Of course, historical situations are always unique, singular and ultimately uncomparable. Nevertheless, I want to use Brecht’s metaphor of “the difficulties of the plains“ to talk about the stage we currently find ourselves in regarding open access. We have crossed a mountain range full of difficulties, we have mastered many challenges, but also full of amazing adventures and fascinating prospects. A lot has been achieved and while many thought the mountains were the only obstacle we had to overcome, we find ourselves in a plain devoid of perceivable obstacles or dangers, at least at first sight. The challenge has changed because we now rather face the problem of drudgery and orientation—how can we keep going without the large and overpowering challenges. To put it in even more emphatic terms: From a heroic struggle, we have to adapt to the problems of the everyday; it is as if an action blockbuster has given way to a Berlin school reflection on the mundane. The questions to be asked now are: Which direction do we take; How can we keep going when an immediate aim is no longer visible; How can we motivate ourselves and others? I want to illustrate my point in the form of five and a half theses.

1. We ain’t achieved nothing yet!

By now, most large European scientific organisations and funding bodies have, in one way or another, implemented Open Access into their funding policy and operational routines. The EU Commission states on its homepage regarding its flagship programme Horizon 2020: “The global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers, so-called ‘Open access’, has been a core strategy in the European Commission to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation. It is illustrated in particular by the general principle for open access to scientific publications in Horizon 2020 and the pilot for research data.“ This shift in political thinking at the European level has trickled down to national funding agencies, to universities and to many individuals who have embraced the basic principles, including myself. Most disciplines have adopted open access as (at least) one way of publishing; many academics have gathered practical experience and have a basic knowledge of what OA stands for. A study conducted by the university library at the University of Utrecht in 2015/2016 found out that 86.8% of scholars support the general aims of open access, 9.3% were indecisive, and only 3.9% had a negative view of OA. In a way, OA has been thoroughly internalised into the academic system and it seems as if the struggle for open access has been won across the board.

At this point in time, one might be tempted to propose: Can we all go back to our “real“ duties (which are always urgent and pressing): do research, write papers and books, teach seminars and give lectures, counsel students, organise conferences and so on? I believe that this would be a serious misunderstanding, because we have not really achieved anything yet—if we are not careful to follow up with developing our own tools and to taking the power back. This is not some extra-work that we might want to do if we have a bit of extra time. It should, instead, be a central part of any scientific daily routine. Open Access, open data, open science—whichever term you prefer—if understood in its full complexity, is set to restructure the entire scientific process: from the way we develop questions and gather data through publishing and access all the way to the long-term strategies of safeguarding and archiving sources, material and publications. The whole cycle of knowledge production has to be integrated and restructured. Therefore, open access remains a constant task to develop and adapt in relation to the current tools and methods.

Another way to conceptualise the relationship would be to see open access and open science as a supplement in the way proposed by Jacques Derrida—something, allegedly secondary, that serves as an aid to something “original“ or “natural“. When we follow the endless game of references and links, we might want to reach a stable denoted reference, but that is ultimately impossible. It is at this missing origin, at the imaginary point of stability, that the supplement appears. The supplement is an add-on and a substitute, something that completes another thing and something that may replace it and therefore pose a potential threat. In this way, open access is a supplement to the existing scholarly ecosystem of editing, reviewing and publishing—it is meant to replace it, while also adding on to it. It is both an accretion (Hinzufügung) and a substitution. In this way, open access might also be a means to highlight the artificial and arbitrary nature of the publication system, which might have appeared natural and normal to many. And in this way, open access is also something that is never finished, that continues to elope and abscond us, a marker which reminds us of the unfinished business of circulation and knowledge production in the academic world. Everything remains open to revision; final stability can never be achieved.

2. The Empire Strikes Back – …for the benefit of humanity?

One way to put the argument of the supplement into more concrete terms would be to look at the dynamic restructuring of the publication system. If we look around, there is a mixture of the old system which open access was meant to overcome and new players and tools trying to take advantage of the rapidly transforming ecosystem. As it appears at the moment, it is the old players that seem to profit most. Look, for example, at Elsevier, our very own behemoth: Elsevier’s profits has swelled again last year, to €900 million in 2017, a profit margin of 37%—higher than Monsanto or Goldman Sachs. In a recent article, The Guardian put the business model of the publishing giants in provocative terms: “It is as if The New Yorker or The Economist demanded that journalists write and edit each other’s work for free, and asked the government to foot the bill. Outside observers tend to fall into a sort of stunned disbelief when describing this setup.“And this situation is far from over—the quote is from last year—so the old stakeholders are coming back with a vengeance if we are not careful.

In many European countries, new open access funds were introduced in the last five to ten years because the transformation to open access was not meeting the expected goals. These well-intentioned initiatives have led in many cases to what is now known as double dipping: There are still overpriced subscriptions, but there are also OA funds available for those at wealthy institutions to pay for overpriced APCs. When I wrote a review (not even an article) for a Taylor & Francis journal some years ago, they asked me for more than €1000, to make the article available in open access. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the real costs to the publisher, even if a creative bookkeeper can always come up with endless overhead which has to be covered. It is, rather, meant to kill two birds with one stone: If people agree to pay, it wins a handsome profit to the company; at the same time, it also gives the enterprise the opportunity to claim that they support (or at least allow) open access. With approval rates of more than 90% among academics, publishers would be crazy to oppose open access. But they have to fit it into their business model, so most take the path of least resistance.

Apart from the generally problematic nature of APCs, there is another effect of openness that we might have underestimated in the past—that openness is also open to businesses using the data for their own ends. Openness means transparency, and transparency—at least potentially—means control. This can be seen both on a political and an economic level. Let me turn again to Elsevier: The company is no longer calling itself a publishing company but, instead, a “global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals advance healthcare, open science and improve performance for the benefit of humanity.” And, to make things even more ironic—indeed this is a punchline that you could not make up—the EU is in the process of implementing an Open Science Monitor, a “full-fledged monitoring system“ of open access and transparent research across countries, which is being developed in conjunction with none other than Elsevier. So one of the companies that profits most from the current set-up is gathering data and preparing policy decisions in the very field where many criticise its dominance. Open access has, at least partly, created a system in which the monopolists have been able to reap even more profit than before. And inadvertendly, we might help to shape an ecosystem in which science is being monitored even more closely by monopolists because output will be measurable in ever smaller amounts of data. Those who own and control the tools will be those who decide how to use them and who will profit from them.

Another example of how the old system has adapted to the new challenges and chances is the venture capital–funded platform Here, control of data and profit-seeking has given rise to a platform that masquerades as a scholar-friendly social network. There are more examples to give, but instead of preaching to the choir, let me move on.

3. Get out – of the Filter Bubble

Because “preaching to the choir“ exemplifies one of the key problems: We—as OA advocates—are largely talking to ourselves. There is, by now, a sizable community of people active in the field of open access; we meet at conferences such as this one, but often in designated slots and under specific headings. We are not a small group, but we are also, let’s face it, not the majority. Most colleagues would say they embrace open access (and I gave you the numbers), and I believe they do in principle; but in reality, they do not change their modus operandi. They still follow an opportunistic strategy in publishing and they are far from changing their practice. In fact, this is partly true for myself and—I believe—for many others. Habits are slow to change, and when you are invited to an established journal, it is hard to reject such an offer. It is hard to expect individuals to radically change their behaviour in an existing system, when the immediate effect of such changed behaviour has direct negative consequences.

We have to change the environment in such a way that open access becomes the normal way of doing things. And we have to change the environment in such a way that it is not the big players that are able to profit even more than before. If you go back and read what was written five or ten years ago, it was all about implementing open access and changing people’s minds. But mentalities are slow to change. Since the process was not fast enough for the ambitious aims of the large stakeholders (the European Commission, large funding agencies, governments), money was pumped into the system that went towards those at the crucial junctions. Something similar might happen again and again, if we don’t make ourselves heard.

4. The Paradoxical Self-Evidence of Openness

Openness appears to be a self-explanatory concept. In almost all discussions I hear about open science, open access, open source and so on, it is always assumed that openness is inherently, yes almost ontologically, a good thing. Now, I consider myself an OA-advocate and therefore I am standing here before you as a proponent of such a view. Yet we should, at least for the sake of argument, step back for a moment and reconsider if openness is always already good, no matter what the social, political or cultural circumstances are. First of all, we have to ask ourselves what openness really means. It is a relational term that is dependent on perspective and context. Crucial questions have to be asked here because very seldomly are all aspects open in the same way: What exactly is open to whom under what circumstances? And also: Who can use the openly available materials to what ends? Who has control and power (both in legal and economic terms) to use material published under the sign of open access, open data or open source? Openness and privacy—which is an ideal that most of us, I assume, would not want to give up lightly—are more often than not in conflict with each other because privacy is always balancing out access of others with control of the self.

I have found a welcome and sober antidote to the ideological positioning of openness as inherently good in the work of danah boyd. boyd has repeatedly and forcefully argued that data is never neutral, that opening up data and making it available for third parties always has political implications and possible side effects that might not be apparent at first sight. It is not enough to give people access to data; we need to also make tools available to understand that data, and we need to construct an environment in which the circulation of data can be monitored and registered. One example that boyd gives is the open availability of information on schools, which usually has the directly observable effect of higher ethnic and social segretation—because specific groups might (and will) read this data in a certain way. Certain individuals and collectives have resources available (knowledge or capital to pay someone to use a certain knowledge) that allows them to make use of data in a specific way. boyd even demonstrates how algorithms might inadvertently contribute to inequality, because the way certain elements correlate makes it more likely to include discriminatory elements of another level into the equation. Therefore, data about your family or your place of residence might influence your credit score or the likelihood of getting parole without any conscious discrimination, but rather as ripple effects of algorithms. This kind of algorithmic discrimination will be an important topic of discussion in the next couple of years.

5. Sustainability Means Discrimination

I still occasionally encounter colleagues who believe that something is open access because it can be found on the internet. Often, they have built a project website, some WordPress structure that a student assistant programmed and another one renovated after the first one has left. Some years later, money on that specific project has run out and the research interest has shifted elsewhere; no one is caring for the dilapitated structure anymore, and some browser generations later, the website will be unusable, inaccessible, or simply gone. In the old days of what McLuhan has called the “Gutenberg galaxy”, books were delivered to libraries, where they could still be accessed hundreds of years later—even if no one in the meantime had cared to look at them. The sources and structures of the digital age have a radically reduced half-life period. This puts a much higher pressure on the infrastructure that we need to build and maintain. The speed of production and reproduction, the sheer amount of data being produced today, means that we have to discriminate what we want to keep and what we risk to lose.

I am consciously using the term discrimination here because creating data and making research always means making distinction, drawing a line, identifying something as meaningful (and, by implication, something else as not meaningful). We discriminate, too, if we decide to archive something, to build structures that are meant to keep and safeguard material for a longer period of time. Most of us still grew up in McLuhan’s “Gutenberg galaxy“—it has a five-hundred-year history and we did not need to think too much about how it functioned. We did research and wrote, we handed it in, we got a review and if we were good (or lucky) enough, we got published. There were specific roles in the process: advisors and editors, publishers and reviewers, printers and librarians—a whole system constructed towards quality control (discrimination of the first order) and long-term preservation (discrimination of the second order). Currently, we begin to understand how the shape of a new system might look like or at least what the stakes are: It is an accelerated system in which the temporal cycle of discovery, publication and discussion has been radically shrunk; this might not be visible in the same degree for the humanities and social sciences as for the natural and life sciences, but it is still beginning to be felt. At the same time, we have large private companies which aggressively enter into some parts of this system with the aim of making profit. While profit has always been part of the system, it has now taken on a very different function.

Discrimination is a key concept that is built into the nature of information. Whenever we create data that has a structure that is machine-readable, we make specific kinds of distinctions. This is again danah boyd on data analysis and discrimination: “discrimination as a concept has mathematical and economic roots that are core to data analysis. The practices of data cleaning, clustering data, running statistical correlations, etc., are practices of using information to discern between one set of information and another. They are a form of mathematical discrimination. The big question presented by data practices is: Who gets to choose what is acceptable discrimination? Who gets to choose what values and trade-offs are given priority?” And this is, again, why I believe we have to obtain a certain degree of data literacy, because it is only if we understand the tools we are using that we also understand what forms of discrimination they entail.

6. From Collecting to Curating

If we look at the natural sciences, we can see that the line between what counts as data and what counts as a publication is increasingly blurry. The difference between research data and a journal article is currently a hot topic of discussion, just as research data management as a strategic field has taken the place of OA in the minds of big funding organisations. The large grants and strategic attention that were devoted to open access ten years ago are now geared towards research data management. Of course, this dynamic movement (just like open access fifteen years ago) originates with the STEM crowd, but it will inevitably reach and transform the humanities and social sciences as well. The larger and more established disciplines in our field such as history, art history, philosophy or literary studies, will have the reputation and the power to eventually build their own platforms or participate in larger infrastructures. If media studies wants to be more than an appendix to one of those disciplines, we have to move fast and decisively, because our only reasonable alternative is to be attractive as an innovative pathfinder and as an experimental field. If we do not react at all, the bandwagon will pull ahead without stopping. No one is waiting for media studies to get moving. Therefore, we need to build our own infrastructure,n which is actually much more fun than some of you might believe.

Let me sidetrack a little to tell you what I actually do in a project that has only recently made its public appearance. We have launched in September a repository with funding from the German research association DFG. Because funding is still largely a national concern, we have started in the first phase with mostly German-language sources. But the larger idea for the future is an infrastructure for the sustainable archiving and publication of research within the larger field of film and media studies, regardless of language or origin. We try to be as inclusive as possible, but we also have to make distinctions as to what belongs to media studies and what does not. It is naive to assume that collecting is some natural flow of things and that collections have a systematic logic that is beyond individual decision-making processes. We should be aware of the fact that archival collections, be they analog or digital, are always curated. And in this sense, I consider MediaRep to also be a curated collection—but we want to make the decisions and the process visible to users. I believe that openness in this sense is more than online collections without paywalls, but a transparent way of decision-making.


I hope that I have been able to show you some of the challenges and dangers that I would see as the “difficulties of the plains”. The difficulties of the mountain are a thing of the past ten years: we just had to rally behind the term open access and convince people of its value. This mission has been accomplished, but now we have to do many different tasks at once: We need to understand—and make it understandable to others—that publishing, editing and reviewing is an ethical decision and that our actions have consequences for a larger field. We need to be aware of the ripple effects and collateral damages of specific actions in specific situations—or even the consequences of the lack of actions. Maybe this could be a topic for professional associations such as NECS: to formulate best practice models for publishing.

We need to talk to librarians and funders, to presidents and politicians; we need to make our voice heard beyond our immediate circle of friends and supporters. We need to build alliances in order to be able to formulate and follow long-term goals. We need to construct infrastructure in the way that magazines and libraries, repositories and social networking platforms are infrastructure. We need to run and oversee this crucial infrastructure. We also need to understand that all these practices are not inherently good just because we mean well—therefore, we need to constantly monitor the effects, because in a complex and dynamic system an effect can never be directly determined.

MediArXiv project launched!

# Call for Steering Committee Members – MediArXiv

The initial Steering Committee is excited to announce the forthcoming launch of MediArXiv, the nonprofit, open archive for media, film & communication studies. The open-access “preprint” server will soon accept submissions from scholars across our diverse fields. MediArXiv will join the growing movement started by the math/physics/computer science-oriented over 25 years ago, as one of the first full-fledged preprint servers conceived for humanities and social science scholars.

MediArxiv will accept working papers, pre-prints, accepted manuscripts (post-prints), and published manuscripts. The service is open to articles, books, and book chapters. There is currently some limited support for other scholarly forms (like video essays), which we plan to expand and officially support in the future.

Our aim is to promote open scholarship across media, film and communication studies around the world. In addition to accepting and moderating submissions, we plan to advocate for policy changes at the major media, film, & communication studies professional societies around the world–to push for open-access friendly policies, in particular, for the journals that these associations sponsor.

MediArXiv will launch in early 2019 on the Open Science Framework, which already hosts a number of other discipline-specific open archives:

We are writing to solicit applications for additional Steering Committee membership, with an interest in, but not limited to, early career scholars and those who work in the Global South. We anticipate adding five- to six- additional members, who will help to establish and guide MediArXiv together with the existing members. In addition to governance, Steering Committee members commit to contribute to light moderation of submissions on a rotating basis.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, January 23, and successful applicants will be informed by January 30.

More details about MediArXiv can be found at our information site:

Many thanks for considering MediArXiv service,

The MediArXiv Steering Committee

  • Jeff Pooley, Associate Professor of Media & Communication, Muhlenberg College
  • Jeroen Sondervan, open access expert & and co-founder of Open Access in Media Studies. Affiliated with Utrecht University
  • Catherine Grant, Professor of Digital Media and Screen Studies, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Jussi Parikka, Professor of Technological Culture & Aesthetics, University of Southampton
  • Leah Lievrouw, Professor of Information Studies, UCLA

MediArXiv is a project initiated by Open Access in Media Studies:

As free, nonprofit, community-led digital archive, MediArXiv is fully committed to the Fair Open Access principles:

A new article – science fiction template

Section 5

A new article

Amelia Walker

This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract. This is the new abstract.


Learn; new; things


This is the new article text

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

Vol 4 No 1 Call For Submissions

Writing from Below is now accepting papers for an open-themed issue, volume four, number one. We welcome papers and creative works that engage with Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies from across all disciplines, and from academics at all stages of their careers.

All submissions will be peer reviewed, including creative works with accompanying ERA statements (see creative submission and ERA statement examples in our “Art(i)culations of Violence” special issue). Text based submissions should be between 3,000 and 7,000 words and should adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style. If you’re submitting artwork, sound or video files, or have queries about any complex or unusual submissions, please email and CC

The deadline for submissions is 30th January 2019.

Please note: all submissions are handled using an online process. To proceed, set up an author account and follow the simple steps.

Writing from Below is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, supported by La Trobe University.

Open Science and Open Media Studies: Questions on a culture in transition

In the open access week 2018, I wrote a blogpost for the Open Media Studies blog, in conjunction with open acccess Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft on open science and open media Studies. You can find the original post here.

Below you find the text, which is published under a cc-by license on the Open Media Studies blog. I hereby want to take the opportunity to thank Alena Strohmeier and Sarah-Mai Dang for inviting me to write this guest post.

Open Media Studies as a term or concept is obviously not isolated. It comes out of a larger international debate on new developments around research and publishing practices in a digitized and open environment, often referred to as «open science». However, what exactly is open science? More precisely: what is Open Media Studies? For me this is a question with no definitive answer. Moreover, I think we do not need one.

Open science as a collective term stands for many things; open access to publications, open research data, open source software, research tools, open peer review, open hardware, open citations, etc. In short: these are all results of practicing «openness» within the entire research cycle, considering values and principles defining what could possibly be the best way of doing this. Needless to say, that for every researcher this could mean different things.

For the humanities and to a lesser extent the social sciences, the term open science is somehow problematic. It implies a direct relation with the (natural) sciences and that indeed is the area where these practices indeed are much stronger developed. However, research practices in the sciences are incomparable with practices in the humanities (and social sciences). Not to mention the differences in publication cultures. For almost all disciplines in the humanities, it is about the art of rhetoric and argumentation to reflect on and debate culture, cultural production, society and people’s behaviour, resulting in long articles, and books, based on original sources and/or historical data. Open access, reuse and transparency of research practices, data and publications will probably mean a different thing to a physicist than it will to a media scholar.

In many current discussions however, and I hear this from researchers as well, the focus is on Open Science. This is problematic in my opinion. The terms open scholarship or open research are more inclusive in this context. Nevertheless, every term has its limitations. Open science might leave out the «scholarly» approach. Most (citizen) scientists outside academia do not consider themselves as scholars and would probably feel uncomfortable by using open scholarship. Similarly, open research leaves out education.

At the risk of being bogged down in a never-ending semantic discussion, I hereby just want to state that it is not as simple as one might think and there will not be a one-size fits all solution. However, there should not be two separate worlds. There is much to learn from each other. Are humanities lagging behind? No, and I think media studies in particular is not lagging behind and it would be worthwhile if we look at existing best-practices in opening up research in media and communication studies and ask ourselves too what we can learn from what is happening in the sciences.

In 2015, colleagues Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman from the Utrecht University Library started their 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication project. In this project, they commenced a survey amongst more than 20.000 scholars worldwide. The landscape of scholarly communication is constantly changing and the changes are driven by technology, policies, and culture. However, in the end, the researchers themselves are the ones using tools and software in order to produce science and they are adapting constantly to new standards. Kramer and Bosman started the survey in order to create an overview of all these tools used for research, writing and publishing.

Fig 1. Respondent’s demographics: discipline(s) (

From this survey we can learn a lot about the use of research practices and tools but it is striking that only 12,5% of the respondents were from the humanities. Only a very small portion of this percentage had a background in media studies. For further discussion, it would be helpful to work on collecting more data about open access and open science practices in media studies.

How does media and communication studies fit into this?

Back in 2006, when I started at Amsterdam University Press (AUP) as a publisher, literally almost not a single author I talked with had heard of Open Access. This of course is only part of the truth, since we have seen important developments in that period with the launch of, amongst others, MediaCommons (2006), University of Michigan Press’ digitalculturebooks project (2006) and a bit later the community blog Film Studies For Free (2008). Open access was on the minds of media scholars but at that time very much isolated and mostly driven by individual frustrations with the traditional publishing system. In recent years, however, there has been a growing number of scholars experimenting with new ways of publishing their research (e.g. Lev Manovich, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, David Gauntlett, Miklos Kiss) using iterative writing and new online publishing formats.

Meanwhile, discussions about the issues of access to academic literature were mainly held between libraries, funders and (science) publishers. In 2008, together with five other European university presses, AUP started the OAPEN platform for depositing and disseminating open access monographs. At that time, it was one of the first online platforms for publishers to give and for readers to get access to academic books. Today over 120 publishers worldwide are depositing their books on the OAPEN platform. They have reached over 6,4 million downloads (counting started in 2013) and the collection of media and communication related books is growing steadily. The Directory of Open Access Books indexes over 140 open access books tagged as media studies. The Knowledge Unlatched project, a service to support open access books, and which started in 2014, offers a media & communication studies list and helped to «unlatch» 31 books in open access with financial support from libraries. More than 190 full open access journals are tagged under communication and (mass) media studies in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Impressive numbers over the years, but if you think about what the yearly global output of scholarly articles and books in media studies is, there is only one conclusion: open access in media studies is still in its infancy.

Scholars unite!

All the above examples are wonderful but if we want to move forward more quickly we need to change the way we think about (the culture of) publishing. In his article from 2016, «Open Media Scholarship: The Case for Open Access in Media Studies», Jeff Pooley argues that «media and communication scholars should be in the forefront of the open access movement». One of his arguments is that «the topics that we write about are inescapably multimedia, so our publishing platforms should be capable – at the very least – of embedding the objects that we study».

I would like to add to this that we not only need platforms and publishing models that are robust, sustainable and capable of dealing with (old and new) multimedia formats but we also need to think about how do we connect publishing infrastructure(s) and (multimedia) archives in a sensible way? We need a better sense of interoperable (open) infrastructures and metadata to connect online publications to archives and audio-visual source material.

Another important aspect of advancing scholarly communication is to speed up the process of publishing journals and books in media and communication studies. The time between an article’s submission to a published version can take a very long time, sometimes even years. Review pressure is getting out of hand. Why are we sticking to this idea of a «final version», which is publishable? What if we change that thinking into: «it is not a version of record we need; it is a record of versions»?1

Pre-/and post-print publishing is almost non-existent in the humanities, and besides a few examples this is also true for media studies. Apparently, it is difficult to share research results before it is published in a journal or as a book. On the other hand, everyone seems to be eager to share their publications in different stages of their research in academic social networks like ResearchGate and Why is it still not common practice in the humanities to share the work on a preprint server, comparable with ArXiv or SSRN, and new emerging disciplinary preprint servers? Lack of knowledge and fear seems to be an issue here. Creating awareness and discuss the potential benefits and pitfalls of pre-publications with the media studies network is essential here.

Now research councils are taking position

This academic year started with big news on open access. On September 4th Plan S was presented by a coalition of 11 national research funders (the German DFG is not one of them) supported by the European Commission. After the launch, people supportive of open access reacted positively: finally, something will happen and this could lead to a breakthrough! Publishers on the other hand immediately started their engines to counter the announced policy of the coalition. But what exactly does Plan S entail? Current (online) discussions are mostly held between funders, publishers, librarians and open access advocates. What are the implications of Plan S for the humanities, and more specifically media studies?

The easy explanation: from 2020 onwards, all research output funded by one of these 11 research councils needs to be published in open access under a CC-BY license and without an embargo period. One of the more challenging parts of the plan is the rejection of hybrid open access journals (subscription journals that allow authors to pay for freeing up their articles). To give an example of what this could imply:

Taylor & Francis has 2.300+ hybrid journals. 95 of those journals have media in their title and are in the hybrid journal portfolio. If you as a researcher want to publish research funded by let’s say the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), all those journals currently do not comply with the set of principles stated in Plan S. So you aren’t allowed to publish in any of those journals.

This raises of course many questions: How will (existing) publishers react to Plan S? Will they change their existing hybrid journal portfolios and current open access business models? Will there be enough other options to publish your work? What does this all mean for my career path and me as a researcher? Moreover, a much heard comment: how does this relate to the academic freedom (and comments) to publish where you want? The immediate implications for media scholar are likely to be small, since the majority of research funded by these research councils is in the sciences. However, the above questions will get more pressing when this coalition and the principles get a broader support (e.g. universities).

Up to now, most of the researchers’ responses are from the sciences. As far as I’ve seen there are only a few responses from humanities researchers about what this policy could mean for researchers in general, academic freedom and for open access books but more are very much welcome.

A closing remark

Addressing some of the pressing issues in a rapidly changing and evolving world of scholarly communication, illustrates how these changes have affected media scholars so far, and raise several more questions. I hope it can lead to a broader discussion amongst media scholars (and networks like GfM, NECS and SCMS) about how we would like to see in which direction the culture of Open Media Studies needs to go.

For further reading and information on open access policies, funding and publishing in media studies:

  1. Credits to my colleague Bianca Kramer for using this quote.

Jeroen Sondervan

One Year Later

Last year, during open access week, the Radical Open Access Collective re-launched with a new website, a directory of academic-led presses and an information platform for OA (book) publishing. We would like to share with you some of ROAC’s highlights for this year. Let us know if we’ve missed something or if there is anything you would like to add to this overview.

    • The Radical OA Collective grew its membership substantially: at our launch in October last year we had 25+ members, our community now consists of 54 members, Open Access in Media Studies being the latest to join!
    • For Radical OA II we published 7 pamphlets, available during the conference in both print and OA, covering topics such as Metrics Noir, Competition and Collaboration and the Geopolitics of Open. Each pamphlet was edited by a ROAC member or affiliate. The OA versions of the pamphlets are available on the Humanities Commons platform here:[author_facet][]=Post+Office+Press
    • We presented the ROAC at a number of conferences, including: COASP (Vienna), Digital Cultures (Lüneburg), Crossroads in Cultural Studies (Shanghai), OA Monographs (UUK, London), NECS Post-conference: Open Media Studies(Hilversum), Radical Open Access II (Coventry), Beyond APCs Open Aire workshop (The Hague), Open Access Tage (Dresden)
    • The ScholarLed Consortium was formed by 6 members of the ROAC pooling skills and resources to develop open infrastructure, tools, workflows and processes for OA publishing:
    • We organised a bookstand together with our friends from ScholarLed which was set up at the 2nd Radical OA Conference in Coventry and at Crossroads in Cultural Studies in Shanghai. In Coventry we ran 2 short talks alongside the bookstand, and in Shanghai we organised a round table on OA publishing in Cultural Studies.
  • Looking forward, we hope to continue to welcome new members to the collective and develop our suite of tools to encourage and support others to start their own publishing projects. If you run a not-for-profit OA publishing initiative or are interested in starting your own scholar-led publishing project, we encourage you to join the Radical OA mailing list and get involved with the discussion!

    About the ROAC

    Formed in 2015, the Radical OA Collective is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access projects in the humanities and social sciences. We represent an alternative open access ecosystem and seek to create a different future for open access, one based on experimenting with not-for-profit, scholar-led approaches to publishing. You can read more about the philosophy behind the collective here:

    As a collective, we offer mutual reliance and support for each other’s projects by sharing the knowledge and resources we have acquired. Through our projects we also aim to provide advice, support and encouragement to academics and other not-for-profit entities interested in setting up their own publishing initiatives. Our website contains a Directory of academic-led presses, which showcases the breadth and rich diversity in scholar-led presses currently operating in an international context and across numerous fields, and an Information Portal with links to resources on funding opportunities for open access books, open source publishing tools, guidelines on editing standards, ethical publishing and diversity in publishing, and OA literature useful to not-for-profit publishing endeavours.

Call For Submissions – Writing From Below ‘Space and Place’ Special Issue

Presenters from the 2018 South Australian Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Gender, Sex, and Sexualities conference: ‘Space and Place: Conceptions of movement, belonging and boundaries’ are invited to submit full papers for a peer-reviewed special issue of Writing From Below.

Writing from Below is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal. Broadly interdisciplinary in scope, it provides a forum for new and innovative research on gender, sex and sexualities and the array of intersecting issues that shape the social and personal understanding and expression of these. It welcomes both academic and creative explorations (theory is art and art, theory, after all), and specifically encourages scholarly experimentation. For this special issue, we invite both traditional and non-traditional submissions under the following categories:

  • Full Critical Papers based on Conference Presentations (3000-7000 words)
  • Poster / Visual art submissions (please include 250 word ERA research statement)
  • Creative Writings including poetry, short fiction, fictocritical, experimental and/or hybrid writings (up to 3000 words; please include 250 word ERA research statement). If submitting Visual or Creative works, please see the ERA Research Statement Guidelines in Appendix F at the following link:

All submissions are due on 20th October 2018.

We recommend that presenters do not submit until after the conference so that feedback can be incorporated accordingly. There will be a submissions workshop prior to the conference (TBA).

Download the Space and Place Special Issue CFP for more information on submission. This is available at the following link:

If you have further questions, please email us at

Call for contribution: The social responsibility of organisations and companies in French-speaking Africa

Sahel landscape

A collective work project under done by the following researchers Victorine Ghislaine NZINO MUNONGO, researcher at the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon, Martial JEUGUE DOUNGUE, PhD, Researcher-Lecturer, L. Christelle BELPORO, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Hermann NANAN LEKOGMO, PhD, Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC-APDHAC)

Publication date: December 2018
Call for contributions on Calenda :


Considering on the one hand, the current global village under construction in which many stakeholders are called to interact towards the realisation of a common destiny and, on the other hand, the concern for the preservation of local resources, the need for a more concrete implementation emerges from the principle of integration. The objectives of sustainable development (OSD) were thus adopted with the aim, by 2030, to eliminate poverty in all its forms through the promotion of sustainable industrialisation that benefits all, and promotes innovation and research and encourages large companies and transnational corporations to adopt and integrate viable practices. The essential aim of objectives is to create jobs, increase local wealth through gross domestic product (GDP) and more efficient use of resources through the use of clean, socially inclusive and environmentally friendly industrial technologies and processes.

The current economic environment in Sub-Saharan Africa faces several challenges:

  1. An estimated population explosion of 1.1 billion inhabitants with a projection of 2.4 billion in 2050 [1], which represents one third of the world’s population. In addition, 60 per cent of the African population is less than 35 years old [2] and is made up of young people eager for goods and consumption.
  2. An urbanisation that is done at a high speed in terms of the occupancy of space by populations: statistics mention 472 million inhabitants living in urban areas and double this figure within the next twenty-five years [3]. These figures indicate the existence of a significant gradual concentration of demand and supply of goods and services in urban areas and a growing economy with a forecast of 2.6% in 2017[4]. According to the World Bank, this growth is slowed-down by the infrastructure deficit, which has the effect of limiting companies’ productivity to 40% [5].
  3. A pretty glaring lack of infrastructure. There is therefore a vital need to invest massively for the construction of viable spaces that can accommodate this growing population and meet companies’ expectations. However, the bill for these operations will probably be quite salty. According to finance experts, the need for investment in infrastructure construction in Africa is estimated at 93 billion Dollars per year [6]. In an environment where 43 per cent of the whole population lives below the poverty line.[7], the challenge is not only to prepare the ground for a so-called inclusive economy but also a system of production, sales and consumption that respects the Human dignity while preserving the environment. Hence the reference to social responsibility of companies/organisations.

According to Bambara and his colleagues, the social responsibility of organisations (RSO) is perceived as the « responsibility of an organisation for the impact of its decisions and activities on the society and the environment, resulting in transparent and ethical behaviour that contributes to sustainable development including the health of people and the well-being of society, takes into account the expectations of stakeholders, respects the laws in force and is compatible with the standards and is integrated into the Organisation as a whole and implemented in its relations”[8]. Moreover, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the social responsibility of companies/organisations (CSR) expresses « … the way in which companies take into account the impact of their activities on society and affirm their principles and values both in the application of their internal methods and processes and in their relations with other actors”[9]. The ILO definition addresses the sociological approach of CSR, which presents this concept « … As a matter of social regulation involving, behind the institution of the enterprise, social actors in Conflict »[10]. Henceforth, as Mc William and Siegel would say, it is a matter of considering CSR « … as actions to improve social well-being beyond the interests of the firm and what is required by law ».[11]. This presentation of the concept sets out in a comprehensive way the issue of integrating a CSR/RSO into a company.

The legal-political framework of CSR/RSO in Africa is a real challenge. If the perception that the States have of this tool is full of nuances, companies also have the perception. The management and implementation tools for CSR/SAR in African countries and businesses deserve to be analysed in order to understand and translate the scope of CSR/RSO in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the innovative nature of the Western concept of CSR/RSO in Africa and the changing apprehension of the latter in terms of social realities, there are implementing approaches that position companies as actors with responsibility to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

The aim of this book is to address the responses offered by CSR/RSO in Sub-Saharan Africa under the prism of the various challenges that the latter faces. We want to better understand exchanges of influence existing between this concept and the Saharan African environment, in other words, analyse the contribution of CSR/RSO in the Saharan African environment and in return, changes undergone by this concept because of adaptation to its setting environment.

This book will address stakeholders such as public and parastatal administrations, the private sector, academic and professional institutions, civil society, etc.

The expected contributions must concern one of the following aspects:

  1. CSR/SAR and Sustainable Development Goals, by 2030 in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  2. CSR/SAR and poverty alleviation in Saharan countries;
  3. CSR/SAR in the forestry sector in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  4. Industrialisation, clean technology and economic growth in Saharan countries;
  5. Sustainable Industrialisation, research and innovation in Saharan countries;
  6. Major corporations, transnational corporations and human rights;
  7. Sustainable production policy in SMI/SME in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  8. Protection of means of substances and basic production in the face of environmental crises in Cameroon; etc.

The chapters will be assessed according to the open-ended method of ESBC (between authors of the book, with publication of a summary of the evaluations).

Book creation process

This book project is opened to all, in a state of mind that rejects any prospect of competition or exclusion. On the contrary, the aim of the cognitive justice of this book leads us to want to open it to all knowledge and to all epistemologies,

As much as it helps us to understand its purpose. We will therefore work with all authors who want to participate in this adventure to improve their proposal or their text so that this book becomes a valuable resource.

In terms of writing instructions, it is quite possible to include pictures or other images. It is also possible to propose, as a chapter, the transcription of an interview or a testimonial or a video for the online version, if it enables knowledge to enter our book. On the other hand, in order to maximize the accessibility and use of the book, we ask to restrict the use of any specialised jargon.

The circulation of this call in all African universities is crucial in order to respect the aim of cognitive justice and regional circulation of information.

Note that the writing of these chapters is voluntary and will not be remunerated. The gratification of authors will be to see their chapter spread and be used in the service of the common good of Africa.

Authors participating in the production of the book will be invited to exchange throughout the writing and editing process on a Facebook or WhatsApp group, in order to share ideas, references and early versions, in the spirit of mutual support and collaboration that is promoted by cognitive justice.


  • March 2018: Call launch
  • July 31st  2018: Deadline to send a proposal (a summary of few sentences) or a chapter
  • August 31st 2018: Response to proposals and reception of chapters until October 31st 2018.
  • December 2018: Publication of a complete online version and print copies upon request.

To participate

As soon as possible, send a message to the following email address with your biography (in few lines), the complete contact details of your institution or association and a summary of the chapter (or chapters) that you want to propose. This summary consists of presenting in few sentences the content of the text you wish to propose, associating it, as far as possible, with one of the proposed topics.


[1]Croissance démographique, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[2] Idem.

[3]  Rapport sur l’urbanisation en Afrique : pour soutenir la croissance il faut améliorer la vie des habitants et des entreprises dans les villes, (Consulté le 15/08/2017).

Cf. Félix Zogning,Ahmadou Aly Mbaye,Marie-Thérèse Um-Ngouem, L’économie informelle, l’entrepreneuriat et l’emploi, Editions JFD, 2017 p.81.

[4] (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[5] Le nécessaire développement des infrastructures pour une croissance plus inclusive en Afrique, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[6] Idem.

[7] Toujours plus de personnes pauvres en Afrique malgré les progrès réalisés en matière d’éducation et de santé, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[8] M. BAMBARA et A. SENE, « L’évolution de la responsabilité sociétale de l’entreprise à la faveur du développement durable: vers une juridicisation de la RSE »  in Revue Africaine du Droit de l’Environnement, nᵒ 00, 2012, p.100.

[9]L’OIT et la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise, Helpdesk du BIT N◦1,—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—multi/documents/publication/wcms_142693.pdf (consulté le 12/02/2015).

[10] Emmanuelle Champion et al., Les représentations de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises : un éclairage sociologique, Les cahiers de la Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durable ESG-UQÀM – collection recherche No 05-2005, p.4.

[11] MacWilliams, A. & Siegel, D., cité par Marianne Rubinstein, « Le développement de la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise », Revue d’économie industrielle [En ligne], 113 | 1er trimestre 2006, mis en ligne le 21 avril 2008, consulté le 18 janvier 2015. URL :

Le CAMES 1968-2018. Un demi-siècle au service de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche en Afrique

Auteur : Chikouna Cissé, maître de conférences, Département d’histoire, Université Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire

Date de parution : 26 mai 2018 (lancement à Ouagadougou dans le cadre du Cinquantenaire du CAMES)

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Le Conseil africain et malgache pour l’enseignement supérieur (CAMES), fondé à Niamey en 1968, est une institution panafricaine au cœur de l’histoire intellectuelle et scientifique de l’Afrique francophone moderne. À l’occasion de son cinquantenaire, l’historien Chikouna Cissé fait le point sur l’ensemble des faits et des humains qui ont fait de cette institution celle qu’elle est devenue en 2018, de la volonté initiale des chefs d’État de l’OCAM à son Plan stratégique de développement 2015-2019. Cette histoire part à la recherche des traces matérielles, des solidarités originelles et des stratifications générationnelles qui ont permis au CAMES d’advenir, de surmonter obstacles et erreurs et d’avancer vers la modernité. Elle convoque de nombreux angles d’analyse issus du droit, de l’économie, de la philosophie des sciences et de la sociologie. Comment le CAMES a-t-il produit sa légitimité juridique et scientifique dans un contexte décolonial? Comment cette institution a-t-elle été financée? Quelle place son système d’évaluation occupe-t-il dans les politiques universitaires des pays membres? Qu’a fait le CAMES pour encourager la recherche africaine? Utilisant autant l’analyse des documents que l’histoire orale, ce livre permettra à toute l’Afrique de s’approprier l’histoire d’une de ses institutions les plus remarquables.

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-56-7
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : : 978-2-924661-55-0

Pour acheter le livre imprimé en Afrique, contactez le CAMES à ou par téléphone à +226 25 36 81 46.

Pour acheter le livre ailleurs, écrire à 

Les Classiques des sciences sociales : 25 ans de partage des savoirs dans la francophonie

Sous la direction d’Émilie Tremblay et Ricarson Dorcé

Date de parution : 9 mai 2018 (lancement à l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi)

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :


La bibliothèque numérique francophone Les Classiques des sciences sociales fête ses 25 ans en 2018. Que s’est-il passé au cours de ces 25 années? Comment la bibliothèque s’est-elle construite? Quels sont les choix qui s’offrent à elle actuellement et pour l’avenir? Cet ouvrage collectif a un premier but : raconter, au fil de plusieurs récits et témoignages, la vie autour de ce projet exceptionnel : les motivations et idéaux derrière sa création, les hommes et les femmes impliqués à différentes périodes et son immense impact dans la francophonie. Il constitue aussi un hommage au fondateur des Classiques, Jean-Marie Tremblay, ainsi qu’à toutes les personnes qui ont œuvré au développement de cette bibliothèque numérique, en particulier l’équipe internationale de bénévoles.

Cet ouvrage collectif propose également plusieurs chapitres qui visent à réfléchir aux notions, questions et pratiques au cœur du projet des Classiques des sciences sociales, ainsi qu’aux enjeux contemporains des bibliothèques numériques : l’accès libre aux publications scientifiques, la gestion des données, la numérisation et la préservation du patrimoine scientifique, la justice sociale, les communs numériques, la justice cognitive et le patrimoine numérique. Ces contributions, par leur diversité et leur qualité, enrichissent la réflexion sur l’avenir des Classiques des sciences sociales, mettent en lumière des possibilités inexplorées et permettent de faire des liens avec d’autres initiatives et projets similaires.

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell, photo d’Émilie Tremblay

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-54-3
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : : 978-2-924661-52-9

Pour acheter le livre en France ou au Canada, par chèque ou virement bancaire : écrire à

Pour le commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Abdou Moumouni Dioffo (1929-1991). Le précurseur nigérien de l’énergie solaire

Auteur : Sous la direction de Frédéric Caille

Date de parution : 7 avril 2018 (lancement à Niamey)

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Issu du livre Du soleil pour tous. L’énergie solaire au Sénégal : un droit, des droits, une histoire (2018), cet ouvrage est un hommage au travail du professeur Abdou Moumouni Dioffo, dont la portée et le caractère précurseur sont plus sensibles que jamais. Promouvoir les usages multiformes et le développement immédiat de l’énergie solaire en Afrique, perfectionner les procédés de conversion et les matériels, défendre la priorité des investissements de recherche et de formation : tels furent les trois grands axes de l’action pionnière du physicien nigérien Abdou Moumouni Dioffo, premier grand spécialiste internationalement reconnu de l’énergie solaire issu du continent le plus ensoleillé de la planète.

Ce livre contient :

  • une réédition des deux articles d’Abdou Moumouni Dioffo « L’énergie solaire dans les pays africains » (1964) et « L’éducation scientifique et technique dans ses rapports avec le développement en Afrique » (1969).
  • une reprise de deux textes d’Albert-Michel Wright, ingénieur héliotechnicien et ancien collaborateur d’Abdou Moumouni Dioffo qui fut son successeur à la direction de l’Office Nigérien de l’Énergie Solaire (ONERSOL).
  • un portfolio d’une trentaine de photographies inédites de Marc Jacquet-Pierroulet, ancien Volontaire Français du Progrès au laboratoire d’Abdou Moumouni Dioffo à Niamey de 1970 à 1972.
  • un texte de Salamatou Doudou sur la vie d’Abdou Moumouni Dioffo.

Puissent les jeunes d’Afrique et d’ailleurs être nombreux à suivre son exemple !

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell, pour la collection Mémoires des Suds

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-48-2
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : : 978-2-924661-46-8

Pour acheter le livre en France ou au Canada, par chèque ou virement bancaire : écrire à

Pour le commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Appel : Non-violence et politique : un compagnon pédagogique

Projet d’une anthologie sur la non-violence et la politique, sous la direction éditoriale de Cécile Dubernet (pour la version francophone) et de Justin Scherer (pour la version anglophone) de l’Institut catholique de Paris. Des versions dans d’autres langues sont également envisagées.

Ce projet vise à construire un outil unique, multilingue à terme, regroupant des analyses d’écrits connus et moins connus, afin d’éclairer les relations complexes entre politique et non-violence qui sont trop souvent négligées en science politique. Il vise également à mobiliser les chercheurs et chercheuses (universitaires ou non) qui s’intéressent au sujet, mais qui sont souvent dispersés sur différentes disciplines et différents continents.

Le livre s’adressera à des enseignant.e.s, des enseignant.e.s-chercheur.e.s, des formateurs et formatrices qui souhaitent explorer les interfaces et les interactions entre la non-violence et la politique avec leurs étudiant.e.s. Il aura également pour audience des étudiant.e.s qui s’intéressent à la non-violence et se demandent pourquoi le sujet est si rarement abordé en salle de classe ou en séminaire universitaire. Enfin, les responsables espèrent que cette collection de textes permettra aux activistes non-violents d’explorer les racines conceptuelles et historiques de leur pratique, voire de leur art.


Les propositions de contribution à ce projet sont attendues pour le 30 juillet 2018 en français ou en anglais. D’un maximum de 5000 caractères, chaque proposition présentera brièvement un document (extrait de livre, transcription de discours, production pamphlétaire, etc..), son/ses auteur.e.s, l’importance historique de ce document et l’intérêt qu’il y aurait à en inclure une analyse dans une anthologie sur la non-violence et la politique. Il est possible de proposer plusieurs contributions (textes). Un bref CV de l’auteur.e de la proposition est également attendu.

Si une telle collection de textes ne peut faire l’impasse d’auteurs classiques sur le sujet (Gandhi, King, Havel, Sharp etc.), les propositions concernant des écrits/auteur.e.s peu connus seront examinés avec grand intérêt. De même, des textes en langues minoritaires, mais qui permettent de mieux comprendre comment ces thèmes se déclinent localement, sont les bienvenus. Enfin des propositions de cas d’études (courtes analyses d’événements politiques non violents) peuvent également être déposées auprès des éditeurs :

Cécile Dubernet

Justin Scherer

Un retour sera fait aux auteur.e.s fin octobre 2018. Les contributions finales d’un maximum de 15000 caractères, incluant les citations et extraits du texte étudié (8000 caractères pour les cas d’étude) sont attendues pour fin janvier 2019 en vue d’une publication dans le courant de l’été 2019.

Les valeurs et le projet éditorial des Éditions science et bien commun

Merci de les lire attentivement sur cette page.

Les consignes d’écriture sont sur cette page.

Argumentaire détaillé

La non-violence ne fait généralement pas partie des programmes scolaires ou universitaires en sciences sociales, et ce pour plusieurs raisons : tout d’abord c’est un sujet transdisciplinaire puisant dans des champs aussi divers que l’éducation, la sociologie, la science politique, la psychologie, l’histoire, la théologie. C’est donc un thème qui s’insère mal dans un monde de spécialistes, monde dans lequel le savoir est découpé en disciplines. Deuxièmement, ses racines et ses liens forts avec les pensées religieuses et spirituelles en font un sujet d’enseignement délicat, incitant les enseignants à se cantonner à des exemples historiques. Troisièmement, le fait qu’en politique la non-violence soit communément associée à des leaders hauts en couleurs (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, le Dalai Lama..) encourage une histoire quelque peu mythifiée car centrée sur ces personnages historiques (et sympathiques !) plutôt que sur des processus politiques. Enfin, il faut aussi reconnaître que la Science politique elle-même est jeune et cherche parfois encore sa place entre les disciplines majeures dont elle est issue : le droit, la sociologie, la philosophie et l’histoire comme laboratoire. Pour exister en tant que discipline, la science politique s’est structurée autour de l’étude du pouvoir et surtout de l’État. Or l’accent mis sur l’État et sa construction repose sur l’axiome de la centralité de la violence, de son efficacité au moins sur le court ou moyen terme, de l’importance de son monopole etc. L’étude de processus sciemment non-violents reste donc marginale dans la discipline.

En science politique, la non-violence est donc abordée à la marge, de biais, à travers des reformulations ou des concepts plus précis ou spécialisés. Quand on en parle, l’accent est mis sur certaines dimensions : la grève de la faim, la résistance civile, l’histoire de Martin Luther King ou du Tibet. Si l’on trouve d’excellentes études philosophiques, historiques ou sociologiques, il n’existe pas à ce jour d’anthologie francophone combinant textes historiques, analyses scientifiques et cas d’études. Plus rares encore sont les livres associant lectures et réflexions à des exercices, voire à des méditations. Cette absence s’entend car il est difficile pour tout chercheur de faire d’un concept transversal et qui porte la marque de l’utopie son objet de recherche et de transmission. Personne ne veut du label ‘rêveur’ et encore moins du label ‘activiste’ en Science politique. Ce sont des obstacles majeurs à toute quête d’insertion dans une communauté scientifique universitaire très compétitive.

Pourtant, en ce début de 21ième siècle, nous avons de bonnes raisons d’étudier sérieusement la non-violence et son rapport au politique. La cohérence théorique du concept, tel que formulé par ses précurseurs et concepteurs (tels La Boétie, Gandhi, Havel, Sharp ou encore Suu Kyi) est remarquable. Par ailleurs, c’est une des forces historiques les plus puissantes que nous ayons connues depuis plus un siècle (Semelin 2011, Chenoweth et Stephan 2011). De plus, la non-violence a été utilisée sous de multiples formes et dans des contextes très variés avec des conséquences très variables (Roberts et Ash, 2011). Elle n’est ni de l’est, ni de l’ouest, ni spécifiquement du nord ou particulièrement du sud ; elle a été utilisée tant par des hommes que par des femmes, par les pauvres comme par les riches. Elle est au cœur de certains des moments les plus inspirants de l’histoire du monde tels le mouvement Greenbelt, la chute du mur de Berlin ou celle de Milosevic en Serbie en 2000. Mais si le concept est puissant, il est aussi complexe et, trop simplifié, peut participer de catastrophes humaines comme récemment au Yémen ou en Syrie. C’est donc une approche de la vie politique qui mérite discussions, études et réflexion. Et ce d’autant plus que l’idée fascine et qu’il est donc important de la démythifier. Contrairement à l’image d’Épinal que l’on en a parfois, l’indépendance de l’Inde a été un été un événement d’une brutalité extrême.

Il est souvent rétorqué que le terme non-violence, défini négativement, ne peut être un objet d’étude scientifique cohérent. Mais tous les grands concepts politiques, de la violence à la démocratie en passant par le pouvoir sont complexes et difficile à cerner. Leurs définitions et domaines d’application restent âprement débattus. Certains même portent en eux une part de rêve (démocratie, égalité, liberté) qui les rend plus complexes encore et parfois explosifs de par leur puissance d’appel. Ceci n’empêche ni les colloques, ni les publications scientifiques, bien au contraire. Si l’on prend le temps d’enseigner les concepts utopiques de liberté ou de démocratie, il n’y a pas de raison scientifique valable d’ignorer le terme non-violence. Et comprendre les utopies sociales, c’est essentiel. Spinoza le soulignait, nous vivons de peur et d’espoir et les deux sont indissociables. Or nous prenons le temps d’enseigner la guerre, d’étudier de près les cycles de la peur, mais nous négligeons trop souvent les logiques de l’espoir.

La non-violence, même si elle se pose négativement, même si elle relève de l’horizon, est un mot au cœur de la vie dans la cité, au même titre que violence, démocratie, anarchisme, indépendance, autonomie, révolution etc. Cet ouvrage poursuit l’intuition qu’elle est un concept encore méconnu mais à-venir. Les auteurs font également le pari de ne pas perdre l’équilibre entre exigences analytique et synthétique, entre théorie et pratique, entre les disciplines et les auteurs. Son ambition est de tracer et de proposer des chemins pédagogiques qui allient les narrations des acteurs à celles des analystes et, par là, d’encourager le lecteur dans la recherche de ses propres voies (ou voix!). Il s’agit d’écouter les leaders sans les mythifier afin de mieux saisir les échos qu’ils provoquent dans l’histoire. Il s’agit mettre en contexte des cas d’étude, sans pour autant les mettre en boite. Bref, il s’agit d’analyser sans dépecer, d’aborder le sujet avec curiosité, intérêt, bienveillance mais sans complaisance.

Comme l’indique le schéma ci-contre, ce livre sera circulaire dans le sens où il peut être commencé presque n’importe où, à chacun des quatre thèmes d’étude : principes, histoires, personnes et actions, thèmes qui renvoient les uns aux autres. L’ouvrage sera également circulaire dans le sens ou chaque sujet est abordé en un chemin fait de lectures et de réflexions, d’études de cas, et d’exercices appelant de nouvelles lectures. En un sens, si l’ouvrage part des textes, c’est à l’aide de différents exercices et cas d’études que ces derniers prennent sens et que la connaissance peut s’approfondir. Les exercices font donc partie intégrante des parcours pédagogiques proposés; les références et suggestions ouvrent des portes vers de nouvelles pistes de recherche et permettent de s’orienter dans une mer de ressources en ligne très dispersées. Cette anthologie offre ainsi une dynamique pédagogique souple reposant sur l’idée que l’on apprend pas de la même manière par la répétition et par l’expérience, dans un cours et dans un café, en petit groupe sur un projet ou seul face à une citation, mais que tous ces chemins sont complémentaires.

Plan provisionnel de l’ouvrage

Ce livre est une anthologie en 4 parties, 4 espaces d’interaction entre non-violence et politique :

1) Principes (De quoi parle-t-on ?)

2) Histoires (Quand ? Quelles circonstances ? Quels contextes ?)

3) Personnes (Qui ? Quels groupes ? Quelles identités ? Quelles relations ?)

4) Actions (Comment ? Quels processus ? Quelles stratégies ? Quelles techniques et quelles limites ?)

Ces quatre espaces correspondent aux regards et catégories d’analyse proposés par les disciplines sous-jacentes de la science politique : philosophie, histoire, sociologie, droit/administration publique. Mais, au-delà des disciplines, il s’agit également de croiser les perspectives en mettant des textes d’acteurs et d’analystes en dialogue (tout en respectant les ordres de publication pour ouvrir à des analyses intertextuelles) et en les confrontant à du réel (à travers quelques cas d’études).

Interview: Kathleen Fitzpatrick on Open Scholarship, Humanities Commons, and more.

We are thrilled to feature this interview with Kathleen Fitzpatrick as the second installment in our new interview series—in which we ask researchers and librarians about their work in, and thinking about, open access in media studies. Fitzpatrick hardly needs an introduction, given her seminal role in a variety of open access and scholarly communication projects. Last year she joined Michigan State as Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English. Before, she served as Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association, where she helped shepherd the open access, open source network Humanities Commons. She co-founded the innovative scholarly communication initiative MediaCommons, and is author of Planned Obsolescence (2011) and The Anxiety of Obsolescence (2006). Follow her thoughts at @kfitz and her website.

OAMS: For years you have been an active participant in the movement for open scholarship. With all your work for MLA Commons, Media Commons and now Humanities Commons—and writings like Planned Obsolescence—you’ve made a tremendous contribution to the debate on how we should move to openness in the humanities. Despite those efforts, it’s arguably true that the transition to open access in the humanities is taking longer than we want. What do you think are the main barriers and challenges for the humanities and the route toward open access in the next five years? 

KF: There are a number of different challenges, and I worry that one has not only absorbed most of our focus but in fact distracted us from the far greater importance of the others. That one that has loomed so large is sustainability — or, perhaps more accurately, business model: how to make open-access publishing financially viable. For not-for-profit publishers like many scholarly societies and university presses, this remains a pressing issue; they simply cannot pay the professionals required to do the work and continue to break even, given the actual availability of article- and book-processing fees in the humanities and social sciences. There are organizations in the U.S. that are working on new approaches to this problem, including a coalition formed by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of University Presses, but the challenge remains.

But this question of business model winds up overshadowing at least two other challenges to the widespread adoption of open access in the humanities that I tend to think are vastly more important. In focusing on the sustainability of the publishing process, we run the risk of overlooking the question of its equity: do all scholars, in all fields, at all kinds of institutions, in all areas of the world, have the same ability to publish? For some fairly obvious reasons, the early emphasis of the open access movement was on equity in consumption, ensuring that any interested reader or researcher could get ahold of work that they might learn from. But having learned from that work, can those readers and researchers now contribute to these conversations? True equity requires us to think about ways of opening up the entirety of the scholarly conversation to all participants, wherever in the world they are, wherever they work.

And the other challenge may be even more daunting: ensuring that publishing in open-access venues is a researcher priority. This one is all about ensuring that academic practices are in line with the best of academic values, and it involves both changing individual researcher behavior and changing the institutional reward systems that underpin it. And neither is easy, but both are crucial. The deepest goals of open access simply cannot be reached without those transformations, and all our concerns with how we’re going to pay for it—which are real and substantial, don’t get me wrong — don’t begin to make a dent in these larger questions of equity and values.

OAMS: What are your thoughts about the current model of humanities publishing, particularly monographs? What, in your view, needs to change in the university system, academic publishing, or both, to quicken the transition to open access?

KF: So, this might sound a bit as though it contradicts the answer to the last question, but one of the things that needs to change is the economic model under which university press publishing operates. University presses, at least in the United States, were originally founded in order to distribute the work done at their institutions, precisely because it was apparent that there was no market for that work within conventional publishing channels. These campus-based presses shared the work they published with institutions around the country, knowing that other presses would do the same. But over the course of the twentieth century, university presses professionalized; they saw that there was revenue to be earned from at least some of the titles they published, and they argued with their institutions that such revenue should be returned to the press to support its operations. In other words, they turned themselves into businesses operating on university campuses, and the expectation that they would be self-supporting quickly grew.

The university press, in other words, needs to be understood as providing a service to the intellectual community rather than as a revenue center.

If we are to transform monograph publishing, we have to begin with a reconsideration of the university’s responsibility for the dissemination of the scholarship that is produced by its faculty, as well as the importance for the integrity of the scholarship itself that it be permitted to develop outside of market pressures. The university press, in other words, needs to be understood as providing a service to the intellectual community rather than as a revenue center.

But I think there’s another change that has more to do with the ways that the university values and rewards the products of scholarly research, and this change has two components, neither of which can take place without the other. One component is that scholars need to consider whether everything that they’re currently producing in book-form really needs to be a book; perhaps there are other ways of cultivating the audience for research that might in many cases be more productive and less subject to the constraints of book publishing’s current economic model. And the other component is that institutions need to transform their systems of evaluation — particularly what in the U.S. manifest as policies and procedures for tenure and promotion reviews — to recognize that highly important scholarship can be produced in a wide variety of forms, and thus to stop overvaluing that one particular form. Those two changes have to happen hand-in-hand: scholars won’t change their ways of working unless they’re convinced that their institutions will appropriately value work produced in new ways, and institutions see no call to transform their evaluation systems unless their faculty members are demanding such transformation.

OAMS: Academic libraries and librarians have taken a more active role in scholarly communication, through subsidies and even in-house publishing. What role do you see libraries playing in a future, more open publishing ecosystem?

KF: I’ve long argued that libraries have a key role to play in the transitions that I describe above, not least because of their position in knowledge development and dissemination within universities. The conventionally understood library has long gathered the world’s knowledge for use by researchers and students on campus, but as the processes of research and scholarly communication become increasingly intertwined, libraries become hubs for a range of knowledge-development activities rather than just the repositories of information they’re often imagined to be.

The library is ideally positioned not just to bring the world’s knowledge to campus, but to bring the campus’s knowledge to the world.

As a result, the library is ideally positioned not just to bring the world’s knowledge to campus, but to bring the campus’s knowledge to the world. And we see that happening more and more,  both with a range of library-centered publishing initiatives as well as with the growing number of university presses that bear some organizational relationship to university libraries. Those relationships are key, I think, as presses can bring some crucial experience to library publishing initiatives — not least the development of publications and the building of audiences — but libraries likewise bring crucial skills and commitments to presses. And key among those is a commitment to the public good.

OAMS: Some recent scholarly-publishing initiatives have stressed that they are “scholar-run”, or have some formalized input from scholars beyond the review process. How important is the active involvement of scholars in humanities publishing going forward?

KF: I strongly believe that such active involvement is crucial to scholarly communication in the humanities, both to ensure that the venues and platforms through which we publish take scholars’ own values as their motivating forces, and to ensure that scholars take full responsibility for the ways that their work circulates in the world. That involvement might take a range of different forms, some more hands-on than others, but governance is crucial: scholars should not be willing to hand over their work to organizations whose business practices aren’t operating in the general interest of the scholarly community, and the best way of ensuring that alignment is participating in the governance of those organizations.

OAMS: Humanities Commons has positioned itself as a nonprofit alternative to the venture funded academic social networks like ResearchGate and Is HC gaining purchase in the humanities? Are there plans to expand the network/repository beyond the humanities disciplines? What would success look like for HC and other nonprofit initiatives like ScholarlyHub?

giftcard_image-300x157KF: Humanities Commons is indeed gaining purchase, as scholars are increasingly recognizing that while their accounts on for-profit networks might be “free,” there are hidden costs to the academic community as a whole. These networks are not transparent in their operations or their values, and they often have egregious, predatory data-sharing and intellectual property policies written into their terms of service.

Humanities Commons is governed by its member societies, which are in turn governed by their members, and so the network and its policies are answerable to scholars and their interests.

Humanities Commons is governed by its member societies, which are in turn governed by their members, and so the network and its policies are answerable to scholars and their interests. And we have since the beginning prioritized transparency in our policies on privacy and intellectual property. Not to mention that Humanities Commons provides many other benefits as well! So many humanities scholars have recently moved away from those other networks to join us, and are encouraging their colleagues to do so as well.

We started the network with a focus on the humanities primarily because humanities fields have long been underserved by new platforms for scholarly communication. But that focus was also strategic: it’s hard to build an engaged community by simply throwing open the doors and inviting everyone. I recognize that this is a somewhat risky example right now, but people often forget that Facebook didn’t begin in a completely open fashion, but instead built local networks that were restricted to particular college campuses; students were motivated to join because their accounts enabled them to reach people they already wanted to communicate with. As more people got on board, those smaller circles were connected, and then once there was a critical mass of participation, the entire thing was opened up to everyone.

We don’t want to be Facebook, by any stretch—see what I said before about transparency, privacy, and so forth—but we recognize the importance of beginning a network by linking known communities, and then by interconnecting those communities and enabling them to open outward. We began our work with scholarly societies, because the members of those societies are already engaged in working together; we then opened up to the humanities as a whole, because humanities scholars are motivated to share their work with one another. We’d like to reach beyond the humanities, to connect the humanities with the social sciences and the sciences, to enable researchers anywhere to reach their audiences through our platform — but we recognize the importance of starting with existing communities of practice, and supporting them as fully as possible as they grow.

OAMS: In recent years, the broader open scholarship community has taken up the “open data” cause. Do you see the the notion of data—sometimes characterized as discrete, quantitative, and machine-readable—as inclusive of humanities scholarship?

KF: The notion of data is not one that a fair number of humanities scholars recognize themselves in, particularly when the quantitative is included in the definition, and yet when we expand our notion of data to encompass any information gathered in the research process, the relationship starts to become apparent. Understanding research data as including the primary and secondary texts we study and the excerpts we glean from and images we record of them, the notes we gather in field research, the transcripts of interviews, the responses to surveys—all of this begins to make evident the importance of preserving and (subject to proper privacy protocols) making humanities data as openly available as possible.

OAMS: What role, if any, should the bundle of fields that study media and communication play in the open access discussion?

KF: Personally, I’d argue that these fields need to be leading the way. If the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election has revealed nothing else, it’s definitely made clear the vital public importance of research and scholarship examining the channels and platforms through which we communicate today. But we have to make the work as publicly accessible as possible if it’s going to have the impact we all need. Engaging the public directly in thinking critically about the impact of the media in our daily lives will require more of us — starting real conversations, listening to people’s concerns, participating in collaborative projects—but making the work we’re already doing openly available is a crucial place to start.

This interview was conducted together with Jeff Pooley.

Image header: courtesy of Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Du soleil pour tous. L’énergie solaire au Sénégal: un droit, des droits, une histoire

Auteur : Sous la direction de Frédéric Caille

Date de parution : 19 avril 2018

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

L’énergie solaire est une promesse de développement et de prospérité pour l’Afrique. Elle a été annoncée et expérimentée sur le continent dans un esprit de science ouverte et de « communs » technologiques et énergétiques il y a déjà près de soixante ans. Séchoirs et chauffe-eaux, pompes solaires et centrales électriques thermodynamiques : des pionniers ont développé et installé, dès la fin des années 1950, des techniques et des matériels en Afrique de l’Ouest et en particulier au Sénégal.

Le présent ouvrage, issu de deux journées d’études organisées à Dakar en mai 2016, rend compte pour la première fois, de manière particulièrement symbolique, de cette histoire et du futur de l’énergie solaire en Afrique. Il rassemble, dans une première partie, des témoignages d’acteurs et une mise en perspective sociohistorique large des politiques de l’énergie solaire en Afrique de l’Ouest sur un demi-siècle. Ce regard est complété par la réédition d’un texte de référence du professeur Abdou Moumouni Dioffo, pionnier nigérien de l’énergie solaire dès 1964.

Dans une seconde partie, cet ouvrage interroge également les prolongements actuels de l’énergie solaire en France et au Sénégal, en particulier son encadrement juridique et réglementaire. L’énergie solaire peut-elle ou doit-elle être considérée comme un « commun » ou un droit humain fondamental? Quels sont aujourd’hui les droits associés à l’énergie solaire au Sénégal? Quels enseignements tirer d’une comparaison avec le corpus juridique en la matière tel qu’il existe en France?

Associant juristes français et sénégalais, et spécialistes de la sociologie et des politiques de l’énergie, cet ouvrage se veut au final une invitation et un outil pour poursuivre les recherches sur l’histoire et le droit de l’énergie solaire en Afrique.

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell, photographie d’Alexandre Mouthon

Imprimé à Chambéry, Dakar et Québec, 1er trimestre 2018, ce livre est sous licence Creative Commons CC-BY 4-0.

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-34-5
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : 978-2-924661-38-3

Pour acheter une version imprimée du livre en France ou au Canada par chèque ou virement bancaire : écrire à

Pour le commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

The Radical Open Access Collective: Community, Resilience, Collaboration

An Open Insights interview with Janneke Adema and Sam Moore

Reblogged from:

Interviewed by James Smith (OLH)

Janneke Adema and Sam Moore are the authors of a March 2018 UKSG Insights essay entitled Collectivity and collaboration: imagining new forms of communality to create resilience in scholar-led publishing. Today we explore the context behind the Radical Open Access Collective (ROAC), and their thoughts on the complexities of scholar-led open access publishing.

The ROAC is holding the Radical Open Access II – The Ethics of Care conference at Coventry University from 26-27 June 2018.

OLH: Hi Janneke and Sam, thanks for talking to us! To start, how would you summarise the core philosophy of the ROAC?

JA & SM: Thanks for the invitation! We feel that the core philosophy behind the collective is about returning control of publishing to the scholarly community. While the member presses do not represent a unified or homogeneous set of values or practices, they are each interested in practicing a vision of open access that is accountable to (and reflective of) their various communities. This affords experimentation, critique, collaboration and a range of other practices that traditional publishing currently prohibits to a lesser or greater extent. The collective ultimately hopes to offer a mutually supportive, non-hierarchical environment for exploring the futures of open publishing practices.

The collective ultimately hopes to offer a mutually supportive, non-hierarchical environment for exploring the futures of open publishing practices.

Taking this into consideration, some keywords that come to mind with respect to the ROAC’s philosophy are: collaboration, non-competitive, not-for-profit, horizontal (non-hierarchical), scholar-led, ethics of care, diversity, community, experimenting, global justice, affirmative creative critique, performative, progressive, radical, mutually-supportive, mutual reliance, multi-polar, resilience, communality, inclusivity.

OLH: What ethical principles does the ROAC seek to normalise, and what challenges does it face in doing so?

JA & SM: We are not sure “normalise” is the right word here, given the implicit normativity this word brings with it. Ethics, many of us feel, is not something that can be defined in advance or that can be predetermined, we cannot resort to moral criteria or predefined values or truths when it comes to publishing, scholarly communication or openness, for example. A responsible ethical approach to openness, to publishing, to the book, would not presume to know what these are, nore what ethics is, in advance. If anything we feel ethics is, or should be, non-normative: its meaning cannot be predetermined. We also do not follow any set “principles” in this respect; however, our ethics is not relativistic either; instead it responds to specific singular practices and situations, around how openness is implemented and the materiality of the book changes, for example. Our ethics are therefore performative, they arise out of the way we (as scholars, publishers) become with the media we publish.

OLH: Why is being radical a good thing?

JA & SM: Being radical is neither good nor bad, it is a terminology we have adapted to distinguish the specific version of open access we want to promote from more neoliberal or top-down versions, for example. The etymology of “radical” shows it derives from the Latin radix, for root, where it means going back to the origin, to what is essential. For us, radical open access simply represents what we always perceived open access to be, it is a way for us to position ourselves within the wide diversity of meanings open access represents and conjures up.

The etymology of “radical” shows it derives from the Latin radix, for root, where it means going back to the origin, to what is essential.

Being radical does however offer us the chance to present an affirmative counterpoint to the dominant discourses around open access, particularly those promoted by commercial publishers and governmental funders—such as HEFCE and RCUK (now UKRI) in the UK—who tend to be interested in OA inasmuch as it promotes business, transparency, and innovation or merely protects the interests of commercial publishers (see the Finch report, for example). This is how the average humanities and social sciences researcher is likely to encounter OA—as merely representative of a neoliberal ideology and a top down instrumental requirement—and so the ROAC seeks to illustrate that there is an alternative and that OA can have a basis in something both emancipatory and transformative.

OLH: The ROAC is an advocacy group, but it is also a community-builder. How does a strong community translate into a response to the pressing issues of open access?

JA & SM: Because it offers us the opportunity to scale-up or as we have previously argued, to “scale small”—keeping the diversity and independence of the (often small-scale) endeavours of our members intact—both horizontally and vertically. By harnessing the strengths and organizational structures of not-for-profit, independent and scholar-led publishing communities we hope to further facilitate collective efforts through community building and by setting up horizontal alliances. Next to that we hope to enable vertical forms of collaboration with other organisations, collectives, institutions and agencies within scholarly publishing, for example libraries and universities, but also with collectives of artists, technologists and activists. As we have argued elsewhere, we want to explore how we can set up so-called “chains of equivalence” (Laclau) with other movements and struggles that are also dealing with aspects of openness – not just those associated with open knowledge, open science, open data, altmetrics and so on, but also those areas in the Arts and Humanities that conceive digital media more explicitly in terms of power, conflict and violence. Those associated with critical media theory, p2p networks and shadow libraries, for example. We are interested in exploring a plurality of open movements, theories and philosophies in this respect, which may at times conflict and contradict one another, but which can nevertheless contribute to the construction of a common, oppositional horizon.

By harnessing the strengths and organizational structures of not-for-profit, independent and scholar-led publishing communities we hope to further facilitate collective efforts through community building and by setting up horizontal alliances.

In this respect the ROAC also intends to present a unified voice in response to certain issues of advocacy and policy. Having a strong community allows us to discuss and respond to various issues around publishing and openness, around how open access is being implemented for example, highlighting why funders should take alternative, scholar-led publishing initiatives seriously as part of this discussion. Think for example of the recently announced intention of the UKRI in the UK to have a mandatory OA monograph component to the REF after the next. This could present a threat by commercialising and formalising a particularly kind of OA monograph practice in the same way that the current REF policy has done for journal articles (including for example the adaptation of (high) BPCs for monographs, which are unsustainable), which is to say, in accordance with the wishes of commercial publishers. This has already summoned conservative reactions from organisations such as the Royal Historical Society, positioning themselves against this development. Yet, such funder requirement for OA books could also potentially present an opportunity for many presses within the ROAC who already publish OA monographs (such as ROAC members punctum books, Open Book Publishers, and Mattering Press, for example) as well as for scholars looking for options to publish their books in OA without (excessive) BPCs. Making both funders and scholars aware of the existence of these scholar-led models for publishing open access books is of the highest importance here. This is where we would see the ROAC coming in.

OLH: How do you imagine the role of radical experimentation as a tool for humanities open access?

JA & SM: Many of the ROAC member presses would understand the relationship the other way round, that openness affords experimentation and is the reason many OA projects adopt an open approach to begin with. This means that openness is often foundational to radical projects, a natural way of working that permits different kinds of experimentation in certain contexts. Openness is thus not about being more open, for instance, but is rather about being open to change and experimentation—depending on the contingent circumstances, the political and ethical decisions and cuts that need to be made, and so on.

… [B]y experimenting in an open way with the idea and the concept of the book, but also with the materiality and the system of material production surrounding it—which includes our ideas of the material and materiality—we can ask important questions concerning authorship, the fixity of the text, quality, authority and responsibility; issues that lie at the basis of what scholarship is and what the functions of the university should be.

This is why, in foregrounding experimentation, the ROAC reflects a range of practices and ideologies, rather than a single, coherent movement for making research freely available. Experimentation in this respect can be seen as a form of ongoing critique, serving as a means to re-perform our existing institutions and scholarly practices in a more ethical and responsible way. Experimentation thus stands at the basis of a rethinking of scholarly communication and the university in general, and can even potentially be seen as a means to rethink politics itself too. For instance, by experimenting in an open way with the idea and the concept of the book, but also with the materiality and the system of material production surrounding it—which includes our ideas of the material and materiality—we can ask important questions concerning authorship, the fixity of the text, quality, authority and responsibility; issues that lie at the basis of what scholarship is and what the functions of the university should be.

OLH: How does a radical approach to open access empower researchers in the Global South, and those outside of traditional institutional frameworks?

JA & SM: We would rather emphasise the opposite: it is researchers in the Global South and those outside or on the fringes of institutions (so-called para-academics) that empower the open access movement and scholarly publishing more in general. Dominique Babini has for example stressed that “the international community would do well to follow the examples of initiatives in Latin America, where open access is already the norm and where costs are shared among members of scholarly communities to ensure lasting impact”. In Latin America, Babini points out, the cost of publishing has always been an integral part of the cost of research, where it is universities and academic societies, not commercial publishers that predominantly publish journals and books. There is also the example of sustainable publishing platforms and models developed here, based on cost sharing, in opposition to the commercial enclosures APCs impose for example. Think of portals such as SciELO and Redalyc, but also the organisation (and ROAC member) Babini represents,CLACSO, which brings together hundreds of research centres and graduate schools in the social sciences and humanities, predominantly in Latin American countries.

… [I]t is researchers in the Global South and those outside or on the fringes of institutions (so-called para-academics) that empower the open access movement and scholarly publishing more in general.

From the perspective of being outside of established structures, we also need to acknowledge the essential role shadow libraries and guerrilla open access play in providing access to research in a global context, where for example LibGen and Sci-Hub have achieved with relative ease what the open access movement has for decades been striving for: quick and easy and near universal access to the results of scholarly research.

OLH: Open source tools and open access publishing are intertwined. What needs to be free and open for smaller initiatives to thrive?

JA & SM: If possible the entire production process (open that is, nothing is free), although we appreciate we will always be implicated in commercial, profit-driven, proprietary structures, platforms and models to some extent. It is about making strategic choices on the basis of what we, or better said, the ROAC’s members, think is important. Sometimes this means using proprietary software, sometimes it includes publishing in a closed way. There are no pre-set answers or guidelines here, although there are now many open-source options for scholar-publishers to choose from. Future work of the ROAC will be, based on the information portal we have already set up, to further collate many of these options and to develop a toolkit of advice so that other communities can start their own publishing projects too.

In many ways we’re heading in the wrong direction with increased control of the means of production by large corporate entities.

That said, the current push for centrally-controlled walled gardens, such as those being developed by Elsevier (see e.g. this article by Posada and Chen) and Springer-Nature, is very disturbing. Publishers now seek to lock users into their ecosystems, monetising not just user intellectual property but their interaction data too. In many ways we’re heading in the wrong direction with increased control of the means of production by large corporate entities. A perhaps missed opportunity to counteract this is the recent tender call for the European Commission Open Research Publishing Platformthat does not specifically require open infrastructure to protect against corporate capture.

Nonetheless, instead of centralised and one-size-fits all publishing platforms, we would like to emphasise the value of decentralised ecosystems of small open source publishing projects, where platforms are often based on implementing a specific model or solution aimed to solve the crisis in academic publishing. This kind of imposed uniformity could lead to a loss of control of certain aspects of the publishing process and threaten the independence and individuality of small experimental projects. This is why the ROAC intends to complement library-based and university press publishing projects that share a more decentralised vision, and urges funders to support a biodiversity of publishing projects and models.

OLH: What are your views on volunteerist labour in publishing? Is this something for which people should always be paid or is unpaid publishing work acceptable?

JA & SM: Our feeling is that academic publishing is already sustained by (and couldn’t exist without) large amounts of volunteer labour contributed by academic editors, reviewers, copyeditors and interns. Presses in the ROAC simply divert some of this labour from commercial publishing (and encourages other academics to do the same) towards something more transformative, that is truly in the communities interest as well as community-owned and controlled. Yet labour is not a zero-sum game and will be always be a site of struggle between individual commitments as part of the traditional publishing industry, due to the prestige this confers, and collective commitments to transforming this system through experimentation into alternatives. Ultimately we want to make the appeal that publishing should be valued as both an integral aspect of research and something for which scholars should be paid as part of their academic positions.

Ultimately we want to make the appeal that publishing should be valued as both an integral aspect of research and something for which scholars should be paid as part of their academic positions.

That said, many of our initiatives are currently committed to paying their designers, typesetters and proofreaders, interns, or other people they do work with, fairly (whilst they often don’t receive a wage themselves). On the other hand, members of the ROAC have also been critical of applying a market logic or a logic of calculation to all the relationships within research and communication. There are different ways than mere monetary ones in which we can recognise the contributions of the various agencies involved in the publishing process.

The ROAC also aims to decrease the amount of volunteer labour in publishing to some extent by enabling scholar-led and not-for-profit projects to work closer together and to encourage them to, as a community, share amongst themselves, tools, best practices and information that might aid with working more efficiently, including information on how to obtain funds and grants to subsidise publishing projects. To encourage this, we have set up the Radical Open Access mailing list, which we use to discuss issues around the politics and ethics of publishing, and to share best practices and strategies amongst each other.

OLH: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Janneke and Sam!

Join us again soon for more #EmpowOA Open Insights.

Registration for Radical Open Access II – The Ethics of Care now open

Radical Open Access II – The Ethics of Care

Two days of critical discussion about creating a more diverse and equitable future for open access

The Post Office
Coventry University
June 26-27 2018 

Organised by Coventry University’s postdigital arts and humanities research studio The Post Office, a project of the Centre for Postdigital Cultures

Find out more at:

Attendance and participation is free of charge but registration is mandatory. Register here:

Co-curators: Culture Machine, Mattering Press, Memory of the World/Public Library, meson press, Open Humanities Press, punctum books, POP

Speakers: Denisse Albornoz, Janneke Adema, Laurie Allen, Angel Octavio Alvarez Solís, Bodó Balázs, Kirsten Bell, George Chen, Jill Claassen, Joe Deville, Maddalena Fragnito, Valeria Graziano, Eileen Joy, Chris Kelty, Christopher Long, Kaja Marczewska, Frances McDonald, Gabriela Méndez-Cota, Samuel Moore, Tahani Nadim, Christopher Newfield, Sebastian Nordhoff, Lena Nyahodza, Alejandro Posada, Reggie Raju, Václav Štětka, Whitney Trettien

Radical Open Access II is about developing an ethics of care. Care with regard to:

  • our means of creating, publishing and communicating research;
  • our working conditions;
  • our relations with others.

Radical Open Access II aims to move the debate over open access on from two issues in particular:

THE QUESTION OF ACCESS. At first sight it may seem rather odd for a conference on open access to want to move on from this question. But as Sci-Hub, aaaarg, libgen et al. show, the debate over access has largely been won by shadow-libraries, who are providing quick and easy access to vast amounts of published research. Too much of the debate over ‘legitimate’ forms of open access now seems to be about how to use the provision of access to research as a means of exercising forms of governmental and commercial control (via audits, metrics, discourses of transparency and so on).

THE OA MOVEMENT’S RELUCTANCE TO ENGAGE RIGOROUSLY WITH THE KIND OF CONCERNS THAT ARE BEING DISCUSSED ELSEWHERE IN SOCIETY. This includes climate change, the environment, and the damage that humans are doing to the planet (i.e. the Anthropocene). But it also takes in debates over different forms:

  • of organising labour (e.g. platform cooperativism);
  • of working – such as those associated with ideas of post-work, the sharing and gig economies, and Universal Basic Income;
  • of being together – see the rise of interest in the Commons, and in experiments with horizontalist, leaderless ways of self-organizing such as those associated with the Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and the Dakota Standing Rock Sioux protests.


In 2015 the inaugural international Radical Open Access Conference addressed an urgent question: how should we set about reclaiming open access from its corporate take-over, evident not least in the rise of A/BPC models based on the charging of exorbitant, unaffordable and unsustainable publishing fees from scholars and their institutions? The conference saw participants calling for the creation of new forms of communality, designed to support the building of commons-based open access publishing infrastructures, and promote a more diverse, not-for-profit eco-system of scholarly communication. With these calls in mind, the Radical Open Access Collective (ROAC) was formed immediately following the 2015 conference as a horizontal alliance between like-minded groups dedicated to the sharing of skills, tools and expertise. Since then it has grown to a community of over 40 scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other projects. The members of this alliance are all invested in reimaging publishing. And what’s more, are committed to doing so in a context where debates over access—which in many respects have been resolved by the emergence of shadow libraries such as Sci-Hub—are increasingly giving way to concerns over the commercial hegemony of academic publishing. So much so that the issue addressed by the 2015 conference—how can open access be taken back from its corporate take-over? —now seems more urgent than ever.

In June 2018, Coventry University’s postdigital arts and humanities research studio, The Post Office, will convene a second Radical Open Access conference, examining the ways in which open access is being rendered further complicit with neoliberalism’s audit culture of evaluation, measurement, impact and accountability. Witness the way open access has become a top-down requirement – quite literally a ‘mandate’ – rather than a bottom-up scholar-led movement for change. Taking as its theme The Ethics of Care, the concern of this second conference will be on moving away from those market-driven incentives that are frequently used to justify open access, to focus instead on the values that underpin many of the radical open access community’s experiments in open publishing and scholarly communication. In particular, it will follow the lead of Mattering Press, a founding member of the ROAC, in exploring how an ethics of care can help to counter the calculative logic that otherwise permeates academic publishing.

What would a commitment to more ethical forms of publishing look like? Would such an ethics of care highlight the importance of:

  • Making publishing more diverse and equitable – geographically, but also with respect to issues of class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality?
  • Nurturing new and historically under-represented cultures of knowledge – those associated with early career, precariously employed and para-academics, or located outside the global North and West?
  • Ensuring everyone is able to have a voice – not least those writing on niche or avant-garde topics or who are conducting hybrid, multimodal, post-literary forms of research, and who are currently underserved by our profit-focused commercial publishing system?

Indeed, for many members of the ROAC, a commitment to ethics entails understanding publishing very much as a complex, multi-agential, relational practice, and thus recognising that we have a responsibility to all those involved in the publishing process. Caring for the relationships involved throughout this process is essential, from rewarding or otherwise acknowledging people fairly for their labour, wherever possible, to redirecting our volunteer efforts away from commercial profit-driven entities in favour of supporting more progressive not-for-profit forms of publishing. But it also includes taking care of the nonhuman: not just the published object itself, but all those animals, plants and minerals that help to make up the scholarly communication eco-system.

Radical Open Access II is community-driven, and is being co-organised and co-curated by various members of the ROAC in a collaborative manner. It includes panels on topics as diverse as: Predatory Publishing; The Geopolitics of Open; Competition and Cooperation; Humane Metrics/Metrics Noir; Guerrilla Open Access; The Poethics of Scholarship; and Care for the Commons. The conference is free to attend and will also be live streamed for those who are unable to be there in person.

Appel : La responsabilité sociétale des organisations et des entreprises en Afrique francophone

Le Sahel

Projet d’un ouvrage collectif sous la direction de Victorine Ghislaine NZINO MUNONGO, chercheuse au Ministère de la Recherche Scientifique et de l’Innovation, Cameroun, Martial JEUGUE DOUNGUE, PhD, Chercheur-Enseignant, L. Christelle BELPORO, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada et Hermann NANAN LEKOGMO, PhD, Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale (UCAC-APDHAC)

Parution prévue : décembre 2018


Considérant, d’une part, le village global actuel en construction dans lequel sont appelées à interagir plusieurs parties prenantes vers la concrétisation d’un destin commun et, d’autre part, le souci de préservation des ressources locales, il émerge la nécessité d’une implémentation plus concrète du principe d’intégration. Les Objectifs de développement durable (ODD) furent ainsi adoptés avec comme objectif, d’ici 2030, d’éliminer la pauvreté sous toutes ses formes par la promotion d’une industrialisation durable qui profite à tous et encourage l’innovation et la recherche et d’encourager les grandes entreprises et les sociétés transnationales à adopter et intégrer des pratiques viables. La visée essentielle des objectifs fixés est la création d’emplois, l’augmentation de la richesse locale par le Produit intérieur brut (PIB) et une utilisation plus rationnelle des ressources par l’usage de technologies et procédés industriels propres, socialement inclusifs et respectueux de l’environnement.

Le contexte économique actuel en Afrique subsaharienne est confronté à plusieurs défis :

  1. Une explosion démographique estimée à 1,1 milliards d’habitants avec une projection de 2,4 milliards en 2050[1], ce qui représente un tiers de la population mondiale. Par ailleurs, 60% de la population africaine a moins de 35 ans[2] et est constituée de jeunes avides de biens et de consommation.
  2. Une urbanisation qui se fait à grande vitesse en termes d’occupation d’espace par les populations : les statistiques font mention de 472 millions d’habitants vivant en zone urbaine et le double de ce chiffre d’ici les vingt-cinq prochaines années[3]. Ces chiffres dénotent l’existence d’une concentration graduelle non négligeable de la demande et l’offre des biens et services en zone urbaine et partant une économie croissante dont les prévisions sont fixées à 2,6% en 2017[4]. Selon la Banque mondiale, cette croissance est ralentie par le déficit des infrastructures, ce qui a pour impact de limiter la productivité des entreprises jusqu’à 40%[5].
  3. Un manque assez flagrant d’infrastructures. Il y a par conséquent un besoin vital d’investir massivement pour la construction des espaces viables pouvant accueillir cette population croissante et répondre aux attentes des entreprises. Toutefois, la facture de ces opérations sera sans doute assez salée. Selon les experts financiers, le besoin d’investissements dans la construction des infrastructures en Afrique s’évaluent à la hauteur de 93 milliards de Dollars par an[6]. Dans un environnement où 43 % de la population totale vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté[7], l’enjeu est non seulement celui de poser les jalons d’une économie dite inclusive mais également un système de production, de vente et de consommation qui respecte la dignité humaine tout en préservant l’environnement. D’où la référence faite à la Responsabilité Sociétale des Entreprises/Organisations.

Selon Bambara et ses collègues, la Responsabilité sociale des organisations (RSO) s’appréhende comme étant la « responsabilité d’une organisation vis-à-vis des impacts de ses décisions et de ses activités sur la société et sur l’environnement, se traduisant par un comportement transparent et éthique qui contribue au développement durable y compris à la santé des personnes et au bien-être de la société, prend en compte les attentes des parties prenantes, respecte les lois en vigueur et est compatible avec les normes internationales et est intégré dans l’ensemble de l’organisation et mis en œuvre dans ses relations »[8]. Par ailleurs, selon l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT), la Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises/organisations (RSE) traduit «… la façon dont les entreprises prennent en considération les effets de leurs activités sur la société et affirment leurs principes et leurs valeurs tant dans l’application de leurs méthodes et procédés internes que dans leurs relations avec d’autres acteurs »[9]. La définition énoncée par l’OIT aborde l’approche sociologique de la RSE qui présente ce concept « …comme une question de régulation sociale faisant intervenir, derrière l’institution que constitue l’entreprise, des acteurs sociaux en conflit »[10]. Désormais, comme le diraient Mc William et Siegel, il est question de considérer la RSE « … comme des actions permettant d’améliorer le bien-être social au-delà des intérêts de la firme et de ce qui est requis par la loi»[11]. Cette présentation du concept énonce de manière globale l’enjeu de l’insertion d’une RSE/RSO au sein d’une société.

L’encadrement juridico-politique de la RSE/RSO en Afrique est un véritable défi. Si la perception qu’ont les États de cet outil est nuancée, il en est de même de sa perception par les entreprises. Les outils de gestion et de mise en place d’une RSE/RSO dans les pays et les entreprises d’Afrique méritent d’être analysés afin de comprendre et de traduire la portée de la RSE/RSO en Afrique subsaharienne. Malgré le caractère innovateur du concept occidental qu’est la RSE/RSO en Afrique et l’appréhension changeante de ce dernier en fonction des réalités sociales, il existe des approches d’implémentation qui positionnent les entreprises en acteurs ayant pour responsabilité de contribuer à l’éradication de la pauvreté.

Cet ouvrage a pour objectif d’aborder les réponses offertes par la RSE/RSO en Afrique subsaharienne sous le prisme des différents défis auxquels cette dernière est confrontée. Nous souhaitons mieux comprendre les échanges d’influence existant entre ce concept et l’environnement africain subsaharien, autrement dit, analyser l’apport de la RSE/RSO en milieu africain subsaharien et en retour, les mutations subies par ce concept du fait de son adaptation à son milieu d’implantation.

Cet ouvrage s’adressera aux parties prenantes que sont les administrations publiques et parapubliques, le secteur privé, les institutions académiques et professionnelles, la société civile, etc.

Les contributions attendues doivent concerner prioritairement l’un des aspects suivants :

  1. RSE/RSO et Objectifs de développement durable, horizon 2030 en Afrique subsaharienne;
  2. RSE/RSO et lutte contre la pauvreté dans les pays subsahariens ;
  3. RSE/RSO dans le secteur forestier en Afrique subsaharienne;
  4. Industrialisation, technologie propre et croissance économique dans les pays subsahariens ;
  5. Industrialisation durable, recherche et innovation dans les pays subsahariens ;
  6. Grandes entreprises, sociétés transnationales et les Droits de l’Homme;
  7. La politique de la production durable dans les PMI/PME en Afrique subsaharienne ;
  8. Protection des moyens de substances et de la production basique face aux crises écologiques au Cameroun ; etc.

Les chapitres seront évalués selon la méthode ouverte croisée des Éditions science et bien commun (entre auteurs et auteures du livre, avec publication d’un résumé des évaluations).

Processus de création du livre

Ce projet de livre est ouvert à tous et toutes, dans un état d’esprit qui rejette toute perspective de compétition ou d’exclusion. Au contraire, la visée de justice cognitive de ce livre nous amène à vouloir l’ouvrir à tous les savoirs et à toutes les épistémologies, pour autant que cela nous aide à comprendre son objet. Nous travaillerons donc avec tous les auteurs et auteures qui veulent participer à cette aventure pour améliorer leur proposition ou leur texte afin que ce livre devienne une ressource précieuse.

Sur le plan des consignes d’écriture, il est tout à fait possible d’inclure des photos ou d’autres images. Il est également possible de proposer, en guise de chapitre, la transcription d’une entrevue ou d’un témoignage ou encore une vidéo pour la version en ligne, si cela permet à des savoirs d’entrer dans notre livre. Par contre, afin de maximiser l’accessibilité et l’utilisation du livre, nous demandons de restreindre l’usage de tout jargon spécialisé.

La circulation de cet appel dans toutes les universités africaines est cruciale pour respecter la visée de justice cognitive et de circulation régionale de l’information.

À noter que la rédaction de ces chapitres est bénévole et ne sera pas rémunérée. La gratification des auteurs et auteures sera de voir leur chapitre circuler et être utilisé au service du bien commun de l’Afrique.

Les auteures et auteurs participant au livre seront invités à échanger tout au long du processus d’écriture et d’édition dans un groupe Facebook ou WhatsApp, afin de partager des idées, des références et des premières versions, dans l’esprit d’entraide et de collaboration qui est promu par la justice cognitive.


  • Mars 2018 : Lancement de l’appel
  • 30 juin 2018 : Date limite pour envoyer une proposition (un résumé de quelques phrases) ou un chapitre
  • 31 juillet 2018 : Réponse aux propositions et réception des chapitres jusqu’au 31 octobre 2018.
  • Décembre 2018 : Publication d’une version complète en ligne et impression d’exemplaires sur demande.

Pour participer

Dès que possible, envoyez un message à l’adresse avec votre biographie (en quelques lignes), les coordonnées complètes de votre institution ou de votre association et un résumé du chapitre (ou des chapitres) que vous souhaitez proposer. Ce résumé consiste à présenter en quelques phrases le contenu du texte que vous souhaitez proposer, en l’associant, dans la mesure du possible, à une des thématiques proposées.

Les valeurs et le projet éditorial des Éditions science et bien commun

Merci de les lire attentivement sur cette page.

Les consignes d’écriture sont sur cette page.


[1]Croissance démographique, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[2] Idem.

[3]  Rapport sur l’urbanisation en Afrique : pour soutenir la croissance il faut améliorer la vie des habitants et des entreprises dans les villes, (Consulté le 15/08/2017).

Cf. Félix Zogning,Ahmadou Aly Mbaye,Marie-Thérèse Um-Ngouem, L’économie informelle, l’entrepreneuriat et l’emploi, Editions JFD, 2017 p.81.

[4] (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[5] Le nécessaire développement des infrastructures pour une croissance plus inclusive en Afrique, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[6] Idem.

[7] Toujours plus de personnes pauvres en Afrique malgré les progrès réalisés en matière d’éducation et de santé, (Consulté le 11/08/2017).

[8] M. BAMBARA et A. SENE, « L’évolution de la responsabilité sociétale de l’entreprise à la faveur du développement durable: vers une juridicisation de la RSE »  in Revue Africaine du Droit de l’Environnement, nᵒ 00, 2012, p.100.

[9]L’OIT et la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise, Helpdesk du BIT N◦1,—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—multi/documents/publication/wcms_142693.pdf (consulté le 12/02/2015).

[10] Emmanuelle Champion et al., Les représentations de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises : un éclairage sociologique, Les cahiers de la Chaire de responsabilité sociale et développement durable ESG-UQÀM – collection recherche No 05-2005, p.4.

[11] MacWilliams, A. & Siegel, D., cité par Marianne Rubinstein, « Le développement de la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise », Revue d’économie industrielle [En ligne], 113 | 1er trimestre 2006, mis en ligne le 21 avril 2008, consulté le 18 janvier 2015. URL :


Collectivity and Collaboration in Scholar-led Publishing

New article out in Insights by Janneke Adema and Samuel Moore, which discusses the potential of new forms of communality for scholar-led publishing using the Radical Open Access Collective as a case study.

The article is available on the journal website here: (where you can also leave comments in the margins) and you can find the abstract below.

Collectivity and collaboration: imagining new forms of communality to create resilience in scholar-led publishing

Authors: Janneke AdemaSamuel A. Moore 


The Radical Open Access Collective (ROAC) is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access (OA) projects. The collective promotes a progressive vision for open access based on mutual alliances between the 45+ member presses and projects seeking to offer an alternative to commercial and legacy models of publishing. This article presents a case study of the collective, highlighting how it harnesses the strengths and organizational structures of not-for-profit, independent and scholar-led publishing communities by 1) further facilitating collective efforts through horizontal alliances, and by 2) enabling vertical forms of collaboration with other agencies and organizations within scholarly publishing. It provides a background to the origins of the ROAC, its members, its publishing models on display and its future plans, and highlights the importance of experimenting with and promoting new forms of communality in not-for-profit OA publishing.

How to Cite: Adema, J. & Moore, S.A., (2018). Collectivity and collaboration: imagining new forms of communality to create resilience in scholar-led publishing. Insights. 31(1), p.3. DOI:

Growing bulbs of intellectual freedom from academic libraries

Re-blog from:

by Kevin Sanders (moananddrone)

As many of us are increasingly aware, data pertaining to our online behaviour- when and where we have been, what we did whilst occupying that space, etc.- have become increasingly valuable to a range of stakeholders and bad actors, including unethical hackers, commercial organisations, and the state. The weaknesses inherent across various web infrastructures, their deployment, and their ubiquitous, multipurpose uses are routinely exploited to capture the private data and information of individuals and entire communities.

For many librarians, this technological and cultural problem has been increasingly acknowledged as part of a wider political concern that is directly relevant to our professional requirement to protect the right to intellectual privacy (Fister, 2015; Smith, 2018).

Through both my professional and voluntary labour with the Library Freedom Project and the Radical Librarians Collective, I have been trying to directly offer support for individuals in their attempt to protect their privacy through their behaviours and the digital tools they choose to make use of. However, consistently weaving intellectual privacy throughout my professional praxis is a significant challenge.

Peeling back the layers of libraries and the scholarly commons

I am currently employed as the Research Support Manager for Library Services at the University of West London (UWL). A significant aspect of my role is to manage and administrate the UWL Repository, which is the institution’s repository of research outputs. The repository makes these outputs discoverable and accessible through what is known as green open access.

The collection, storage, management, and sharing of information demonstrated in the administration of a repository are all core elements of library work. However, this specific aspect of library work directly contributes towards the development and maintenance of the scholarly commons as an accessible body of work that “admit[s] the curious, rather than [only] the orthodox, to the alchemist’s vault” (Illich, 1973), and to allow people to re-use the research for their own purposes.

In all areas of library work, ensuring that the personal data and information of our user communities is stored securely is very important for the preservation of intellectual privacy. However, in the contemporary environment, libraries’ digital connections to external sources and services can make this challenging. Libraries are reliant on services that are served externally, and as such libraries lack the ability to control how these services share data required for the use of these services.

As the University have control over the repository through an agreement with a hosting service, it has been easy enough to enable some security enhancements. As such, from January 2018, the UWL Repository has been wrapped in HTTPS to respect our user communities’ information security by ensuring that all connections to it are encrypted.

Unfortunately, the scholarly commons is only as accessible as it is permitted to be on the clear-net, as there are many powerful stakeholders that have the ability to suppress access and thus censor scholars and other publics from accessing the published results of academic research and scholarship.

Onions don’t grow on trees; environmental ethics and the scholarly commons

Some popular online services and networks for scholars, such as Sci-Hub, ResearchGate,, also offer users the option to share their scholarly and research outputs gratis. The latter two are capital venture funded, commercial services. Part of their business operations include providing data around research that can, it is claimed, offer insights into its ‘impact’. However, these services do not take responsibility for the frequent breaches of licences that help to calcify the commodification of scholarly knowledge (Lawson et al., 2015,). Many of these services also have vested interests in the data stored and created through the use of their services.

For the scholarly commons, publishing via open access (through both gold open access publishers and via institutional and subject repositories) and making use of appropriate Creative Commons licences is a significantly more effective and ethical way to share and access research and scholarly outputs. Institutional repositories are commonly sustained by institutional funding (i.e. they serve not-for-profit functions), for instance, and they also commonly run on free (libre) and open source software such as EPrintssoftware, which is licensed under GPL v3.0.

Here, we can see that libraries actively support a libre approach to free, online access to scholarly information.

Layering up for intellectual privacy, access, and the scholarly commons

As referred to above, various fields of informational labour hold a broad consensus view around users’ right and need for intellectual privacy (Richards, 2015). In this context, ensuring that the research and scholarly outputs are accessible in ways that allow users to retain their privacy seems essential.

As such, I have made the UWL Repository accessible from within the Tor network as an onion service.

I briefly consulted Library Services’ director, Andrew Preater, prior to undertaking this work, but I was able to make use of Enterprise Onion Toolkit (EOTK) to create a proxy of the repository without requiring root access to the webserver of the clear-net site, and without having to make copies of the files held on that server. As a proof-of-concept, it is now accessible via https://6dtdxvvrug3v6g6d.onion, but may be moved to a more permanent .onion address in the future, subject to institutional support. (Please note that an exception has to be granted to access the onion service due to some of the complexities of HTTPS over onion services. This is something that I would hope to resolve with institutional support. Please see Murray’s post for further details).

This provision allows global access to the UWL Repository and its accessible content in a form that allows users to protect their right to intellectual privacy; neither their ISP nor UWL, as a service provider, will be able to identify their personal use of UWL Repository when using https://6dtdxvvrug3v6g6d.onion/.

Having repositories available as onion services is of significant benefit for those accessing the material from, for instance, oppressive geopolitical contexts. Onion services offer not only enhanced privacy for users, but also help to circumvent censorship. Some governments and regimes routinely deny access to clear-net websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security. Providing an onion service of the repository not only protects those that may suffer enhanced digital surveillance for challenging social constructs or social relations (which can have a severely chilling effect on intellectual freedom), but also on entire geographical areas that are locked out of accessing publicly accessible content on the clear-net.

The expansion of intellectual privacy for the scholarly commons is bringing tears to my eyes

Although this is a small step for the scholarly commons, it is an important one. In our politically fragile world, marginalised communities often suffer disproportionate risks, and taking this simple step helps to reinstate somesafety into this digital space (Barron et al., 2017). As Ganghadharan (2012) notes, “[u]ntil policy–makers begin a frank discussion of how to account for benefits and harms of experiencing online worlds and to confront the need to protect collective and individual privacy online, oppressive practices will continue”.

I hope that other library and information workers, repository administrators, open access publishers, and their associated indexing services will take inspiration from the step that I have taken and help us to lead a collective charge that places intellectual privacy at the centre of both the scholarly commons and digital library services.


I would like to thank Murray Royston-Ward and Simon Barron for their technical support (if you do not have access to a server, Murray has written a guide to trialling a Tor mirror of services via Google’s Cloud Engine), Alec Muffett for his development of EOTK, Alison Macrina and the Library Freedom Project for their advocacy of digital rights within libraries, the Radical Librarians Collective for providing spaces to support my professional development and practical skills, and to all those involved in the Tor Project that support and provide tools that allow us to make good on our right to digital privacy.


Barron, S., Regnault, C., and Sanders, K. (2017). Library privacy. Carnegie UK. [Retrieved from:]

Fister, B. (2015). Big Data or Big Brother? Data, ethics, and academic libraries. Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators. [Retrieved from:]

Gangadharan, S. P. (2012). Digital inclusion and data profiling. First Monday, 17(5)

Illich, I. (1973). Tools for conviviality. [Retrieved from:]

Lawson, S., Sanders, K., and Smith, L. (2015). Commodification of the information profession: A critique of higher education under neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 3 (1). [Retrieved from:]

Richards, N. (2015). Intellectual privacy: Rethinking civil liberties in the digital age. Oxford University Press, USA

Smith, L. (2018). Surveillance, privacy, and the ethics of librarianship. Cambridge Libraries Conference, 11/01,2018. [Retrieved from:

This is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence

Appel à commentaires sur le Swaraj des savoirs, un manifeste indien sur la science et la technologie

Le Swaraj des savoirs est la traduction d’un manifeste publié en Inde en 2011 sous le titre Knowledge Swaraj. An Indian Manifesto on Science and Technology. Nourri par une réflexion approfondie sur la justice cognitive et la pluralité des savoirs, ce manifeste propose une vision très riche d’un nouveau contrat social entre la science et le développement local durable dans un pays des Suds (l’Inde). Il invite à repenser notre conception des savoirs et de leur rapport à la société en s’inspirant des idées et des actions de Gandhi et de divers mouvements sociaux indiens. Il en appelle ainsi à un développement scientifique et technique ancré dans les besoins et les réalités des Indiens et Indiennes.

Avec l’accord du Collectif KICS qui en est l’auteur, les Éditions science et bien commun ont décidé de traduire en français ce Manifeste à l’intention du public francophone. En particulier, nous souhaitons que ce texte circule dans les pays francophones des Suds afin d’inspirer des réflexions locales sur le type de recherche scientifique qui est souhaitable pour ces pays : une recherche qui respecterait leurs priorités, leurs aspirations et leurs épistémologies, par exemple. Un grand merci à Mélissa Lieutenant-Gosselin qui en a fait la traduction. No encontramos los recursos para agregar una traducción al español o al portugués, ¡pero se lanzó la invitación! Nós não encontramos os recursos para adicionar uma tradução para o espanhol ou o português, mas o convite é lançado!

Afin de stimuler ce débat que nous souhaitons plurilingue et international sur les propositions du Swaraj des savoirs, nous allons ajouter au livre – qui comporte déjà la version originale et la version française du texte – une troisième partie qui sera composée de commentaires d’auteurs et auteures des Suds. Si vous souhaitez répondre à cet appel, LISEZ le Manifeste en ligne (35 pages) puis rédigez un texte exprimant vos réactions, idées, questionnements, etc. suscités par cette lecture, dans n’importe quelle langue.

Date limite : 28 février 2018

Pour en savoir plus, allez lire l’appel complet.

Registration Open for NECS Post-Conference: Open Media Studies

The process of scholarly communication is changing dramatically. Digitization of archives, online research methods and tools, and new ways to disseminate research results are developing fast. During the past four annual NECS (Network for Cinema and Media Studies) conferences, we have held two-hour workshops to discuss the implementation of open access, organized by, among others, editors of the open access journals VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. Both journals were founded in 2012 with a NWO grant.

In 2018 we will expand on our experience by organizing a one-day workshop immediately following the annual NECS conference, which this year will be held in Amsterdam, organized by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), University Utrecht (UU), and the Free University of Amsterdam (VU) on 27-29 June. Our post-conference workshop will take place on Saturday 30 June 2018 at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum, The Netherlands.

The developments in open research follow each other at a rapid pace. For the discipline of media studies, developments appear to be a bit faster than for other disciplines in the humanities, as there is already a longer tradition of online sharing, and different media are used for scholarly communication (blogs, videos, audiovisual essays, etc.), besides the traditional peer-reviewed journal article or monograph. With this one-day workshop we aim to explore the concept of ‘open’ in media studies by sharing best practices as well as to investigate what is needed for media scholars to make the entire scholarly communication process (research, analysis, writing, review, publishing, etc.) more transparent.

We will do so by bringing together a group of maximum 25 researchers in media studies in a series of workshops devoted to the themes: 1) research and analysis, 2) writing and publishing, 3) peer review, and 4) public engagement. The day will open with a keynote by prof.dr. Malte Hagener (Philipps-Universität Marburg), one of the co-founding editors of NECSUS and founder of the recently launched project MediaRep, a subject repository for media studies.

The main goals for the day are: creating awareness among the researchers; offer solutions to concrete issues; and explore new open access/science initiatives in relation to media studies. Outcomes of the workshop will be published on the website of NECS, as well as on the Open Access in Media Studies website.

Registration is free. However, there is a maximum of 25 participants. Workshops will be hands-on and active participation is encouraged. Interested?

For the preliminary program and registration, please follow this link.

Hope to see you in Amsterdam/Hilversum!

Organising team: Jeroen Sondervan (Utrecht University), Jeffrey Pooley (Muhlenberg College, US), Jaap Kooijman (University of Amsterdam), Erwin Verbruggen (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision).

New Learned Society Network: ScholarlyHub

On October 21st the ScholarlyHub initiative launched its website, mission and ideas about developing a new social academic open access network for sharing papers and other scholarly literature. The project is in its incubator stage and needs crowdfunding to further develop these plans. ScholaryHub wants to directly compete with academic social networking platforms like and ResearchGate. The big difference between these commercial networking behemoths and the ScholarlyHub initiative, is the scholarly-led bottom-up approach of the latter. A remarkable group of academics from different disciplines have gathered to take the first steps towards a non-profit framework with options to share papers, collaborate with other researchers, and enhance public engagement, using social networking tools.

From the project website:

ScholarlyHub will be a non-profit framework, where members pay a small annual fee (directly or through an existing learned society, network, project or institution) and create personal, thematic, project-based, associational or institutional profiles and populate them with scholarly and educational materials as they see fit. These are stored in a searchable, real open-access archive, and are directly viewable and downloadable from the portal by anyone (that is, not only members), without having to register or volunteer personal data.”

In order to make this happen, money is needed to built an infrastructure. No venture capital, but actual support from actual researchers. On November 29th ScholarlyHub launched a crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise € 500.000,- for developing the first version of the platform.

It will be very interesting to see how this initiative will evolve in the next few months, because in the last few years criticism has grown about the commercialization of the aforementioned platforms and ResearchGate. For these enterprises, the user is the product and that obviously leads to important (ethical) questions power, ownership, reuse, and archiving policies, etc..[1] All in all, practices ScholarlyHub explicitly rejects.

As can be found on their website: “Growing threats to open science have made it more crucial than before to develop a sustainable, not-for-profit environment. One that allows you to publish, share, and access quality work without financial constraints.”

But some have already asked the question how this platform will relate to, for example, the Humanities Commons, which pursues similar goals and which saw the light last year[2]. And another example the Open Science Framework platform, which offers an open repository for papers and data. A very interesting and much needed discussion will happen in the coming months to investigate whether and how these non-profit platforms should co-exist.

In any case, it will be a much healthier situation if, in addition to the existing commercial academic social networks, non-profit equivalents enter this market.


[1] Further reading: Pooley, J. (2017). Scholarly Communication Shouldn’t Just be Open but Non-Profit Too:

[2] / ScholarlyHub Response:

The Radical OA Collective: building alliances for a progressive, scholar-led commons

Underneath a blogpost Samuel Moore and Janneke Adema wrote, which was originally published on the LSE Impact Blog, here.

The Radical Open Access Collective launched its new website earlier this week. Open access has always been about more than just improving access to research, and Janneke Adema and Samuel A. Moore here highlight what the Radical OA Collective can offer. A focus on experimentation with new forms of publishing and authorship; the promotion of traditionally underrepresented cultures, languages, and publics; and an understanding of publishing as a relational practice, highlighting and caring for the relationships involved throughout the process, all form part of the Radical OA Collective’s underlying philosophy.

This week saw the launch of a new website for the Radical Open Access Collective, a vibrant community of presses, journals, publishing projects, and organisations all invested in not-for-profit and scholar-led forms of academic publishing. The members of this collective showcase the wide variety of alternative forms and models of open access publishing currently experimented with, mainly in the humanities and social sciences. This in a context where, although open access is now finally gaining ground, the spirit of experimentation that originally fuelled this movement is being progressively sidelined by a growing reliance on and implementation of specific, market-driven open access publishing models (particularly those connected to exorbitant article and book processing charges); models which do not necessarily suit, support or sustain open access publishing in the humanities and social sciences, but which do serve commercial stakeholders’ interests and the current publishing status quo.

The Radical OA Collective reminds us that experimentation with new forms of publishing remains essential, and that open access has always been about more than just improving access to research. As a movement open access has also focused on exploring and promoting not-for-profit, institutional and academic-led publishing alternatives, for example. This is to provide a counterpoint to the commercial legacy system and the vast profits it extracts from our scholarly research and communication interactions. This system has posed specific risks to specialised book publishing in the humanities, to the publication of books by early-career researchers, and to the dissemination of research from those working in the global south or writing in languages other than English; all of which, although essential to sustaining the scholarly conversation, often lack a direct market appeal. To counter this the Radical OA Collective highlights the importance of making publishing more diverse, equitable, and open to change, where it wants to ensure that new and underrepresented cultures of knowledge are able to have a voice. Members of the collective therefore work together to champion the variety of alternative models for scholarly communication that currently exist, and the collective is keen to build alliances with other initiatives interested in building a collaborative and non-competitive publishing ecosystem; one which supports a progressive and multi-polar knowledge commons.

During open access week, we’d like to highlight three examples of what radical open access, and the Radical OA Collective specifically, brings to open access.

1. A focus on experimentation

Members of the collective do not shy away from asking difficult questions about what publishing is and, with that, what it can become. Many initiatives within the collective see their publishing projects as an extension of their own critical work and a way to explore different modes of publishing, often deterred by our (still very paper-centric) established publishing forms and practices. As such they have been keen to experiment with publication forms, models, processes, relations, and agencies, cutting through the stabilisations within scholarly publishing–from the fixed book to the single author–that, often uncritically, have become disciplinary norms. This open-ended critical experimenting has become a guiding principle for many initiatives to explore the potentially more politically and ethically progressive possibilities made possible by technological developments and digital tools; to investigate how these might impact on the ways in which research will be conducted, disseminated and consumed in the future. As an ongoing critical process, experimenting can therefore be seen as a form of intervention into the object-formation and increasing marketisation of publishing and academia.

Many of the projects involved in the collective see open access as essential to enabling these new forms of (digital) experimentation. This may be through communal authoring and editing of wiki books (see Open Humanities Press’ Living Books about Life series); anonymous or collective authorship (in the case of an Uncertain Commons, for example); or multimodal or digital-only publications, publishing platforms and software (including ground-breaking initiatives such as Vectors and Scalar, but also newer projects, such as electric press and Textshop Experiments) next to projects that want to focus on what openness means for images and visual forms of communication (i.e. Photomediations Machine) for example. But alongside experiments such as these we also want to highlight projects that aim to cut across both disciplinary boundaries and distinctions between practice and theory (for example Goldsmiths Press, which also focuses on publishing literary and artistic works), as well as scholarly communities that are experimenting with the creation of new communities and social networks to share research and establish cross-disciplinary alliances (from MediaCommons Press, to The BABEL Working Group and Humanities Commons).

2. Underrepresented cultures

One of the main motivations underlying the Radical OA Collective concerns the promotion of diversity and equitability within academic publishing, and this entails the creation of environments where traditionally underrepresented cultures can fully participate. This includes presses and alliances that promote publishing and collaboration in specific regions; for example CLACSO, which brings together hundreds of research centres and graduate schools in the social sciences and humanities, predominantly in Latin American countries, or African Minds, which, next to publishing works from African academics or organisations, has conducted in depth research on the state of the university press in Africa. Members also promote publishing in different languages; see, for example, Éditions Science et Bien Commun, a Quebec-based press publishing research by and for francophone countries in the Global South, or meson press, which (next to books in English) is keen to publish and translate media theory books in German.

There is also a focus on providing opportunities to early-career researchers to publish, and not only to publish but to help them directly with the publishing process and familiarise themselves with it. Mattering Press, which originates from a peer-support group of early-career researchers, in particular wants to stimulate those at the beginning of their academic careers, as do publications such as Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry, dedicated to the publication of writings and creative works by degree-seeking students. punctum books is well-known for providing space for the publication of works of so-called “para-academic” theorists and practitioners, often independent or precariously employed researchers or those in so-called “alt-ac” positions. These projects and the collective as a whole are dedicated to opening up scholarship to publics that are new or currently underserved, including those writing on niche topics or conducting experimental research for which the commercial publishing market doesn’t always provide a space.

3. Ethics of care

One of the things for which the Radical OA Collective stands out is its members’ focus on the ethics and politics of publishing. For example, many initiatives foreground an ethics of care, as part of which publishing is understood as a relational practice, highlighting and caring for the relationships involved throughout the publishing process, from authors, editors and reviewers to typesetters, copy-editors, indexers and beyond. This involves, amongst others, paying, rewarding or otherwise acknowledging people fairly for their labour wherever possible, while ensuring that the efforts of volunteers are not exploited or overly relied upon. Well aware of the high amounts of volunteer labour that academic-led initiatives depend on, the collective has made this one of its focal points, writing about and discussing the diverse forms of labour academic publishing relies upon, arguing for it to be valued more in various ways (that are not necessarily monetary).  A focus on labour issues is all the more important in a predominantly commercial publishing environment, given the large amounts of academic volunteer labour (from peer reviewing to editing, to liking and bookmarking and building relationships in exchange for usage data in SSRNs) that is needed to sustain it and maintain the exorbitant profits its stakeholders have come to expect.

The Radical OA Collective therefore seeks to redirect this volunteer labour where possible towards more progressive forms of publishing, for example by shifting it away from commercial profit-driven publishers and gifting it to developing not-for-profit open access projects instead. Related to this is a commitment to taking time and care with regard to the published object itself, something that is often lacking in profit-oriented modes of publishing. But perhaps most important, as Eileen Joy of punctum books writes, is for the collective to care for “ourselves and each other” in the face of marketised cultures of higher education that require researchers to work long hours and think of themselves as “brands”:

“This would be to think of Community, or the Collective, as a sort of ‘mutual admiration society’, but also as a Convalescent Ward, in which ‘taking care’ (of ourselves and each other) would be more important than ‘performing’ according to so-called ‘professional’ standards and protocols.”

Next to bringing together this community of people eager to change publishing, to make it better and more just, the collective wants to support other academics eager to set up their own presses and projects, or those disillusioned with the commercial solutions currently on offer. We share advice and offer support from those within the community who have already gained experience with publishing in this manner and are willing to help others in a horizontal and non-competitive manner. We have started to formalise this through the creation of an information portal with links to resources on funding opportunities for open access books, open-source publishing tools, guidelines on editing standards, ethical publishing and diversity in publishing, and OA literature useful to not-for-profit publishing endeavours. We want to turn this into a toolkit for not-for-profit publishers in the future (and this will be of use not only to academic-led presses, but hopefully also to university presses, and library-run and society publishers, for example). We have also set up a directory of academic-led presses, to help legitimise this form of publishing as a “model” and make scholars aware that there are publishing alternatives out there.

If you run a not-for-profit OA publishing initiative or are interested in starting your own scholar-led publishing project, we encourage you to join the Radical OA mailing list and help us further build this supportive and inclusive publishing environment.

Radical Open Access Website Officially Launched!

We are happy to announce that today marks the official launch of our new and updated website for the Radical Open Access Collective ! Thanks to all our members and those in our expanded communities for making this happen.

Formed in 2015, the Radical OA Collective is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access projects in the humanities and social sciences. We represent an alternative open access ecosystem and seek to create a different future for open access, one based on experimenting with not-for-profit, scholar-led approaches to publishing. You can read more about the philosophy behind the collective here:

As a collective, we offer mutual reliance and support for each other’s projects by sharing the knowledge and resources we have acquired. Through our projects we also aim to provide advice, support and encouragement to academics and other not-for-profit entities interested in setting up their own publishing initiatives. The current website contains a Directory of academic-led presses, which showcases the breadth and rich diversity in scholar-led presses currently operating in an international context and across numerous fields, and an Information Portal with links to resources on funding opportunities for open access books, open source publishing tools, guidelines on editing standards, ethical publishing and diversity in publishing, and OA literature useful to not-for-profit publishing endeavours. We will be further developing this into a toolkit for open access publishing in order to encourage and support others to start their own publishing projects. If you run a not-for-profit OA publishing initiative or are interested in starting your own scholar-led publishing project, we encourage you to join the Radical OA mailing list and get involved with the discussion!

Please do get in touch if you would like further information on the project or would like your publishing project to be involved.

Deux siècles de protestantisme en Haïti (1816-2016). Implantation, conversion et sécularisation

Auteurs : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction de Vijonet Demero et Samuel Regulus

Date de parution : 27 octobre 2017

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Comment le protestantisme s’est-il développé en Haïti? Quelle est la contribution du protestantisme à l’histoire et à la société haïtienne? Comment se situent les églises réformées face aux enjeux de la sécularisation et de la mondialisation? Aborder ces questions sans complaisance est essentiel pour l’avenir du protestantisme en Haïti et c’est ce que propose ce livre issu du colloque du Bicentenaire du protestantisme organisé par l’Institut universitaire de Formation des Cadres (INUFOCAD) du 15 au 17 août 2016 à Port-au-Prince, sous les auspices de la Fédération protestante d’Haïti.

Illustration de couverture : design de Djossè Roméo Tessy, photographie d’Anderson Pierre

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-32-1
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : 978-2-924661-31-4

Pour acheter le livre au Canada, par chèque ou virement bancaire : écrire à

Le livre est aussi disponible à la Librairie du Quartier, 1120, avenue Cartier, Québec G1R 2S5  (418) 990-0330 et à la librairie ZONE de l’Université Laval ( (418) 656-2600.

Pour le commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Version papier ou ePub

The Knowledge Exchange Group has Published a New Report on Open Access Monographs

From the Knowledge Exchange website:

This first-of-a-kind report from Knowledge Exchange maps the landscape for open access books in the Knowledge Exchange countries; Finland, Netherlands, UK, France, Denmark and Germany, together with Norway and Austria.

The field of open access monographs is still in its early evolution and therefore 73 in-depth conversations were conducted for this report to understand the different developments among three stakeholder groups: Publishers, funders and libraries. The importance of author attitudes, scholarly reward and incentive systems is also raised throughout the study by numerous interviewees.

The general explanation for monographs not being included in policies is the global focus on journal publishing and the perception that monographs are more complex to deal with than journals. Some also point to a lack of demand yet from authors.

In general, open access book publishers will comply with gold open access policies from funders and institutions. This is not the case for green open access. It appears that the current self archiving policies from publishers for books are largely restricted to book chapters.

The report also points towards the fact that funding schemes for books are lagging behind schemes for articles and their availability to fund the publishing process is somewhat ad hoc across the countries we’ve surveyed. Nevertheless the authors are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the prospects for open access and monographs.

The report creates an overview of both the open access monographs policies, funding streams and publishing models for all eight countries for the first time. This is used to point towards areas of future efforts.

The report can be downloaded here.
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.815932

The authors Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter and Niels Stern have done a marvelous job writing a comprehensive overview of the current status of open access monograph publishing and all its related issues. It is with no doubt that important findings in this report will find their way to the information available on this website as soon as possible.

Reblog: Taking back control

Joining NECS’ publication committee

I recently joined the publication committee of NECS European Network for Cinema and Media Studies. It’s an honor and I’m hoping to give more context to (open access) scholarly publishing in media studies in the nearby future.

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is the development of a global survey in order to map the changing landscape of scholarly communication in media studies. Publishing policies like open access (e.g. U.K. and Netherlands), technologies and workflows are in constant motion. But we sometimes forget that researchers are in the lead. How do they work? What do they need? What do they know about it?

I hope to open the survey in November 2017. One of the aims is to research and analyse existing knowledge on and practices of open access (science) publishing, workflows and tools in order to create an coherent overview that can be used by others to learn and/or adapt their practices. I will communicate further about this project on this website. If you want to be updated about this project, you can sign-up for the newsletter.


Québec ville refuge

Québec ville refuge. Portraits

Auteurs et auteures : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction de Florence Piron

Date de parution : 31 octobre 2017

  • Prix de vente de la version imprimée : 25 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente du ePub : 10 $ CAD
  • Cliquez ici pour lire en ligne gratuitement la version html (permet de partager et commenter, chapitre par chapitre)
  • Bientôt le PDF sera téléchargeable gratuitement

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Le racisme et la discrimination sont attisés par l’ignorance mutuelle. « Qui sont ces personnes qui viennent trouver refuge dans ma ville? », se demandent les habitants qui y sont nés ou qui y ont grandi. « Comment vont m’accueillir ces personnes qui habitent la ville où je me retrouve aujourd’hui?», se demandent les personnes réfugiées à Québec après avoir fui leur pays. L’absence de réponse à ces questions peut engendrer la méfiance, le rejet et le repli sur soi et nuire à la construction collective du vivre-ensemble harmonieux auquel tous et toutes aspirent.

Ce livre, comme l’ensemble de la série Québec ville ouverte, répond de manière concrète et simple à ce besoin de mieux se connaître et se comprendre. Il propose des portraits d’hommes et de femmes qui sont arrivés un jour à Québec avec le statut de réfugié et des portraits de personnes qui ont choisi de les accueillir bénévolement ou de travailler pour un organisme qui prend soin d’eux. Des portraits de journalistes ou de spécialistes universitaires qui connaissent bien la situation des personnes réfugiées complètent ce livre.

Ces courts portraits, réalisés par des étudiantes et étudiants en communication publique de l’Université Laval, nous montrent à la fois les différences, mais aussi les ressemblances entre les aspirations, les rêves, les manières de vivre et les valeurs de tous les citoyens et citoyennes de Québec, nés dans la ville ou ailleurs, ainsi que la générosité et l’ouverture qui caractérisent ceux et celles qui veulent accueillir…

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell

  • ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-29-1
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : 978-2-924661-28-4

Livre publié avec le concours  d’Accès savoirs, la boutique des sciences de l’Université Laval et de la Caisse Desjardins du Plateau Montcalm.

Pour acheter le livre au Québec, par chèque ou virement bancaire : écrire à

Le livre est aussi disponible à la Librairie du Quartier, 1120, avenue Cartier, Québec G1R 2S5
Téléphone de la librarie :
(418) 990-0330 et à la librairie ZONE de l’Université Laval ( (418) 656-2600.

Pour le commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Version papier ou ePub

Québec arabe. Portraits

Québec arabe (tomes 1 et 2). Portraits

Auteurs et auteures : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction de Florence Piron

Tome 1 : Algérie, Mauritanie, Syrie, Tunisie
ISBN : 978-2-924661-22-2

Tome 2 : Maroc, Liban, Lybie
ISBN : 978-2-924661-23-9

Date de parution : octobre 2017



  • Prix de vente de la version imprimée de chaque tome : 25 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente de la version imprimée des deux livres ensemble : 45 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente de chaque ePub : 10 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente pour les participants au livre : 8 $ pour 1 tome
  • Cliquez ici pour lire en ligne gratuitement la version html du tome 1 (permet de partager et commenter, chapitre par chapitre)
  • Cliquez ici pour lire en ligne gratuitement la version html du tome 2 (permet de partager et commenter, chapitre par chapitre)
  • Bientôt le PDF sera téléchargeable gratuitement

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Le racisme et la discrimination sont attisés par l’ignorance mutuelle. « Qui sont ces étrangers qui viennent s’installer dans ma ville? », se demandent les habitants qui y sont nés ou qui y ont grandi. « Comment vont m’accueillir ces personnes qui habitent la ville où je souhaite m’établir? », se demandent les immigrantes et immigrants. L’absence de réponse à ces questions peut engendrer la méfiance, le rejet et le repli sur soi et nuire à la construction collective d’un vivre-ensemble harmonieux auquel tous et toutes aspirent.

Ce livre, comme l’ensemble de la série Québec, ville ouverte, répond de manière concrète et simple à ce besoin de mieux se connaître et se comprendre. Il propose des portraits d’hommes et de femmes du Maghreb et du Machrek qui, pour une raison ou pour une autre, vivent actuellement à Québec, que ce soit depuis 40 ans ou depuis quelques mois, avec le statut d’immigrant, de réfugié ou d’étudiant. Ces courts portraits, réalisés par des étudiantes et étudiants en communication publique de l’Université Laval, nous montrent à la fois les différences, mais aussi les ressemblances entre les aspirations, les rêves, les manières de vivre et les valeurs de tous les citoyens et citoyennes de Québec, nés ici ou ailleurs.

Illustration de couverture : design de Kate McDonnell

  • ISBN ePub :
  • ISBN du livre imprimé :

Livre publié avec le concours d’Accès savoirs, la boutique des sciences de l’Université Laval et de la Caisse Desjardins du Plateau Montcalm.

Le livre sera disponible dans les librairies indépendantes de Québec et à la librairie ZONE de l’Université Laval (

Il est possible de le commander directement en payant par Paypal ou carte de crédit et de le recevoir par la poste ou livraison spéciale (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Version papier ou ePub

Pensée afro-caribéenne et (psycho)traumatismes de l’esclavage et de la colonisation – Toubiyon Twoma Lesklavaj ak Kolonizasyon: Dangoyaj Panse Afwo-Karayibeyen

Auteurs : Collectif d’auteurs et d’auteures, sous la direction de Judite Blanc et Serge Madhère, avec la collaboration de Sterlin Ulysse

Date de parution : 28 octobre 2017

Résumé : Les chapitres de ce livre sont tirés du premier Festival de psychologie africaine organisé par l’Association Sikotwomatis ak Afrikanite (SITWOMAFRIKA), un Institut de recherche sur les traumatismes de l’esclavage et la psychologie africaine, en partenariat avec l’Institut de Recherches et d’Études Africaines de l’Université d’État d’Haïti,  à Port-au-Prince du 27 au 29 mai 2016. Ce livre cherche à nourrir la réflexion sur la place de l’histoire de l’esclavage dans le développement psychosocial des pays colonisés et sur l’incapacité de la psychologie occidentale à comprendre les personnes de culture africaine dans toutes leurs dimensions. Il vise aussi à faire (ré)-émerger ou à promouvoir des paradigmes théoriques, des outils, des techniques et méthodes thérapeutiques alimentés par la vision du monde cosmocentrique africaine.

Rezime : Chapit ki nan liv sa baze dirèkteman sou premye Festival Entènasyonal Sikoloji Afriken. Se Asosyasyon  Sikotwomatis ak Afrikanite (SITWOMAFRIKA), yon Enstiti Rechèch sou Twomatis Lesklavaj ak Sikoloji Afriken ki òganize festival sa a, soti 27 pou rive 29 me 2016 nan Pòtoprens, nan tèt kole ak Enstiti Rechèch ak Etid Afriken ann Ayiti (IERAH/ISERSS) nan Inivèsite Leta d Ayiti. Liv sa ap ede nou chache limyè sou twoma ki soti depi tan lakoloni e ki rive gen konsekans sikososyal rive jounen jodi a sou sivivan yo.

Epi l ap tou fouye zo nan kalalou pou montre ak ki difikilte sikoloji ki santre sou kilti loksidan ap konfwonte, nan fason li konprann sikoloji pèp ki soti ann Afrik. Ak liv sa, nou swete rive fè konprann enpòtans pou nou sèvi ak apwòch sa a tou nan fason nou konprann fenomèn lespri e nan fason n ap bay swen pou sante mantal.


La psychologue Judite Blanc est née à Port-au-Prince. Elle a décroché son diplôme de doctorat en Psychologie à l’Université Paris 13 Sorbonne Paris Cité. Actuellement, Dr Blanc enseigne à l’Université d’État d’Haïti et dans d’autres établissements universitaires privés de la capitale d’Haïti. Elle a rejoint en mars 2016 l’équipe éditoriale des Éditions science et bien commun.

Elle dirige l’Association Sikotwomatis ak Afrikanite qui promeut la recherche sur la place de l’histoire de l’esclavage dans le développement psychosocial des colonisé, afin de combler les lacunes des modèles explicatifs et thérapeutiques de la psychologie euro-centrique dans l’appréhension du comportement des individus afro-descendants. Globalement, ses réflexions et travaux s’articulent dans les champs suivants: psychologie « critique » et de la libération – créole et justice cognitive – genre et santé mentale – et psychologie de la créativité. Elle fonda en 2015 le Festival International de Psychologie Africaine dont la première édition se tiendra fin mai 2016 à Port-au-Prince.

Sites :


Le livre est disponible en html (libre accès). Il sera en PDF, en format ePub et en livre imprimé à partir d’octobre 2017. Il est possible de le commander à l’aide du bouton Paypal ci-dessous.

ISBN ePub : 978-2-924661-10-9
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-12-3

  • Le livre imprimé est en vente à 25 $ CAD au Canada + 9 $ pour les frais d’envoi = 34 $ CAD.
  • Le livre en format ePub est en vente à 10 $ CAD (1 + 9 $).

En cas d’impossibilité de payer en ligne, écrire à

Le livre est aussi en libre accès sous format html.

Pour pré-commander le livre en format imprimé ou en ePub, utilisez le bouton Paypal ci-dessous (qui permet aussi de payer par carte de crédit).

Version papier ou ePub

Deadline Extended To 31/09/17: ‘Art(I)culations of Violence’ Special Issue

Writing From Below ‘Art(i)culations of Violence’ Special Issue

Call for Submissions

Presenters from the 2017 South Australian Postgraduate and ECR Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Studies conference: ‘Art(i)culations of Violence’ are invited to submit full papers for a peer-reviewed special issue of Writing From Below.

The theme, Art(i)culations of Violence: Gender, sex, sexuality and the politics of injury and revivification,aims to explore the multitude of ways that violence occurs, be it institutional, personal, epistemic, discursive, cultural, economic, symbolic, and/as physical. We invite presenters to consider ‘articulations’ not only as the acts or act of articulating, pronounciation and enunciation, but also physical formations, motions and movements, including but exceeding intellectual, political and artistic movements. Building on the theme of Dr Katrina Jaworski’s inspiring keynote speech at our 2016 conference, Intersections, we encourage presenters to engage with Stuart Hall’s theory of articulation – a means of living ‘in and with difference’ through strategic alliances that do not ‘substitute difference for its mirror opposite’ but encourage us ‘to rethink both’ (Hall 1985, p. 93) – and the ways this may relate to (or articulate with) concepts of performativity.

We invite both traditional and non-traditional submissions under the following categories:

  • Full Critical Papers based on Conference Presentations (4000-8000 words)
  • Poster / Visual art submissions (please include 250 word ERA research statement)
  • Creative Writings from ‘Art(i)culating the Body’ Workshop Attendees (up to 3000 words, plus please include 250 word ERA research statement)If submitting Visual or Creative works, please see the ERA Research statement guidelines in Appendix C.

All submissions are due on 31st September 2017.

Please register as an author to submit.

Submission for the special issue indicates your willingness to assist with peer reviewing.

If you have further questions, please email

We’re redeveloping the site…

There is nothing to see at the moment so only the home page is public. Login to use the navigation. We should be done August, 2017.

Things are Happening in the Humanities. But You Need to be Patient

A few weeks ago, Peter Suber, one of the leading figures of the open access movement, published a blog post on the website of The American Philosophical Association, entitled: ‘Why Open Access is Moving so Slow in the Humanities’. In there, he sums up 9 reasons why this is the case and I will just mention a few below:

‘Journal subscriptions are much higher in the Sciences Technology and Medicine (STM), than in the Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS). In the humanities, relatively affordable journal prices defuse the urgency of reducing prices or turning to open access as part of the solution.’

‘Much more STM research is funded than humanities research, so there is more money available for paying any open access charges.’

‘STM faculty typically need to publish journal articles to earn tenure, while humanities faculty need to publish books. But the logic of open access applies better to articles, which authors give away, than to books, which have the potential to earn royalties.’

Sadness of it all is that this post is a slightly revised version from the original from 2004. Today we’re still dealing with almost the same issues as 13 years ago. One of Suber’s conclusions is that “Open access isn’t undesirable or unattainable in the humanities. But it is less urgent and harder to subsidize than in the sciences.”[1]

I fully agree with this conclusion. But did we achieve nothing for the humanities then? No, a lot of things have happened in the last 5 to 10 years helping the humanities to make a transition to open access. But we are not there yet.

Open Access Journals

Globally several humanities journals have made the flip from toll access (TA) to open access and several new open access (niche) journals have seen the light in the last couple of years. Currently 9,426 open access journals are indexed by the DOAJ, of which a substantial part is in the humanities. A majority of those journals however, and we must not forget this, don’t charge a dime to publish research in open access.[2] In many cases, and this is exemplary for the humanities, foundations, institutions, and societies are paying for publishing research.

The financial model for open access in the humanities is not an easy road. In my previous life as a publisher in the humanities I’ve developed a few gold open access journals, all financed with money from institutions or research grants. However, subsidies for a journal coming from different institutions is a fragile model. Some of the journals had the ambition to move towards an APC model. None have done it so far.

New kid on the block, but very successful, is the Open Library of Humanities, run by Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards. They proposed and have implemented a model, which is a library funded model. With enough supporting libraries they are able to publish humanities research with no APCs. Main goal is to unburden authors with all kinds of financial hassle.

Institutional publishing

Another trend is the renewed rise of institutional (library) open access publishing. Some examples are Stockholm University Press, UCL Press and Meson Press. They distinguish themselves from traditional university press in the way that they only publish research in open access.

Online research tools

Other interesting developments are the experiments with redefining online publishing. I think it’s safe to say that these experiments just happen in the field of media studies. Collaborative research, writing and publication platforms like MediaCommons and the recently launched Manifold are very exiting initiatives. They all experiment with new digital formats, writing and publishing tools, and data publications.

Open Access Books

Open access for the academic book is on the agenda since 2008 / 2009 with the development of, amongst others, the OAPEN platform. And with indexes like the Directory of Open Access Books, established in 2011, open access books become visible and findable. Two weeks ago, a new milestone was reached with 8000+ open access books being indexed by DOAB and published by 213 publishers.Schermafbeelding 2017-06-23 om 23.55.15

However, open access for books is still underrated. There is a lack of aligned policies. Also, the lack of funding options makes it still very difficult for (smaller) humanities publishers to come up with a sustainable model for open access books. The focus for open access funding still lies with article publishing in journals and the financial models that come along with it.

For this website, I keep track of funders (research councils and universities) that actively support open access book publishing in media studies. I do this since 2015, but up till now the options for funding can be counted on 4 hands maximum. But even in the field of open access books things are happening with projects like Knowledge Unlatched. This project looks at funding coming directly from university libraries, supporting the ‘platform’ or book package and not the individual publication.

So, the important question now is what types of sustainable business models are appropriate for open access publishing in the humanities?

I think one important thing to keep in mind is that if we keep comparing the STM with the HSS it will not getting us very far. Another problem is that (open access) funding policies are still very focused on a local or national level or simply only look at APCs/BPCs. We need to work on a better international alignment of open access policies (per discipline) with different stakeholders (funders, libraries, publishers).

The Dutch Approach: Open Science

In February of this year, the National Plan Open Science[3] was launched in the Netherlands. Towards 2020 this roadmap concentrates on three key areas:

  1. Open access to scientific publications (open access).
  2. Make optimal use and reuse of research data.
  3. Adapting evaluation and award systems to bring them in line with the objectives of open science (reward systems).

cover-os-eng2One of the requirements is that by 2020 all researchers working for a Dutch research university need to publish their work (journals and books(!)) in open access. So this includes the HSS as well. To accomplish this the plan is launched to align all Dutch stakeholders to meet these requirements.

During the launch all the important academic stakeholders (research funders and associations) in the Netherlands explicitly committed themselves to this job. In Finland, similar things are happening.[4] And in other countries discussions have started about open access and open science requirements and indicators as well. It’s of great importance to connect these initiatives together as much as possible.

Preprints… “what”?

One other thing that Suber also mentions in his blog and I’d like to bring into this discussion, are preprints. In the humanities depositing preprints or post prints is not so common as it is in the sciences. That is for obvious reasons; loss of arguments and research outcomes, scooping, etc. etc. But are all these reasons still valid?

As academic community, it’s important to share your research to improve science. In the HSS we are apparently in need for platforms that can quickly disseminate research, based on the popularity (also among humanities scholars) of commercial social sharing platforms like and Researchgate. Note that I deliberately call them social sharing platforms, because that’s what they are.

It’s important that we need to make clear to academics what the implications are when using platforms like and ResearchGate. Both examples are commercial enterprises and interested in as much (personal) data as possible. The infrastructure serves a need but it comes with a cost. We need to think of sustainable alternatives.


Preprint servers per discipline. Image credit: Bosman, J. & Kramer, B.

Back to the preprint discussion. In the humanities (thus for media studies), it is unusual to share research before it is published in a journal or book. But if everyone is so eager to share their publications in different stages of their research why is it still not common practice to share the work on a preprint server, comparable with ArXiv or SSRN (when it was not Elsevier property), and new servers like LawArXiv, SocArXiv, PsyArXiv, etc.

Will it ever become common practice in the humanities to share research in an earlier stage? Maybe this practice could help moving the humanities a bit quicker?

Who knows.






Header image credit: Slughorn’s hourglass in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. © Warner Brothers

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Terminates Open Access Incentive Fund on January 2018 – Some Considerations

On Monday, June 26, the Netherlands Research Council (NWO) announced that they will terminate the Incentive Fund Open Access on January 1, 2018.[1] NWO started this Incentive Fund in 2010 to finance open access publications and activities that highlight open access during scientific conferences.

The fund has been useful for advancing open access since it became available in 2010. However, this decision soon follows the launch of the National Plan Open Science (NPOS)[2], signed by NWO, early 2017. In this plan institutions commit themselves explicitly to work on a healthy open access climate to achieve 100% open access for researchers affiliated to Dutch research universities. Now it’s obvious that this fund is not going to be the solution. However, it’s a remarkable step especially now. There is still a lot to do.

The choice is unfortunate, the more because NWO has been one of the first national research councils in Europe with an active open access policy and, moreover, a well-funded program from which APCs (and BPCs) could be paid, provided that the research will be available immediately after publication (the Gold route). On a national level NWO and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) were the first funding bodies to mandate books and allocate money for BPCs. This policy is therefore quite unique, and only in the last three years or so, it’s under development at other places.

The Incentive Fund was founded with the aim to stimulate Gold open access. NWO hoped that with such a fund, this could be a model that universities would take over; individual institutions should bear the cost of open access with their own budgets. This has hardly come to fruition. Only the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Delft University of Technology, and Wageningen University & Research have had such funds. At this very moment only Utrecht still runs an Open Access fund.

It is absolutely fair to ask why NWO should keep on spending money if it turns out that universities seem to find this step difficult. But now the boy scout decides to throw in the towel. Understandable, but disappointing. There are enough pros (and yes, cons as well) to consider.

In this piece, I would like to give some considerations why it would not (or would) be wise to terminate this fund. I take the arguments that NWO puts forward[3]:

“NWO believes that the academic world is now sufficiently aware of open access publishing and its importance.”

I doubt this very much. The debate on open access has so far been predominantly conducted by policy makers, libraries, and publishers. Researchers often submit their articles to the established and renowned, usually high-impact, journals. This (imposed) culture does not necessarily lead to more articles in open access journals. And yes, there are many researchers who are aware or the benefits of open access and publish their work in open access, but to say that this is ‘sufficiently’? The ‘academic world’ is any case an international one.

“Currently there are many more opportunities for authors to make their publications available via open access channels without having to pay for publication costs. In part, this has been achieved through open access agreements between Dutch universities and publishers. In addition, there are a growing number of open access journals and platforms that do not charge publication costs.”

True, enormous steps have been taken over the past 20 years. Lots of journals made the transfer to open access. There are (commercial and non-profit) platforms for articles, preprints, post prints – you name it. But are these all for free?

NWO brings up the current OA Big Deals in the Netherlands. However, these deals are mainly focused on hybrid journals. All Gold open access journals from, for example, Springer or Wiley are out of the deal. For these journals, an APC is still required. At present, only the deal with Cambridge University Press includes 20 Gold open access journals.[4]

In addition, the OA Big Deals only cover a part of all the Dutch open access publications in journals. At the moment, as academic community, we are trying to get more insight into this.

Not to mention the diversity of the deals. At Elsevier, it is possible to publish in 276 journals for ‘free’. All other (1800+) are still paid for. It is therefore nonsense to think that there are enough channels for researchers to publish their research in open access? I want to stress here that I don’t want to say that the APC-model is the holy-grail. Far from. But it’s the reality with which researchers are faced.

“Finally, there is the green route, which authors can use to deposit their articles in a (university) repository at no cost.”

Yes correct. And we have repositories for every university for more than 10 years. With varying success. However, for the time being, the government has also been advocating open access through the Golden route (i.e. via journals) since 2013 and above all stating that it is the most future-proof. Not in the last place by the VSNU.[5] For NWO, the Golden route has always been the main goal. In addition, NWO demands immediate open access (without embargo period). This is hardly possible with Green (self-archiving) open access unless NWO wants to force researchers to publish the preprint without peer review? Apparently, they have revised their own terms and policy. This can happen of course, but I find it strange to argue that a fund aimed at publishing in journals needs to be terminated when Gold is the standard.

You could also argue that this fund leads to pushing more money in the (publishing) system. Then I’d like to say, let’s do better with the national deals and not only focus on hybrid journals.

In addition, there is the already mentioned National Open Science Program (NPOS). This plan focuses on three key areas, which are: 1. Promoting open access to scientific publications (open access). 2. Promoting optimal use and reuse or research data. 3. Adapting evaluation and award systems to bring them into line with the objectives of open science (reward systems).

One of the ambitions is full open access to publications. As stated:

“The ambition of the Netherlands is to achieve full open access in 2020. The principle that publicly funded research results should also be publicly available at no extra cost is paramount. Until the ambition of full open access to publications in the Netherlands and beyond is achieved, access to scientific information will be limited for the majority of society.”[6]

In this transition phase. And with this, NWO supported, ambition in mind, the termination of a transit fund (this is how it should be seen) seems a bit premature to me. However, it should be said that the possibility remains to budget open access publications in project funding at NWO. But it is to be seen for how long this will happen considering their response: ‘for the time being’.


This post has been posted in Dutch online journal Scienceguide Friday, June 30.







[6] National Plan Open Science, p.21

Interview: Adrian Martin Speaks Out in Favor of Open Access

In the coming period, I will interview a number of researchers about their work and to what extent open access has a role to play in it. The debate around open access is often held on a policy level, with university boards or libraries and publishers. But the voices of those that actually make use of research papers, books and research data are often not heard. How does a researcher or practitioner see the open access movement enabling free online access to scholarly works? How does this affect their work? What initiatives of interest are being developed in particular fields and what are personal experiences with open access publishing? All kinds of questions that hopefully lead to helpful answers for other researchers engaging with open access.

First interview is with Adrian Martin. Adrian was born in 1959 in Australia. He is a film and arts critic for more than 30 years and as an associate professor in Film Culture and Theory he is currently affiliated with Monash University. His work has appeared in many journals and newspapers around the world, and has been translated into over twenty languages.

The interview starts:

Jeroen: When did you first hear of open access as a new way of distributing research to a wider audience?

Adrian: To appreciate my particular viewpoint on open access issues, you probably need to know where I am ‘coming from’. I am not now, and have rarely been in my life so far, a salaried academic. I have spent most of my life as what I guess is called an ‘independent researcher’. I have sometimes called myself a ‘freelance intellectual’, but I guess the more prosaic description would simply be ‘freelance writer/speaker’. So, not a journalist in the strict sense (I have never worked full-time for any newspaper or magazine), and only sometimes an employed academic within the university system.

Schermafbeelding 2017-06-25 om 21.48.27

Latest issue of Senses of Cinema

Therefore, my entry into these issues is as someone who, at the end of the 1990s, began to get heavily involved in the publication of online magazines, whether as editor, writer, or translator. These were not commercial or industrial publications, they were ‘labour of love’ projects, kin to the world of ‘small print magazines’ in the Australian arts scene (which I had been a part of in the 1980s). No special subscription process was required; it was always, simply, a completely open and accessible website. My entrée to this new, global, online, scene was through Bill Mousoulis, the founder of Senses of Cinema and later I was part of the editorial teams of Rouge, and currently LOLA. And I have contributed to many Internet publications of this kind since the start of the 21st century. The latter two publications do not use academic ‘peer review’ (although everything is carefully checked and edited), and are run on an active ‘curation’ model (i.e., we approach specific people to ask for texts) rather than an ‘open submission’ model.

I say this in order to make clear that my attitude and approach does not come from only, or even mainly, an academic/scholarly perspective. For me, open access is not primarily or solely about making formerly ‘closed’ academic research available to all – although that is certainly one important part of the field. Open access is about – well, open access, in the strongly political sense of making people feel that they are not excluded from reading, seeing, learning or experiencing anything that exists in the world. Long before I encountered the inspiring works of Jacques Rancière, I believe I agreed deeply with his political philosophy: that what we have to fight, at every moment, is the unequal ‘distribution of the sensible’, which means the ways in which a culture tries to enforce what is ‘appropriate’ for the citizens in each sector of society. As a kid who grew up in a working-class suburb of Australia before drifting off on the lines-of-flight offered by cinephilia and cultural writing, I am all too painfully aware of the types of learning and cultural experience that so many people deny themselves, because they have already internalised the sad conviction that it is ‘not for them’, not consistent with their ‘place’ in the world. Smash all such places, I say!

academiaopenThis is why I am temperamentally opposed to any tendency to keep the discussion of open access restricted to a discussion of university scholarship – or, indeed, as sometimes happens, with the effect of strengthening the ‘professional’ borders around this scholarship, and thus shutting non-university people (such as I consider myself today) out of the game. Let me give you a controversial example. I use, and encourage the use of It is the only ‘repository of scholarly knowledge’ I know of that – despite its unwise name! – anyone can easily join and enjoy (once they are informed of it, and are encouraged to do so). Now, many people complain about the capitalistic nature of this site, and everything they say in this regard may be true. But when I ask them for an alternative that is as good and as extensive in its holdings, I am directed to ‘professional’ university repositories for texts – from which I am necessarily excluded from the outset, since I do not have a university job. This is bad! And reinforces all the worst tendencies in the field.

Likewise, I bristle at the suggestion (it occasionally comes up) that an online publication such as LOLA (among many other examples) is not really ‘scholarly’. Online magazines are regularly downgraded by being described as mere ‘blogs’ (when this is not so!), with no professional standards, etc. etc.. But my drive is, above all, a democratic one. I work mainly outside the university setting because I want access to be truly open. And I want the work to be lively and unalienated. A tall order, but we must forever strive for it! So, in a nutshell, for me the term ‘open access’ simply means ‘material freely available to all online’ – but material that is well written, well prepared, well edited and well presented.

Jeroen: Did you ever publish one of your papers (or other scholarly material) in open access? 

Adrian: Well, according to my above context of criteria, yes: a great deal, literally hundreds of essays! I believe I have covered a wide range of venues, from what I am calling Internet magazines (such as Transit and Desistfilm), through to online-only peer-reviewed publications (such as Movie, Necsus and The Cine-Files), through to the ‘paywall’ academic journals (such as Screen, Studies in Documentary Film and Continuum) which seem to exist less and less as solid, physical entities that one could actually obtain and hold a copy of (try buying one if you’re not a library), and more and more as a bunch of detached, virtual items (each article its own little island) on a digital checkout page of a wealthy publishing house’s website! This last point also applies to the chapters I have written for various academic books.

When I taught at Monash (Australia) and Goethe (Germany) universities from 2007 to 2015, I decided to ‘take a detour’ into this world of academic writing – partly because the institution demands or requires it, for the sake of judging promotions and so forth. I do not regret the type of in-depth, historical work, on a range of subjects, that this opportunity allowed me to do. But I am more than happy to be back in the less constrained, less rule-bound world of freelance writing. The university, finally, is all about a far too severe, restricted and vicious ‘distribution of the sensible’ – it tends to perpetuate itself, and close its professional ranks, rather than truly open its borders to what is beyond itself.

One of my best and happiest experiences with open access has been with the small American publisher, punctum books. I did my little book Last Day Every Day with them, and it has had three editions in three different languages there. Their care and dedication to projects is outstanding. The politics of punctum as an enterprise are incredibly noble and radical: people can opt to pay something for their books, or download them for free if they wish. Likewise, authors can take any money that comes to them, or choose to plough it back into the company (that’s what I did, and probably most of their authors do). At the same time, certain professional/academic standards are upheld: punctum has an extraordinary board, manuscripts are sent out for reporting, and so forth. They both ‘play the game’ of academic publishing as far as they have to, and also challenge the system in a remarkable way. I am proud to be involved with them.

Jeroen: You are an Australian scholar, living in Spain, traveling for lectures and conferences and studying and writing about a global topic as film and media studies is. How does free online scholarly content affect your daily work as a scholar?

Adrian: Well, I enjoy an extraordinary amount of access to the work of other critics and scholars, especially through, and through postings of links by individuals on social media. At the same time, the ‘paywalls’ shut me out, because the purchase rates are too high for me as an individual, and I have no university-sanctioned reading/downloading access. As a freelance writer, I have to go where the work is, and where the money (very modest!) is. So that itinerary necessarily cuts across ‘commercial’ and ‘academic’ lines, and also involves me with many brave projects that are largely non-academic, and commercial only on an artisanal scale: literary projects such as Australia’s Cordite, for example.

Jeroen: In your first answer, you already addressed the issues of (and I guess you can extend this to other commercial products with similar functionalities like ResearchGate) but you also stress the need for a good place to share papers and research output. In the sciences, the preprint and postprint is an excepted and efficient standard in the scholarly communication process. Even publishers allow it. Lots of institutional archives (e.g. ArXiv, and SSRN) have seen the light mid-90s. And the use of those repositories increases every year. In the humanities, there is no such culture. Do you think this could change in a time where sharing initial ideas is becoming easier? Or is the writing and publishing culture in the humanities intrinsically different from that in the sciences?

Adrian: You offer a very intriguing comparative perspective here, Jeroen. I have no experience of scholarship in the sciences, so what you say is surprising (and good!) news to me. Perhaps, in the humanities, there has been, for too long a time, a certain anxious aura built up around the individual ‘ownership’ of one’s ideas – and thereby most of us have gone along with this perceived need not to share our work so readily or easily in the preprint and postprint ways that you describe. But I do think this can change, and quite radically, if humanities people are encouraged to go in this direction. One can already see the signs of it, when scholars share their drafts of papers more readily (and widely) than before. I think it would be a very productive development.

 Jeroen: One of the biggest hurdles to take in the next 5 to 10 years regarding open access in the humanities are the costs of publishing. In the sciences, the dominant business model is based on APCs (Article Processing Charges). In the humanities this model is a problem. One of the reasons is that research budgets in the humanities and social sciences are much lower. Other reasons given are that since journal prices in the sciences are much higher there was an urgency to transfer to an open access environment. Subscription costs for humanities journals are much lower.

The majority of open access journals in the humanities and also in media studies have another business model and are often subsidized by institutions or foundations. But subsidies are often temporary. New initiatives like Open Library of Humanities and Knowledge Unlatched come up with different financial models, all aimed at unburdening individual authors, but all of these models still need to prove themselves. Nevertheless, things are changing. How do you see a sustainable open access publishing environment for the humanities, and more specifically film and media studies? 

Adrian: Issues of funding – and money, in general – are vexing indeed. Once again, let me make clear where I’m exactly ‘coming from’. With Rouge and LOLA magazines, we have never received, or even sought, any government funding or any kind of arts-industry subsidy; we have never sought or accepted any advertising revenue; and we have never benefitted from any university grants of any kind. We run these magazines on virtually no money (beyond basic operating costs) and of course, as a result, we are unable to pay any contributor (and we are always upfront about that). This is perhaps an extreme, but not uncommon position.  It was a decision that, in each case, we took. Why? Because we didn’t want the restrictions, and obligations, that come with the ‘public purse’ – or, indeed, with almost any source of ‘filthy lucre’! In Australia, for example, to accept government funding means you will have to meet a ‘quota’ of ‘local/national content’ – and if you don’t, you won’t get that subsidy again. Senses of Cinema has struggled with that poisoned chalice. With Rouge and LOLA, on the other hand, we enjoy the ‘stateless’ potentiality of online publishing – it is ‘of the world’ and belongs to the whole world (or at least, those in it who can read English!). Sometimes we engaged in (perhaps at our initiative) ‘co-production’ ventures, some of which panned out well (such as a book that Rouge made in collaboration with the Rotterdam Film Festival on Raúl Ruiz in 2004, or the publication last year in LOLA of certain chapters from a Japanese book tribute to Shigehiko Hasumi), and others which did not. But I and my colleagues stick to this generally penniless state of idealism!

I was naively shocked when I realised that academic publishers usually fund their open access projects through payments from writers! And that – as I discovered upon asking a few friends – some universities routinely subsidise these types of publications for their scholars. As a freelancer, once more, I am shut out from this particular system. Therefore, my next ‘academic’ book (Mysteries of Cinema for Amsterdam University Press) – ironically, largely comprised of my essays from non-academic print publications! – will not be Open Access, because I cannot personally afford that, and I have no ‘channel’ of institutional funding that I can access. Once again, that’s just the name of the game. I will be very happy when that book exists, but it will purely be a physical book for purchase only!

I have, therefore, no utopian visions for how to fund open access across the humanities board. Personally, I am currently looking into Patreon as a possible way to sustain arts/criticism-related website projects. It’s a democratic model: people pay to support your ongoing work, to give you time and space to creatively do it. It’s not like Kickstarter, which is geared to a single production, such as a feature film project. Patreon has proved a godsend for artists such as musicians. We shall see if it can also work in an open access publishing context.

Jeroen: You are one of the founding fathers and practitioners of the so-called audiovisual essay, a new rising digital video format in academic publishing. Instead of writing a paper in words, a compilation of images offers a new textual structure. Another digital format is the enriched publication; articles or books with data included. One of the issues, besides arranging new forms of reviewing, is copyright and reuse. The audiovisual essay format obviously benefits from images with an open license, like the Creative Commons licenses. This makes it possible to reuse and remix these images. Archives are being digitized rapidly, but only a small portion is currently available in the public domain. Scholars are often not allowed to make use of film quotes or stills in their works. How do you see the nearby future for using digitized media files for academic purposes in relation to copyright laws? 

Adrian: We are in an extraordinarily ‘grey area’ here – appropriately, I suppose, since things like LOLA are (I’m told) classified as ‘grey Open Access’! And the legal situation for audiovisual works can vary greatly from nation to nation. We are in a historical moment when a lot of experimentation is going ‘under the radar’ of legal restriction, or (in the eyes of the big corporations) is considered simply too minor to consider taking any action against. Bear in mind that most critical/scholarly work in audiovisual essays (of the kind that I do in collaboration with my partner, Cristina Álvarez López) is not about making large sums of money; it is still a marginal, ‘labour of love’ activity, just as small, cultural magazines were in the 1980s.


Still from audiovisual essay ‘Thinking Machine 6: Pieces of Spaces’. © Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin, March 2017

This general fuzziness of the present moment is all to the good, in my opinion; we can all enjoy a certain freedom within it (with, occasionally, a ‘bite’ from above on particular questions of copyright: music use, for instance). I speak of no specific works or practitioners here, but much work in the audiovisual essay field happens both inside and outside of Creative Commons licenses. I don’t think anyone should be restricted to using just that. The front on which we all have to battle is ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealing’ (hence the disclaimer ‘for study purposes only’ that Cristina & I place at the end of all our videos): the right to quote (and hence manipulate) audiovisual quotations for scholarly and artistic purposes, ranging all the way from lecture demonstration and re-montage analysis to parody and creative détournement/appropriation. The fully scholarly publication [in]Transition to which I and many others have contributed – no one will ever call that a blog! – takes full advantage, via its publishing ‘home base’ of USA, of everything that the fair use provisions in that country can allow. And I think you can see, if you peruse that site, how far the possibilities can go.

I very much liked the recent essay by Noah Berlatsky, “Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which argued that we – meaning not only writers and artists, but perhaps even more significantly editors and publishers – need to be questioning and pushing at the limits of the definition, practice and enforcement of fair use regulations. Too often (and I have experienced this myself) editors and publishers assume, at the outset, that a great deal is simply impossible, unthinkable: even the use of screenshots from movies! There is so much unnecessary fear and trepidation over such matters. Sure, no one wants to take a stupid risk and be sued as a result. But, to cite Berlatsky’s conclusion:

“Books and journal articles about visual culture need to be able to engage with, analyse, and share visual culture. Fair use makes that possible — but only if authors and presses are willing to assert their rights. Presses may take on a small risk in asserting fair use. But in return they give readers an invaluable opportunity to see [and I would add: hear!] what scholars are talking about.”

Jeroen: I want to thank you for this interview.

© Adrian Martin, June 2017

*During the NECS 2017 conference in Paris the session ‘The Changing Landscape of Open Access Publications in Film and Media Studies: Distributing Research and Exchanging Data’ will be held on Saturday July 1st. Download the final program here.

** 15 June 2018: some minor updates in lay-out and added a few links to mentioned projects.






L’idée de l’Europe au Siècle des Lumières

This blog post was originally posted as an article on the Adventures on the Bookshelf blog – you can read it here. In 1813, Germaine de Staël published a seminal work called De l’Allemagne, which offered a wide-ranging introduction to German romantic … Continue reading

‘Ye shall know them by their fruits’

Read and download Just Managing? for free here. “If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.” (Theresa May; 13 July 2016) Words are tricky things, and we can all agree that ‘talk is cheap’. … Continue reading

Ownership and Cultural Heritage

This free to read book grew out of discussions about how multimedia technologies afforded scholars new ways of sharing documentation and scientific knowledge with the cultural owners of these collected oral genres. Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research … Continue reading

Strengthening Democracy Through Open Education

This blog post was originally published by Patrick Blessinger as an article on University World News – you can access it here. Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education can be read and downloaded for free here. Open education is … Continue reading

Appel : Les effets des changements climatiques sur la vie, la société et l’environnement au Sahel

Projet d’un ouvrage collectif coordonné provisoirement par Florence Piron et Alain Olivier, de l’Université Laval, avec un comité scientifique (ouvert) composé de Fatima Alher (OSM Niger),  Sophie Brière (Québec), Gustave Gaye (Université de Maroua), Moussa Mbaye (Enda Tiers-monde, Sénégal), Amadou Oumarou (Université Abdou Moumouni, Niger), André Tindano (Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso).


Dans une visée de justice cognitive, cet ouvrage collectif pluridisciplinaire, plurilingue, évolutif et en libre accès traitera des effets des changements climatiques sur la vie, la société et l’environnement au Sahel, tels que vus, vécus et analysés par des chercheurs et chercheuses, des étudiants et étudiantes et des associations et habitants de toutes les régions concernées, du Sénégal à l’Érythrée.


La circulation des résultats de la recherche scientifique d’une université à l’autre en Afrique francophone est encore très laborieuse, a fortiori avec l’Afrique anglophone. L’enquête menée par le projet de recherche-action SOHA sur les ressources scientifiques des étudiants et étudiantes d’Afrique francophone a montré que les mémoires de maîtrise et les thèses restent bien souvent sur les tablettes des départements et ne sont pas accessibles d’une université à l’autre, alors que leurs thèmes peuvent être très proches. Cette situation freine le développement des connaissances locales et diminue la qualité de la science produite dans ces universités : elle peut être répétitive et moins diversifiée ou innovante que si les résultats circulaient davantage.

C’est le cas des travaux de recherche sur les effets des changements climatiques au Sahel. Au fil de l’enquête SOHA, nous avons appris que les travaux de l’Institut supérieur du Sahel de l’Université de Maroua (nord-Cameroun), qui offre, entre autres, une filière en sciences environnementales avec l’option « désertification et ressources naturelles » (, sont peu ou pas connus au Département de géographie de l’UFR/SU de l’Université de Ouagadougou 1 au Burkina Faso et réciproquement. Pourtant, ces unités travaillent sur le même sujet qui est d’une importance cruciale pour ces deux pays. En effet, de nombreuses recherches montrent bien les effets réels des changements climatiques dans tout le Sahel, notamment une imprévisibilité accrue des précipitations qui perturbe le cycle agricole, ce qui entraîne des migrations plus soutenues vers les villes et bien d’autres conséquences environnementales, sociales et économiques.

Comment circulent les savoirs sur cet enjeu? Les articles scientifiques sont en grande majorité publiés dans des revues des pays du Nord qui sont rarement en libre accès et qui, pour des raisons structurelles, publient très peu les chercheurs et chercheuses œuvrant dans les universités sahéliennes et encore moins les étudiants qui y ont fait des mémoires ou des thèses. Quant aux livres sur le sujet, rares sont les maisons d’édition qui acceptent de les mettre en libre accès. Notre projet vise donc, en premier lieu, à offrir aux scientifiques et étudiant-e-s des régions sahéliennes, toutes disciplines confondues, qui travaillent sur les effets des changements climatiques dans leur pays un nouveau moyen de mise en valeur et de circulation des savoirs qu’ils produisent, à savoir un ouvrage collectif en libre accès, publié sous licence Creative Commons, imprimable à la demande, en tout ou par section.

Nous voulons aussi intégrer dans ce livre les savoirs produits dans les organisations paysannes ou locales, ainsi que dans les ONG : des savoirs empiriques importants, mais qui sont plutôt méprisés par la science qui n’y voit que de la « littérature grise » ou des savoirs de qualité inférieure. Il nous semble au contraire important de revaloriser ces savoirs dans une perspective de circulation des idées et des informations.

Notre conception des effets des changements climatiques est large, afin de ne laisser échapper aucune discipline ou thématique traitée dans les travaux de recherche produits par les universités ou les associations sahéliennes : effets sur l’agriculture, sur l’élevage, sur la biodiversité (plantes et espèces animales menacées), sur l’accès à l’eau, mais aussi sur les familles, sur les migrations, sur l’emploi, etc.

Originalité du projet

  • un ouvrage collectif en libre accès formé de nombreux chapitres pouvant être régulièrement mis à jour ou complétés par de nouveaux chapitres, ouverts aux commentaires sur le web et sous licence Creative Commons (ce qui en permet la réutilisation libre)
  • un ouvrage pouvant circuler sous la forme de PDF (volume complet ou en sections) imprimés à la demande dans différents pays
  • des auteurs et auteures diversifiés : des hommes et des femmes, des jeunes et des aînés, des étudiants et des étudiantes, des chercheurs et des chercheuses, des membres d’associations, de regroupements, de collectifs, des citoyens et citoyennes. La seule exigence : être du Sahel (ou collaborer de très près avec des personnes du Sahel) et être en lien étroit avec au moins une université sahélienne
  • un projet qui vise la contribution de tous les pays francophones ayant une composante sahélienne (Sénégal, Mauritanie, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroun, Tchad) par le biais de leurs universités, centres de recherche et associations; les contributions anglophones du Sahel (Nigeria, Soudan du Sud, Erythrée) seront aussi les bienvenues
  • des chapitres en français, mais qui pourront aussi être traduits dans d’autres langues (africaines ou européennes), intégralement ou sous la forme d’un long résumé
  • un projet qui a une visée multidisciplinaire et encyclopédique
  • un comité scientifique diversifié et une révision par les pairs ouverte et collaborative, visant l’amélioration continue des chapitres.

Processus de création du livre

Ce projet de livre est ouvert à tous et toutes, dans un état d’esprit qui rejette toute perspective de compétition ou d’exclusion. Au contraire, la visée de justice cognitive de ce livre nous amène à vouloir l’ouvrir à tous les savoirs et à toutes les épistémologies, pour autant que cela nous aide à comprendre son objet. Nous travaillerons donc avec tous les auteurs et auteures qui veulent participer à cette aventure pour améliorer leur proposition ou leur texte afin que ce livre devienne une ressource précieuse.

Sur le plan des consignes d’écriture, il est tout à fait possible d’inclure des photos ou d’autres images. Il est également possible de proposer, en guise de chapitre, la transcription d’une entrevue ou d’un témoignage ou encore une vidéo pour la version en ligne, si cela permet à des savoirs d’entrer dans notre livre. Par contre, afin de maximiser l’accessibilité et l’utilisation du livre, nous demandons de restreindre l’usage de tout jargon spécialisé.

La circulation de cet appel dans toutes les universités sahéliennes est cruciale pour respecter la visée de justice cognitive et de circulation régionale de l’information. Pour cela, nous faisons appel à la bonne volonté des uns et des autres et nous mènerons un inventaire des unités de recherche sahéliennes traitant des changements climatiques et des associations qui s’y intéressent afin d’y recruter le maximum d’auteurs et d’auteures.

À noter que la rédaction de ces chapitres est bénévole et ne sera pas rémunérée. La gratification des auteurs et auteures sera de voir leur chapitre circuler et être utilisé au service du bien commun de l’Afrique sahélienne.

Les auteures et auteurs participant au livre seront invités à échanger tout au long du processus d’écriture et d’édition dans un groupe Facebook ou WhatsApp, afin de partager des idées, des références et des premières versions, dans l’esprit d’entraide et de collaboration qui est promu par la justice cognitive.


  • Avril-août 2017 : Inventaire des unités de recherche et des associations et circulation de l’appel
  • 30 septembre : Date limite pour envoyer une proposition (un résumé de quelques phrases)
  • Septembre 2017 – janvier 2018 : Réception des chapitres, travail d’édition et mise en ligne au fur et à mesure (dès qu’un chapitre est prêt, il est mis en ligne).
  • Avril 2018 : Publication d’une version complète et impression d’exemplaires sur demande.

Pour participer

Dès que possible, envoyez un message à l’adresse avec votre biographie (en quelques lignes), les coordonnées complètes de votre institution ou de votre association et un résumé du chapitre (ou des chapitres) que vous souhaitez proposer. Ce résumé consiste à présenter en quelques phrases le contenu du texte que vous souhaitez proposer, en l’associant, dans la mesure du possible, à un contexte sahélien précis (région, ville, village, projet de recherche, intervention, etc.).

Les valeurs et le projet éditorial des Éditions science et bien commun

Merci de les lire attentivement sur cette page.

Les consignes d’écriture sont sur cette page.

New Set of Books in Media and Communication Studies Unlatched

The project Knowledge Unlatched (KU) offers a library sponsored model to ensure open access for monographs and edited collections in the arts & humanities and social sciences. Libraries can take part in Knowledge Unlatched by pledging for the offered title list. The KU project started in 2013 with a pilot of 28 books from 13 publishers to create a platform where authors, publishers, libraries and readers could potentially all benefit from open access for books. Authors see their work disseminated on a global maximized scale and in the KU model they won’t be bothered with BPCs. It is a fact that free accessible books have been downloaded extensively, on top of the normal sales of the paper version. Citations are not necessarily increasing, but they will come faster.[1] Publishers can experiment with generating new revenue streams for open access books. Libraries are paying (you could have a discussion on where the money should come from) but in return are supporting open access for books and deliver accessibility for their researchers (online and with a cheaper acquired paper version – see below). And readers can read and download the books for free.

KU is an example of a crowdfunded, or better, consortium open access funding model. This model spreads costs and offers a broad access for books. It is currently the most important platform, and most likely the biggest in terms of scale, offering a constant stream of open access books. But is this model working?

I have mentioned it before in a previous post that some libraries [2] and commentators [3] see that the model could be sensitive to double-dipping and others have raised the the issue of free-riding (non-paying members taking advantage of the open access books made available by paying members). KU is aware of these issues. As Frances Pinter, the founder of KU, points out in an interview: “in order to deal with the free rider issue, we’re giving the member libraries an additional discount. So, when they buy into the free and they buy the premium, the total will be less than any non-member would have to buy for a premium version.”[4] The collections offered are still fairly small considered to the global output but we’re still in the early days of open access monograph publishing. If more publishers are involved and participating in the growth of the entire collection more libraries could become interested as well.

The KU project started in 2013 with a pilot (Pilot 1: 2013-2014). The pilot consisted of a collection of 28 new books (front list) covering topics in the humanities and social sciences from 13 scholarly publishers including the following university presses: Amsterdam, Cambridge, Duke, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers and Temple, plus commercial presses: Bloomsbury Academic, Brill and De Gruyter. The pilot was a success and all 28 titles were made available on the OAPEN repository. OAPEN is an online platform for peer reviewed academic books in the humanities and social sciences. In collaboration with the Directory of Open Access Books index it offers services for discovery, aggregation and preservation of open access books and related metadata. Just recently the library passed the milestone of 4 million downloads since it started reporting COUNTER compliant usage statistics (September 2013).

User statistics for books unlatched by Knowledge Unlatched in the Pilot and Round 2 have been published in the fall of 2016 by KU. Just to give you an idea of the impact the Round 2 collection contains 78 books and these titles have reached just under 40,000 downloads. The average download per title (via OAPEN) is 503.[5]

Schermafbeelding 2017-04-04 om 21.34.09

Back to the yearly rounds of open access books. The second round (Round 2: 2015-2016) was much larger and consisted of 78 new titles from 26 scholarly publishers. In this round, the collection was built on five main disciplines, namely: anthropology, literature, history, politics and media & communications. Of course, I’m really happy with the last one, being one of the main disciplines of the KU book lists. This round was a success too and 78 books have been unlatched. 10 of them are dealing with the subject media and communication. This collection of 10 can be viewed and downloaded here.

The third round (2016-2017) includes 343 titles (147 front list and 196 backlist) from 54 publishers. Just recently it has been announced that for this round sufficient libraries have pledged.[6] This means that in the next few months the entire list will become available for free downloading.

The good news is that of those 343 books, for the media and communications studies list, 9 titles are brand new (front list) and 13 books are back list titles (not older then 2 years). I think it is a good move to add back-list titles as well, since we tend to focus on only the new and latest stuff. But as we all know in the humanities and social sciences books have a long(er) life. Publishers of these 22 media and communication titles are amongst others Amsterdam University Press, Duke University Press, Intellect, transcript Verlag, UCL Press, Ottowa University Press and University of Toronto Press. The books of round 2 will be made available on the OAPEN platform. Note that some of these publisher don’t charge BPCs. They see the KU project as an addition to their business model and an option to publish books in open access. Some, like UCL Press and Amsterdam University Press, have a standard open access option for all their books and charge BPCs.[7]

Normally I won’t post links to open access publications, since we have other spaces for this (Film Studies for Free and recently launched OpenMediaScholar) but for the sake of completeness I’m adding the following list of books that have been or will be published in the OAPEN library from early to mid-2017.



*Update (05-02-2017): Added more links of books available in the OAPEN library.


[1] Montgomery, L. (2015). Knowledge Unlatched: A Global Library Consortium Model for Funding Open Access Scholarly Books. p.8. 

[2] Blog by Martin Eve: On Open Access Books and “Double-Dipping”. January 31, 2015.

[3] Interview with Frances Pinter, Knowledge Unlatched, January, 2013.

[4] Some literature on this topic: Ferwerda, E., Snijders, R. Adema, J. ‘OAPEN-NL – A project Exploring Open Access Monograph Publishing in the Netherlands: Final Report’ p.4.

Snijder, R., (2013). A higher impact for open access monographs: disseminating through OAPEN and DOAB at AUP. Insights. 26(1), pp.55–59. DOI:

Snijder, R. (2014). The Influence of Open Access on Monograph Sales: The experience at Amsterdam University Press. LOGOS 25/3, 2014, page 13‐23, DOI:‐4712‐11112047  

[5] User Statics for the KU Pilot Collection and Round 2

[6] (February 2017)

[7] For a list of publishers active in the field of media studies and their OA models, see the Resource page.

Image credit: Designed by Photoangel / Freepik

Journal Subscription and Open Access Expenditures: Opening the Vault

For years, there was no overview of what the total amount being paid for journal subscriptions was per institute or on a national level, due to restrictions in the contracts with publishers (the famous non-disclosure agreements). The information on universities’ expenditures on subscriptions has therefore been secret information up to now.

With the transition towards open access and the related recent (re-)negotiations with big publishers to have an open access publishing option in their journals, there is a growing attention on the institutional and national expenditures. It is for several reasons that we need to have an insight in these costs to know what the cost-benefits would ideally be if we have a full shift to open access. But above all it should be standard policy to know what is happening with tax-money anyway.

In Finland, The Netherlands, U.K. and at some institutions in Swiss this data have been published publicly because in these countries several Freedom of Information (FOI), and Government Information Act (WOB – in The Netherlands) requests have been submitted, and above all, granted.

The following information is to give you a quick overview of the status and the available data:


In 2016 information on journal subscription costs paid to individual publishers by the Finnish research institutions has been released by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and its Open Science and Research Initiative funded 2014–2017 (Academic Publishing Costs in Finland 2010–2015). Since this data is spanning all expenditures, Finland is the first country to release this data for all its institutions.

Schermafbeelding 2017-03-31 om 13.49.41.png

Total costs by publisher

More information on the dataset can be found here and here.

The Netherlands

In 2016, two requests for information have been submitted. The first request arrived on 28 April 2016, and requested the publication of the total amount of the budget that the university has spent annually on subscriptions to academic journals over the past five years and the purchase of academic books over the past five years.

This request has been granted in September 2016 and the subscription costs data has been released here.

Schermafbeelding 2017-03-31 om 13.07.51

Costs incurred by universities, 2015

In September 2016, all Dutch universities received a second request relating to the open access license deals. Since 2015 negotiations started with the big publishers about the implementation of open access into the existing ‘big deals’. Currently the Netherlands is the only country where this is happening on such a united scale. All higher education institutes are acting as one party towards the publishers. Normally the details of those deals are contracted as a non-disclosure agreement but this second request asked for publication of those open access contracts. Just recently it has been granted as well and now contract details  publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, ACS, Sage, Karger, Thieme, Walter de Gruyter, RSC, Emerald have been publicized. [1]

A list of the publishers’ contracts can be found here.


In the U.K. Stuart Lawson, Doctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London, has done some great work on getting insights in the journal subscription expenditures at U.K. higher education institutions. Not all instisutes are represented, but he managed to collect pricing data of 150 institutions with ten of the largest publishers from 2010-14. The raw data can be found here.

For the last three years (starting in 2014) for transparency reasons he systematically collects the APC expenditures data of several research institutes as well. This data can be found here.


In 2015, also after a FOI request, the ETH Zürich published an overview of the costs for journal subscriptions (2010-2014) with the three largest publishers, Elsevier, Springer and Wiley.

Schermafbeelding 2017-03-31 om 13.26.51There is some more data on the financial flows in Swiss academic publishing to be found in this report.

Image credit: Designed by Kjpargeter / Freepik

Call For Papers: Happiness

Emergent research into happiness is still largely situated in fields such as sociology, psychology, and neuroscience. Traditionally the uncontested domain of the Humanities, the question of “How should we live?” is too rarely approached in contemporary literary and cultural studies. Indeed, even in a thriving field such as affect studies, research still largely focuses on negative emotions, ugly feelings (Ngai), shame (Probyn), paranoia (Sedgwick), failure (Halberstam), and the cruelty of optimism (Berlant). But perhaps the critical tide is turning. Scholars are beginning to theorise the end of our well-rehearsed “hermeneutics of suspicion,” and conjecturing what comes after (Felski). They are mapping the potential path for a “eudaimonic criticism” (Pawelski & Moore) and an “ethics of hope” (Braidotti), looking towards a more positive future (Muñoz). Critical and historical studies on empathy (Meghan; Keen), joy (Potkay) and happiness itself (Ahmed) are also emerging.

Inspired by the growing body of scholarship on optimistic representations of gender, sexuality, and queerness, Writing from Below enters the fray with this invitation to explore and interrogate positive, successful, fulfilling, life-affirming expressions of gender and sexuality in contemporary or historical literature, culture, and society.

Papers could engage with (but are not limited to):

  • Pleasure, joy, jouissance, delight, splendour, enchantment, empathy, and kindness
  • Love, passion, and amour fou
  • Middlebrow pleasure
  • Living the queer life, and queer(ing) happiness
  • Eudaimonia, mindfulness, and wellbeing
  • Eudaimonic reading, and the eudaimonic turn in cultural and literary studies
  • The hermeneutics of suspicion, paranoid and reparative reading, and their aftermath
  • Ethical criticism, the ethics of hope, and hopelessness
  • The body as site of happiness, joy, pleasure, etc.
  • Affect, the theories and/or histories of positive emotions
  • Celebration, and celebration as protest
  • Burlesque, clowning, circus, carnivals, and the carnivalesque
  • Kitsch, camp, and drag
  • Sex and play, sex lives, fun
  • Vitality, verve, vigour, and liveliness
  • Biological life, bioszoe, survival, sur-vivre [living-on], affirmation
  • The utopian tendencies of gender studies and queer theory
  • The (queer) future, queer futurity, and happy endings

Gender studies and queer theory are located across and between disciplines, and so we welcome submissions from across (and outside of, against and up against) the full cross-/inter/-trans-disciplinary spectrum, and from inside and outside of conventional academia.

Do not be limited. Be brave. Play with form, style, and genre. Invent, demolish, reimagine.

The deadline for submissions is 29 May 2017. 

Written submissions, whether critical or creative, should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length, and should adhere strictly to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

All submissions—critical, creative, and those falling in between; no matter the format or medium—will be subject to a process of double-blind peer review.

For more information, please contact our guest editor, Dr Juliane Roemhild:

Tilda Swinton by Brigitte Lacombe (2012)

Québec africaine

Québec africaine. Portraits

Auteurs et auteures : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction de Florence Piron

Date de parution : 22 février 2017

  • Prix de vente de la version imprimée : 25 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente du duo ePub : 10 $ CAD
  • Prix de vente pour les participants au livre : 8 $
  • Cliquez ici pour lire en ligne gratuitement la version html (permet de partager et commenter, chapitre par chapitre)
  • Bientôt le PDF sera téléchargeable gratuitement

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Le racisme et la discrimination sont attisés par l’ignorance mutuelle. « Qui sont ces étrangers qui viennent s’installer dans ma ville? », se demandent les habitants qui y sont nés ou qui y ont grandi. « Qui sont ces personnes qui habitent la ville où je souhaite m’établir? », se demandent les immigrantes et immigrants. L’absence de réponse à ces questions peut engendrer la méfiance, le rejet et le repli sur soi et nuire à la construction collective d’un vivre-ensemble harmonieux auquel tous et toutes aspirent.

Ce livre, comme l’ensemble de la série Québec ville ouverte, répond de manière concrète et simple à ce besoin de mieux se connaître et se comprendre. Il propose des portraits d’hommes et de femmes d’Afrique subsaharienne qui, pour une raison ou pour une autre, vivent actuellement à Québec, que ce soit depuis 40 ans ou depuis quelques mois, avec le statut d’immigrant, de réfugié ou d’étudiant. Ces courts portraits, réalisés par des étudiantes et étudiants en communication publique de l’Université Laval, nous montrent à la fois les différences, mais aussi les ressemblances entre les aspirations, les rêves, les manières de vivre et les valeurs de tous les citoyens et citoyennes de Québec, nés ici ou ailleurs.

Illustration de couverture : motif de Jane Rixie, design de Kate McDonnell

  • ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-08-6
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : 978-2-924661-19-2

Livre publié avec le concours  d’Accès savoirs, la boutique des sciences de l’Université Laval, du Conseil panafricain de Québec (COPAQ) et du Centre international de recherche sur l’Afrique et le Moyen-Orient (CIRAM).

Dans les médias :

Pour acheter le livre au Québec, par chèque ou virement bancaire, écrire à

Le livre est aussi disponible à la Librairie du Quartier, 1120, avenue Cartier, Québec G1R 2S5
Téléphone de la librarie :
(418) 990-0330 et à la librairie ZONE de l’Université Laval ( (418) 656-2600.

Pour commander en ligne (des frais de port de 9 $ s’ajouteront) :

Version papier ou ePub

Lettre reçue par Florence Piron de la part du lecteur Claude Cossette, professeur émérite de l’Université Laval:

Je viens de parcourir ton beau livre. Un gros livre. Un grand livre ! Quelle belle initiative ! Quelle présentation intéressante sur le plan anthropo-sociologique pour les lecteurs québécois !
 Quelle expérience formatrice pour les jeunes ! On constate d’ailleurs jusqu’à quel point ces rencontres interculturelles les ont touchés. Les ont ouverts. Changés peut-être. C’est assurément le cas pour plusieurs.
La partie Réflexions et apprentissages est riche. Les Réponses collectives braquent un projecteur sur un nouveau « pays humain » qu’ils ont découvert. Les Témoignages individuels sont particulièrement touchants. On voit que, pour plusieurs, cette expérience a donné un nouvel éclairage à leurs études, de perspective à leur métier. De sens à leur vie peut-être !
Sur le plan de la langue, je reste surpris de la qualité générale. Et c’est une belle réussite sur l’ensemble du projet éditorial.
Impressionnante expérience pédagogique ! BRAVO ! Je t’envie de jouer ce beau rôle d’éveilleuse, d’attiser le feu de la passion et de l’esprit critique chez ces beaux jeunes.

To speak and/as connect


To speak and/as connect—beyond the silencing of violence, and the violence that is silence

Amelia Walker, Travis Wisdom, Shawna Marks, Sarah Pearce and Biannca Challans

“Before writing trauma this way I did not think of cycle, smell, check

Remember you are there you live here a home changes”

—Cee Devlin, 'Begin: now go deeper'

On July 13–14 2017 the fourth annual South Australian Gender, Sex and Sexualities conference took place at the University of South Australia’s City West campus. Founded in 2014 by Petra Mosmann and Adele Lausberg, the annual staging of the conference brings together academics, artists and activists who work in the gender, sex and sexuality space. We write “staging” because of the necessity that this conference act as a meeting place between these three, often separate, sites of critical inquiry, each of which addresses violence, in all its articulations. The metaphor of the stage reflects a critically creative intervention into contemporary society, knowledge, and culture—an installation that calls out, as theatre, literature and art often call out, the absurd cruelty in oft-unspoken everyday customs, norms, rituals of language, and other practices that ultimately need not limit and harm life and lives as they presently do. The stage also represents a coming-together of those who want to—who must, for survival’s sake—enact this calling-out in and upon the various scenes and stages we daily play upon as thinkers, writers, makers, academics, queers, artists and/or human animals in this violent world. The conference then represents an opportunity for a coming-together of like-minded individuals to collectively strategise and share ways to make change happen. In support of this coming-together, the conference provides a necessarily safe and supportive space in which we can confront all that renders us unsafe, or indeed tries to squeeze us out, to cram us down, to deprive us of space(s) for simply living, loving, breathing, speaking, for being and becoming who we are.

The full title of the 2017 conference was “Art(i)culations of Violence: Gender, sex, sexuality and the politics of injury and revivification” (henceforth “Art(i)culations”, for simplicity). Our focus on violence and the redressing thereof came at the suggestion of committee member Shawna Marks, who proposed that the 2017 conference raise awareness of the violences people face, including intersections between racially-motivated and gender-based violences. Fellow committee member Travis Wisdom then suggested that this be adapted to also encompass non-consensual bodily modifications on children, and that the conference highlight ways in which intersex and non-intersex people in the LGBTQIA+ community can work together to make our world less violent and more liveable. To support this aim, we sought the expertise of Michael Noble, who—in addition to his important PhD research into the life and works of seventeenth-century author and translator Nicholas Culpeper—has long been recognised and respected as a pioneer for intersex activism in Australia and elsewhere. A scholar of profound wisdom, intelligence and ethicality, Noble invested incredible energy into the conference. He became an educator and a mentor for us all, generously sharing his knowledge and experience, often exhibiting commendable patience with us as we struggled to grasp issues that had not previously crossed our radars. Without his insights and recommendations, “Art(i)culations” could not have been what it was.

Noble enlisted keynote speaker Morgan Carpenter, the co-executive director of Intersex Human Rights Australia, who spoke compellingly about intersex bodily modification, autonomy and consent. Our other keynote was the creative writer and researcher Quinn Eades, who specialises in writing the body, and who with poetic eloquence probed critical issues of queer wounds and woundings, ghosts and ghostings. Eades encouraged the audience to move around during his talk and gently guided those present through topics of trauma and violence, a move that acknowledged the safety inherent in the conference space and how this underpinned the aims of the event. Eades also delivered a queer writing workshop, in which he guided participants safely through processes of writing their own bodies and bodily experiences. This workshop was attended by general community members as well as academics, reflecting our goal to bring together activists, artists, and academics in the conference space. This special edition then is an exercise in sharing work at the nexus of art, activism, and academia in that many pieces written in or as a result of the collaborative, community writing workshop are published in this special issue, some as peer-reviewed works of creative writing research, and some simply as non-peer-reviewed works of creative writing in its own right.1

The conference focus on violence prompted all committee members to consider the many forms and processes that violence can take and through which it may occur. Crucially, violence is not only—or perhaps ever—restricted to the physical. Assaults upon the body leave their scars in places unseen, as is observable in cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and as queer writing on wounds and wounding eloquently details (Brown 1993; Munt 2007; Eades 2017). Furthermore, there exist many forms of violence in which no physical wound or action necessarily occurs at all. For instance, postcolonial theory elucidates the very real, lived and material implications of epistemic violences—when domineering cultures silence, devalue, intervene in, co-opt and degrade, or otherwise suppress the knowledges of the people they attempt to suppress (Spivak 1988; Morris 2010). This often entails linguistic violence—depriving people of the words and grammar needed to speak, write, think, read, hear and thus live as they (or maybe we) desperately need to live (Fanon 1952, 18). Additional kinds of linguistic violence include naming, shaming and labelling, among other semiotic acts, as Judith Butler’s early work on performativity details (Butler 1993), and as any bullied schoolchild ever stung by the common (but senseless) adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” would likely agree. Then there are psychological violences (Elouard and Essén 2013), social violences (Wilchins 2000), cultural violences (Oyedemi 2016) and violences of privilege (Harris 2017), to name but a few of many that bear so harshly upon so many lives.

“Art(i)culations” sought presentations discussing violence in all its many modes and permutations. By bringing these presentations together, we aimed to recognise (to identify and radically re-think) intersections between different violences, as well as potential alliances between groups and individuals subject to violence in differing, yet connectable ways. We were inspired by the seminal and ongoing work of Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (Crenshaw 1991, 2018), among other proponents of “intersectionality”, who have since the late twentieth century asserted “the need to account for multiple grounds of identity when considering how the social world is constructed” (Crenshaw 1991, 1245). “Intersections” had indeed been the theme of our previous (2016) conference. Partially as a result of conversations arising at that conference, we were, however, conscious of certain risks that arise when white queers and/or feminists and/or people of privilege attempt to engage (with) intersectionality, a theory notably born of black feminist political struggles.2 Ironically, even in the very act of seeking to change and undo situations of privilege, privileged activists and/as academics are notoriously capable of violence and harm, including through the “whitening of intersectionality” (Bilge 2015). To temper this risk, feminist sociologist Sirma Bilge of the Université de Montréal recommends practicing intersectionality together with Stuart Hall’s theory of articulation, which by Bilge’s (2014, 65) account doesn’t search to unite differences under one singular political banner but instead encourages an ethic of non-oppressive collaboration. 3

Hall’s theory of articulation (1985) plays on two meanings of the verb “articulate”: to speak, and to connect. Articulation can thus be understood as the radical act of speaking or otherwise making known (for instance, through writing) connections previously unrealised. The unrealised connection might in some cases be one that existed but was not spoken about—for instance, the connection between some violent act and the later distress caused. In other cases, the connection could represent an opportunity to forge connections between things that are not necessarily always connected, but which can be, in certain situations and for certain purposes—as in the case of a strategic alliance between groups whose needs and experiences are vastly different, yet sometimes compatible, as the needs and experiences of the many diverse groups implied within the acronym LGBTQIA+ are arguably different yet compatible. For Hall, articulation was about working “in and with difference” (1985, 92)—a way to find common ground and pursue common agendas without overriding important differences, and without one group’s cause becoming co-opted or exploited by another. As cultural studies theorist Tony Bennett, a contemporary of Hall’s, notes, articulation thus offers both a theory and a practice—a praxis—“according to which the elements comprising any hegemonic formation could always be broken apart, and be given new meanings and political directions, through the conduct of politics as—for Stuart—mainly a set of ideological-discursive struggles” (Bennett 2016, 284).

In line with Bennett’s explication, a key benefit Bilge (2014, 69) identifies in articulation is its emphasis on relationships of “contingence”, which suggests joining or touching without merging or absorbing the one into the other, always maintaining the possibility of separation at a later point, and which also evokes contingency as possibility or chance. This includes chances and possibilities of the incidental and relational, which for us serves as a reminder of the key ways in which chance meetings, incidents and interactions often shape creative processes, especially those of the arts, arts research, and indeed all research—for these three, while not conflatable, are articulable in that they may all be called processes of knowledge-creation, albeit via different methods, in differing contexts and for distinct purposes. Hence the bracketed small “i” in “Art(i)culations”, which draws emphasis to the word “art” and thus to the important place presentations of or about visual art, theatre, poetry, prose, music and other creative mediums held at our 2017 conference—as they have in previous years and, we hope, shall in future continue to hold.

The works collected in this special issue all, in and of themselves, enact their own creative and critical articulations. Bringing them together within one publication evokes points of contingence between them and the issues they raise. The special issue is separated into three sections, each of which includes art images, critical research papers and creative writing. Each section reflects particular sub-themes of the overarching theme. Section one focuses on historic, institutionalised, social, linguistic, epistemic and symbolic violences, showing how these seemingly intangible forces inflict deeply-felt violences upon breathing bodies and lives. For instance, in his rigorous critique of government-driven and institutional narratives about anti-queer violence in 1980s Australia, Curtis Redd asks whether such narratives are “about addressing and redressing the past, or… about rewriting it?” As Redd points out, this rewriting obscures both past and present acts and implications of anti-queer violence—a “subjugation of queer knowledges” that ironically enacts “a form of symbolic violence in itself”. Similar points are raised by Alex Dunkin, who scrutinises Australian patriotism and national holiday rituals, illuminating “how blind adherence to socially condoned behaviour may lead to devastating outcomes”.

Section one also includes two poems, one by Nat Texler and one by Sarah Pearce, that show how anti-queer violence in contemporary society is not only or simply perpetuated by straights against queers, but also—thanks to internalised phobias—bubbles up in and jeopardises our interpersonal relationships. Texler depicts this through the speaker’s account of being threatened and punched by an intimate partner. Pearce reflects on the felt impact delivered through a biphobic and self-denying lover’s biting words of rejection: “with no cock, it’s just foreplay.” Following this, Jessica Liebelt’s “The Gender Reveal Party” likewise emphasises violences perpetuated symbolically through words and naming, this time with an emphasis on the deep harm inflicted—especially but not exclusively on transgender and non-binary people—through gender-assignment and the emergent cisnormative social ritual of parties at which parents and their friends celebrate the child’s assigned gender in ways that deepen the difficulty of that child (or adult) later rejecting the false assignment and/or (re)claiming their authentic gender. The final piece in the section, “mMyth is” by poetic duo In Her Interior (Francesca Da Rimini and Virginia Barratt), then reminds of the violent ways in which assigned binary gender is reinforced by cultural myths that insidiously permeate so much of contemporary day-to-day life. “mMyth is” also recalls the points raised in the papers by Redd and by Dunkin—about the force and effects of narrative, historicising, patriotism and social ritual—thus issuing a warning not to underestimate myth, nor the symbolic practices through which myths and their social implications are sustained. These implications are inferred in the section’s selection of art images, by Keith Giles, which reference historic tropes, and in which the faces of queer figures are removed, defaced or obscured, signifying erasure and/or misrepresentation at the hands of hegemonic institutions and social forces.

If the first of this issue’s three sections considers histories, myths and their (re)inscription on (and in) our present, the second even more strongly emphasises the real lived impact of contemporary violences on contemporary lives. In particular, it raises problems of toxic masculinities, as reflected in Jessica Seymour’s analysis of how these manifest in the recent reboot of the Mad Max film series, in Shawna Marks’s paper about stealthing, sexual violence and sporting culture, and in Jessie Byrne’s examination of “wounded” masculinities in Australian crime fiction. Brave poems about rape by Heather McGinn and Gabrielle Everall speak of violent experiences that in our society still too-often go unspoken and unreported. So too do incidences of violence against sex workers, as the compelling account by Angel Parker lays bare in no uncertain terms. Lydia Heise’s photographic art pieces reflect this theme of silence-as-violence. For instance, the image also selected as our special issue cover depicts white-petticoated legs swamped in hairy curls of tape ribbon. The figure’s head and upper torso are amputated by the image’s frame, suggesting disempowerment and objectification. The positioning of the tape meanwhile readable as a comment on desires spoken-over, drowned out and thus suppressed by dominant, domineering noises and forces.

The third and final section of the issue then turns to squarely face violence upon bodies and/or/as violence at the hands of medicine, science and the law. The cover art of this section, by Sonja Hindrum, features images within images—posters or projections of children displayed in medical and/or scientific settings, recognisable through the presence of intravenous fluid bags, charts, test tubes and other equipment. That the children within these images are framed within frames enacts a distancing and containment that speaks vulnerability. This evokes the exploitative ways in which medicine, science and related institutions violently subject the bodies—and thus lives—of intersex and non-intersex children to non-consensual interventions including but exceeding irreversible surgical and hormonal interventions. These are issues fleshed out in the collaborative interview piece between Travis Wisdom, Quinn Eades, Aileen Kennedy and Amelia Walker, which confronts current practices of non-consensual bodily modification in Australia and elsewhere and demands bodily autonomy for everyone.

The second piece in section three, by Gabrielle Everall, likewise evokes issues of consent and autonomy, in the case of current practices affecting those individuals deemed “mentally ill”. This includes enforcement of medications that sometimes bear devastating side-effects, and the socially-normalised assumption that people deemed “mentally ill” cannot properly understand or speak for their (and our) own needs. The placement of Everall’s article in this section serves as a reminder of the present need for LGBTQIA+ communities to think harder about issues of inclusivity. It particularly reminds us of the need to create spaces accessible to and safe for neurodiverse people, as well as people with mobility requirements. Articulations between neurodiversity, mental health and queerness are also readable in Cee Devlin’s two critical and creative pieces, both of which evoke the psychological effects of violence and trauma through “body-writing as a political, literary intervention strategy that can be harnessed by the traumatised subject”, in Amelia Walker’s re-membering of lithium carbonate’s bodily side-effects, and in Alison Bennett’s stunning “Leaving My Body”, which articulates physical and psychological forms of violence and trauma, demonstrating the intricate ways in which these often inextricably interweave.

Through poetry, art, storytelling, theorising, research and critical prose, the papers in this special issue thus forge their articulations between art, activism and academia in order to call out violences including but exceeding the social, epistemic, psychological, symbolic, linguistic, institutionalised and/as physical. They question medicine, science and law, confronting issues of patriotism, cultural myth-making, cis- and heteronormativity, white privilege, neurotypical privilege and ableism. They also signal contingencies—points of potential convergence and collaboration—between different groups and individuals subjected to violence. Yet, in the spirit of Stuart Hall and articulation, it is important to remember that this work only matters if it is ongoing in the world—if it carries on and through into activism as a process always in-progress, always subject to its own continual critique, re-evaluation and re-making. Hence, it is important to note that the gathering of these papers was a signal to us not only of what the conference raised, but of all that remains yet to raise and/or yet to explore from the perspectives and to the degrees of detail present circumstances demand. For instance, although the LGBTQIA+ community’s need to better support neurodiverse allies does, as noted, surface within this issue, we feel this is an issue requiring greater attention at future conferences and especially requiring attention from those identifying as both neurodiverse and queer. In order to facilitate this and other necessarily ongoing discussions, the 2018 conference is themed around “Space and Place: Conceptions of movement, belonging and boundaries”, with the intention of producing another special issue to redress what this one doesn’t say and build on what it does by questioning how we move through communities, institutions and the world at large. Pertinent, then, is the title of this issue’s final piece, by Cee Devlin—“Begin: now go deeper”. That is ultimately what all of the critical and creative works gathered here individually and collectively remind us we must do. For we have and are always and already, yet barely just begun.


[1] Creative writing and visual art papers that have undergone peer-review are accompanied by ERA research statements. If the creative works are published without an ERA statement, this indicates that they have been treated not as research pieces, but simply as literary or artistic works in their own right. Works in the latter category have nonetheless undergone rigorous selection processes equivalent to those that would apply for any standard literary or art journal.

2 It must here be noted that our 2017 conference committee was mostly white—not by deliberate design on our parts, but probably as a sad reflection of who in our society presently can and cannot with relative ease gain access to the privilege that is postgraduate study. We aim to change this situation that brings us unearned racial privileges at others’ expenses (even while this situation also simultaneously often marginalises and harms us where factors including but exceeding gender, sex, sex characteristics and sexuality are concerned).

3 Birge’s original article is published only in French, but the paraphrased summary of her argument is based on the lines “ne chercherait plus à fédérer les différences sous un toit politique unique” [not seeking to unite differences under a single political banner/roof] and “une éthique de collaborations non oppressives” [an ethic of non-oppressive collaboration] (Bilge 2014, 65). These bracketed translations are by Amelia Walker, with assistance from Christopher Hogarth, Ian Gibbins and David McInerney. However, Walker acknowledges and accepts responsibility for any inadvertent inaccuracies or errors that might remain.

Works cited

Bennett, T. (2016). The Stuart Hall Conjuncture. Cultural Studies Review, 22(1): 282-286.

Bilge, S. (2014). La pertinence de Hall pour l’étude de l’intersectionnalité. Nouvelles pratiques sociales, 26(2): 62-81.

Bilge, S. (2015). Le blanchiment de l’intersectionnalité [The Whitening of Intersectionality]. Recherches Feministes, 28(2): 9-32,307,314,319,325.

Brown, W. (1993). Wounded Attachments. Political Theory, 21(3): 390-410.

Butler, J. (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York, NY: Routledge.

Crenshaw, K. W. (1991). Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color. Stanford Law Review , 43(6): 1241-1299.

Crenshaw, K. W. (2018). On intersectionality the essential writings of Kimberle Crenshaw. New York, NY: New Press.

Eades, Q. (2017). Queer Wounds: Writing Autobiography Past the Limits of Language. In Talking Bodies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Embodiment, Gender and Identity (ed. Emma Rees). Cham, Switzerland: Springer / Palgrave Macmillan.

Elouard, Y. and Essén, B. (2013). Psychological Violence Experienced by Men Who Have Sex with Men in Puducherry, India: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Homosexuality, 60(11): 1581-1601.

Fanon, F. (1952 [1986]). Black Skin, White Masks. (trans. Charles Lam Markmann). London, UK: Pluto Press.

Hall, S. (1985). Signification, Representation, Ideology: Althusser and the Post-Structuralist Debates. Critical Studies in Mass Communication , 2(2): 91-114.

Harris, K. L. (2017). Re-situating organizational knowledge: Violence, intersectionality and the privilege of partial perspective. Human Relations, 70(3): 263-285.

Morris, R. (ed.). (2010). Can the Subaltern Speak?: Reflections on the History of an Idea. New York City, NY: Columbia University Press.

Munt, S. (2007 [2016]). Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Oyedemi, T. (2016). Beauty as violence: ‘beautiful’ hair and the cultural violence of identity erasure. Social Identities, 22(5) 1-17.

Spivak, G. C. (1988). Can the subaltern speak?. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Wilchins, R. (2000). My perspective: Words that kill; Violence against people who break gender rules is not born in a vacuum. It is born out of the smaller social violence that first robs us of our full humanity. The Advocate (Aug 29 2000), 819: 9.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

Challenging Repression

Section 1

Challenging repression: exploring the violences of censorship and self-censorship through visual art practice

Keith Giles

Challenging Repression includes three visual art images, all of which in different ways explore the violences of censorship and self-censorship. The images feature cultural symbols evocative of the past, particularly the twentieth century, and of LGBTQIA+ culture. A common trope across all three images is the partial-to-complete erasure or distortion of human faces, which suggests the ways in which mainstream heteronormative histories have silenced those of LGBTQIA+ people. This silencing includes the silencing of mainstream culture’s violences against those who do not fit its norms, and may furthermore be considered a form of violence in and of itself.


Gender; Sexuality; Queer Art; Censorship




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

“Those were the bad old days”

Section 1

Those were the bad old days”: challenging straight histories of anti-queer violence

Curtis Redd

The context of queer history telling is different from that found in many other social movements and identity-based organising, due to the absence of familial intergenerationality. Therefore queer history telling is significantly influenced and defined in the public imagination by heteronormative representations. When queer histories of violence are told by heteronormative sources, especially those implicated in the events and their (re)telling such as police and the state, the consequences can include subjugating queer knowledges and setting the limits of acceptable queer anger and grief, as well as the political priorities of queer communities and divisions within them.

The telling of this history, and the creation of a homophobic past in the public imaginary, also has to do with a shifting heterosexual subject and identity. With an increasingly socially acceptable queerness, heterosexuality must reconfigure itself. I argue that the historicizing of anti-queer violence is part of a larger shift—one that involves queer politics being oriented towards homonormative goals such as marriage in which queers are made more palatable, while straights become more tolerant and by extension more queer as is shown by the rile of “ally” as an identity, and that is incompatible with a recognition of violence against queers as continuing.


Sexuality; Violence; Homophobia; Queer; Heteronormativity


In 2012 I presented at a school retreat for first year Humanities and Social Sciences PhD students. I optimistically expected that my research so far into homophobic violence in Australia would perhaps stimulate some discussion, but after the presentation I was approached by another PhD candidate who told me I had “got it all wrong” and that “homophobia doesn’t exist anymore”. Rejecting my use of scholarly sources and reports on rates of violence and discrimination, my colleague instead drew on her own evidence—that she had been friends with people in the 1980s who had gone “gay bashing” and that “they wouldn’t do that anymore” (she asserted, despite no longer knowing these people). I offered anecdotes of my own and friends’ experiences, but she was not swayed, even when I recounted incidents increasing in seriousness. My “proof” was not able to stand in the way of this unsubstantiated narrative of increased tolerance, based on nothing but the passing of time, the same kind of argument as simply stating the year—“it’s 2017!”

Over the past few years there has been a spate of government and police apologies in regards to the actions of police and state governments in perpetuating homophobic laws as well as an increase in media portrayals of past homophobic violence. There is clearly something happening in regards to the history of homophobic violence and repression in Australia, particularly with relation to the state. These apologies are about changing the story, or bringing it to light, which I’m sure those delivering them would agree. But it matters what the story is being changed to, and how it positions queers. Is it about addressing and redressing the past, or is it about rewriting it? Is the emphasis on changing the course of the future, or is it on the way future queers remember the past? These moments of negotiation – of acknowledging a history of homophobia while presenting a more tolerant present, are potentially also about negotiating a shifting straight identity. The historicising of this violence can obscure the ongoing nature of violence against queers, and this subjugation of queer knowledges can be seen as a form of symbolic violence in itself.

This narrative of progression of tolerance only through the passage of time and age is replicated in the history telling around narratives of gay bashing, in particular recent narratives around the Bondi beat murders. Representations that historicise this violence also prioritise straight protagonists—usually police, as the “heroes” who uncover this history and right the wrongs of police and governments past. There is an emerging discourse about the 1980s and 90s and police ineptitude in response to gay bashings and deaths (Feneley and Abboud 2016). There is also a growing awareness, if not acceptance, of a narrative that implicates the police (and the government) in this history—these appear both in the representation around the Bondi Beat murders and Operation Taradale and in the apologies from the South Australian and Victorian Governments and police. But there are simultaneous discourses coming from the police that deny the existence of anti queer violence in the present or place blame on the individual. This includes warnings around the risk of “beats” (places that men can meet and have sex with other men, often parks or public toilets), and advice not to “frock up” when going out and other forms of self-surveillance and victim blaming (NSW Police Public Site 2016), including the continued existence of the Homosexual Advance Defence. How do we untangle these seemingly contradictory narratives? For whom does an apology work? For whom and from whom makes it “enough” when we are dealing with a diverse range of people and experiences and the ever expanding acronym of non-hetero identities.

I propose that the historicizing of anti-queer violence is part of a larger shift—one that involves queer politics being oriented towards homonormative goals such as marriage in which queers are made more palatable, while straights become more tolerant and by extension more queer, as is shown through the rise of “ally” as an identity politic. This homonormativity can be seen in the debate surrounding the same-sex marriage survey, and as we see the “no” campaign target trans people, including children, the response from the “yes” side is—this is about marriage not gender.

This paper will explore the consequences of heteronormative entitlement to define queer histories of oppression, and the impact of these official and heteronormative voices in defining this history as well as the acceptable limits of queer anger, grief and the popular imaginary. The context of queer history telling is different than that found in many other social movements and identity based organising due to the absence of familial intergenerationality (Shulman 2009, 38). Therefore, queer history telling is significantly influenced and defined in the public imagination by heteronormative representations. Representation matters for queers, as Barbara Baird noted in 1997 in regards to engagement between gay and lesbian community groups (including anti-violence groups) and the police. Our engagement with the state will “always be discursive as well as material, that is, that contests over representation will be as important as, indeed inseparable from, the practicalities of meetings and lobbying…a struggle with a state institution over meaning and material resources” (Baird 1997, 78). Twenty years on this seems particularly relevant in the case of apologies from the police and State Governments in regards to past violence. Yet there seems little space for critique and the histories of anti-queer violence are represented as neutral despite the discursive power for these representations to override or subjugate the knowledges of queers. In the fictional miniseries of Deep Water(which premiered before the documentary), the killer is not the ordinary gay basher but a psychopathic serial killer, positioning the violence as abnormal and homophobia as an abnormal trait in the psyche of the individual. These narratives make no tangible difference to the lives of queers in the present, and perhaps even do harm in the way they position violence as abnormal or as a thing of the past, and subjugates contradicting queer knowledges of this.

A comparison between Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ apology for criminalisation, the final scene from SBS’s documentary Deep Water: The Real Story and the NSW Police response to the show, reveal similarities in their historicising of homophobic violence but also notes the progression of time as in itself an indication of change. Daniel Andrews absolves individuals and the police also:

“And it would be easy to blame the courts, or the media, or the police, or the public.

It is easy for us to condemn their bigotry. But the law required them to be bigoted […] I suppose it’s rare when you can’t even begin to conceive what was on the minds of our forebears in this place. But I look back at those statutes and I am dumbfounded. I can’t possibly explain why we made these laws, and clung to them, and fought for them.” (Andrews 2016)

In responding to the Deep Water program the police did a similar thing:

“…the NSW Police Force was a part of society – yes, there was homophobia in society. The conclusion from that is, yes, that there was homophobia in the NSW Police Force.” (SBS 2016)

At the end of Deep Water: The Real Story there is a voiceover of a statement from one of the men convicted of murders at Bondi:

“8th march 2016. I am writing this letter from prison. In 1990 I murdered a gay man and seriously assaulted his companion. I was convicted of these crimes along with two other men. The night of the crime at Mark’s Park was one of dread, fear, anger, confusion. On the way to Bondi that night I was fearful, confused, yet all of this was overshadowed by false pride, teenage bravado and a desire to make others feel as miserable and lonely as I did as a kid . It did not matter if they were gay or not. Gay men were simply an easy conduit. There was no exhilaration. The most accurate way to describe what went through me emotionally and physically was release. When I drank and took drugs it opened the spillway just like a dam. I had no emotional intelligence at all so that was my mechanism for a long time. In hindsight I now see that gay people at that time in my youth were shown to be an easy target for an angry maladjusted young boy . Gay people were much maligned in the 1970s and 80s. My opinion of gay men now is one of compassion support and friendship. I believe that gay men should be allowed to marry. I believe they do the nation more justice than the rest of us do. Yes, I have gay friends, one of my closest mates is gay. He’s a good bloke. He knows my past and cannot identify the man I am now with the person I was then. ” (Deep Water: The Real Story 2016) (emphasis mine)

These statements absolve the individual of blame and place it instead on a period of time and a society past. Homophobia as a term has problems because of its location in the psyche of the individual. Warner (1999) notes “homophobia” as “a misleading term” which “suggests that the stigma and oppression directed at this entire range of people can be explained simply as a phobic reaction to same-sex love” (Warner 1999, 38). I would argue that the current articulation and (re)definition of homophobia is limited to state regulated exclusion rather than a range of discursive and interpersonal experiences that shape the lives, desires and behaviour of non-hetero bodies. Homophobia does not describe or indicate the range of ways people experience stigma, shame, aggression, isolation, ridicule, harassment and violence at the hands of heteronormative society. It does not go far enough to explaining the schisms within the broad and weak alliance of the ever-extending acronym (GLBTIQA+ at last count) not just along traditionally considered intersections of race, class, ethnicity, religion and gender, but also in terms (especially in these homonormative times) along lines and cracks we have not yet named, which we may not have yet identified, which operate to isolate and separate. An identity politics lens inevitably fails at trying to categorise or recognise the myriad ways non-heterosexual and gender nonconforming bodies are shaped by violence, including that sanctioned and perpetrated by the state. Homophobia is also something that is easy for a straight subject to be against, and has taken on an almost identity like quality of “the homophobe”—arguable the binary partner of “the Ally”.

Queer has been added to the ever-expanding rainbow acronym but is often used as an “umbrella term” rather than in the theoretical context of queer theory. I will be using the term queer as per Michael Warner’s definition in The Trouble with Normal. Warner (1999) defines queer to refer to the “many ways people can find themselves at odds with straight culture” (38). He critiques the use of the terms of reference “gay and lesbian” as “blind” to the “the subtlety of the oppressive culture and to the breadth of the possible resistances” (Warner 1999, 39). Warner even critiques the expanded GLBT (which has now been expanded further to include IQA+) as “often rightly perceived […] as afterthoughts, half-hearted gestures at being politically correct.” (39) The inclusion of Q in the acronym sits somewhat uncomfortably given its difference to the other list of identities. Warner defines queer to include a range of “sexual stigmas” that may or may not have anything to do with sex, but include:

“the ways people suffer, often indiscriminately, from gender norms, object-orientation norms, norms of sexual practice, and norms of subjective identification […] it is possible to have a concrete sense of being in the same boat with people who may not share your sexual tastes at all—people who have had to survive the penalties of dissent from the norms of straight culture, for reasons that might be as various as the people themselves” (Warner 1999, 39)

Warner’s definition of queer allows us to include the trans children and young people who in 2017 Australia were thrown under the marriage equality bus by those distancing same sex marriage from “radical” gender ideology and programs like Safe Schools and inclusive sex education. It allows us to think about those who experience being “at odds with straight culture” and “suffering the dissent” before they can articulate an identity politic (or a “radical gender agenda”). Those who the Christian lobby attack—the “boys who want to wear dresses” and the 13 year old kids like Tyrone Unsworth who kill themselves before they even have had the queer sex they are being told is so wrong it shouldn’t be taught in sex education at school. It is important to include this next generation in the concept of history telling—a looking forward as we look back. We need to make discursive place for our histories, especially our experiences of resistance in the face of violence, so that we will have a next generation of queers onto whom to pass these histories

Using Warner’s definition of queer in conjunction with Duggan’s term “homonormativity” allows a way of looking at those who fall under the LGBT banner but who have not found themselves “at odds with straight culture” or had to survive “the penalties of dissent”, those gays and lesbians who may in fact benefit from heteronormativity. Lisa Duggan identifies this normalizing shift as integral to the politics of neoliberalism calling it “The New Homonormativity”:

“This new homonormativity comes equipped with a rhetorical recoding of key terms in the history of gay politics: “equality” becomes narrow, formal access to a few conservatizing institutions, “freedom” becomes impunity for bigotry and vast inequalities in commercial life and civil society, the “right to privacy” becomes domestic confinement, and democratic politics itself becomes something to be escaped.”(Duggan 2003, 65)

This also impacts on heterosexuality, and representations of queers and violence against them as historical can be viewed as part of negotiating a shifting heterosexual subject and identity. In Gay TV and Straight America, Ron Becker analyses the emergence of gay and lesbian representation and notes how in the 1980s and 90s the appearance of gays and lesbians on our televisions was part of negotiating a shifting border between heterosexuality and homosexuality. With an increasingly socially acceptable queerness, heterosexuality must reconfigure itself and this can be seen through what Becker calls “straight panic” (Becker 2006, 15), or through a kind of pleasurable consumption of GLBT content or confirmation of socially progressive values. Networks in the 1990s also used gay characters to target what Becker calls “Slumpy” viewers—Socially Liberal, Urban-Minded Professionals and notes that “gay rights debates also gave homo-sexuality a cutting-edge allure dulled just enough by their assimilationist goals to appeal to a relatively broad base.” (Becker 2006, 81)

Becker defines his concept of “straight panic” as “what happens when heterosexual men and women, insecure about the boundary between gay and straight, confront an increasingly accepted homosexuality” (Becker 2006, 15). The impact of civil rights movements and the emergence of multiculturalism as a discourse that not only acknowledged difference but “celebrated” it, as well as homosexuality’s newfound visibility on television, caused the previously ‘unmarked’ identity of heterosexuality (among others) to become not only visible, but to have its presumptive authority questioned. Becker extends his concept of “straight panic” to:

“also identify a broader social anxiety experienced by a once naïve mainstream confronting the politics of social identity and difference. Increasingly, Straight America(ns) faced a world where being gay wasn’t so bad, where being straight wasn’t so effortless, and where social identities in general and sexual identities in particular were increasingly relevant even as the line between them became ever more indeterminate” (Becker 2006, 23)

This renegotiation of heterosexual identity through representation fits with the narrative of gay hate crimes and violence at the same period. Straight people could no longer avoid thinking about gay people, and the assertion of social difference combined with the demand for social equality was (and remains) difficult to reconcile. A way of doing this is to distance straight identity from homophobia by historicising it. The emergence of a historicising narrative around violence in the 2000s can be seen as part of a continuing negotiation and redefinition of straight identity.

In 2006 I was queer officer for the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU), which is a role that requires running collectives and organising events as well as providing some pastoral care and liaising with University services. I was asked by a campus Jewish group to take part in a Holocaust memorial service, to light a candle for the “queers, gypsies (sic) and others” that had died. Attending the service, I was struck by a kind of disconnect that I felt in relation to those I was symbolically recognising. Who were these queers that I was mourning for, whose shortened lives stood apart from mine in time and space, but to whom I was linked on the basis of potential persecution? The room was filled with those who could trace their lineages, had faces and names and stories of near escape or tragic separation. Had I been born in a different time or place I could have suffered the same fate, yet it didn’t feel like these were my tears to cry.

In Ties That Bind Sarah Schulman notes that:

“most social movements have been constructed by people who were related: civil rights and labour movements involve multi-generations of rebellion by the same families. Even feminism has tried to be a movement of mothers and daughters. But the gay and lesbian movement, like the disability movement, is made up of people who stand apart from the fate of their family members, and whose most intense oppression experiences may be at the hands of those same relatives” (Shulman 2009, 38)

The heteronormativity (and often homophobia) of families of origin has consequences for our ability to form connections both with our families of origin and with other queers. We are queered into an orphan-like subject hood, looking for our forbearers, clutching clues and scraps of paper or trawling the internet for someone like us, for our family, our history, ourselves. In After Homosexual, Daniel Marshall remembers “the familiar solo queer sleuthing work I performed as a boy, ignorant of the gay liberation struggle of the 1970s and its efforts to reimagine life and learning. Here and there my childhood curiosity would dart, piecing together assemblages, collages, of meaning and interest” (Marshall 2013, 250). As a result, mainstream and heteronormative representation can take on an important role for those who don’t know how to, or can’t, find queer community. These representations continue to be important to those of us who are lucky to have constructed queer families of choice, as we negotiate how to support and love each other outside the social scaffolding of heteronormative models of relation.

There is a gap in the transfer of knowledge and history around violence, state repression and activist responses to younger queers. We have also lost a generation to AIDS, and—as attacks on Safe Schools show—older queers engaging with other (straight) people’s children may be met with paranoid accusations of paedophilia and/or recruitment ( Safe Schools, Sniping and Senators 2016). Often in mainstream narratives of queerness the intergenerationality is left out also—when young trans people are talked about there are no trans adults, only straight parents and teachers expressing how hard it is and how wonderful they are trying to be (Four Corners 2014). As a result, straight voices tell and define this history, and institutions such as the police and the government cannot narrate this history of violence they are a part of in a neutral way. There is a legitimised state discourse that presents a narrative of progress, positioning violence—including that at the hands of police—as in the past and incompatible with current practices and culture. This is more audible than the lived experiences of queers.

The reopening of unsolved murder cases, including Operation Taradale in 2000, position “one good cop” as redeeming the institution and as an indicator of progress. This is also shown in fictional and documentary representations such as Deep Water. Since 2013 and the international attention directed at the Scott Johnson case (Kontominas 2017) there has been an increasingly audible and legitimised narrative of police incompetence, complicity and involvement with homophobic violence in the late 80s and early 90s. The shift to the rhetoric over “the bad old days” aligns with the shift to assimilationist goals such as marriage (revived by John Howard’s Marriage Amendment Act 2004 (Cwlth)), which not only fail to challenge heteronormativity but actually reinforce it (and reinvigorate it—arguably marriage had become quite unfashionable before gays and lesbians made it cool again.) This coincides with the increasing involvement of police with gay and lesbian liaison officers (GLLOs) from the 1990s—an investment from the state in being perceived as “dealing with” homophobia (symbolically if not in practice).

The representations of the Bondi Beat murders, such as Deep Water, tell the story of gay “hate crime” positioning the telling usually through the eyes of police, and through the popular and palatable framework of crime show narrative. There is a lack of remembrance of gay community responses or connections such as the use of “vigilante” tactics of recording numberplates, and patrols by Dykes on Bikes (Whittaker 2016). Instead the focus is on the brutality of crimes, the danger of beats, loss to biological family, and a society from “a different era” that created the conditions both for gay men taking risks and young men bashing gays as part of a formative masculinity. This age group (men aged 18-24) is noted in particular in most narratives, as being a stage in which most perpetrators, (except the psychopathic scapegoat as depicted in the fictional Deep Water), have moved through and past and now see the error of their ways. In a 2005 study by Flood and Hamilton, the age group of boys 14-17 was identified as showing “relatively high levels of homophobia” (Flood and Hamilton 2008, 35) in comparison to the general trend of homophobic attitudes being “most common amongst the oldest age groups, less common among younger adults, and least common among the youngest adults” (2008, 35). Flood and Hamilton state that this “declines by the time they reach early adulthood” (2008, 35) and conclude that “this suggests that a belief in the immorality of homosexuality will lessen over time as these cohorts age” (2008, 35). The closing scene and monologue of Deep Water: The True Story blames society and masculinity, and by stating that he now has friendships with gays and is unrecognisable from his younger previous self he replicates this progression. The apology acts (as is arguably its intention) to sever, to demarcate, and in doing so to imply an ever upward progression towards tolerance and acceptance, even if it takes time. This allows individuals to adopt the same narrative in terms of their own heterosexual identity, one that can go from “I used to be homophobic” to “now I’m not” with only the passage of time as any measure of change. Changes in police attitudes are likened to the changes in DNA technology. The depiction of the 1980s “Grim Reaper” ad in both the fictional and documentary versions of Deep Water acts also to place direct state-based homophobia as in the past, as it is used to demonstrate with some disbelief the values of a different era.

It is also significant that although State-based apologies (and representations of violence more broadly) are directed at the LGBT community, they are primarily apologies to gay men, with some limited reference to lesbians. Arguably gay men have been the most visibly or “officially” targeted by state repression, however this historical narrative also requires analysis as to its cultural construction, and we shouldn’t assume that because someone’s oppression is not visible or audible to us, or to straight society, it is not there. Apologies set the scene for which lives are worth memorialising, which deaths are worth apologising for, and whose repression is no longer seen as acceptable. In the context of these events being unfamiliar to young or disconnected queers, the impact of these histories being told by the authorities who perpetrated them is significant. This potentially creates a distance between those whom the state legitimises as victims or survivors and those it does not. This could cause a split, gap or schism between queers who continue to experience oppression and violence and those to whom the state (government and police) are apologising. This may end up being along generational lines, as young queers continue to be overrepresented in terms of homelessness (Lewis 2016), violence, and suicide (Beyond Blue 2018), while the most audible gay and lesbian voices in mainstream discourse advocate for marriage.

Within a police force that still continues to be violent against minorities including queers, the few “bad eggs” from the past are given the majority of blame. Violence and police corruption are situated in the past, producing a present which allows straight people to feel relieved of an oppression they don’t believe themselves to be a part of. The state takes responsibility away from individuals and individuals put their responsibility on the state—as shown in the apology at the end of Deep Water: The Real Story.

This paper was given prior to the announcement of the same-sex marriage postal survey. It seems impossible to speak of anti queer violence, the schisms within GLBTIQA “communities” and the entitlement of straight people to weigh in on queer politics and history without addressing the 2017 same-sex marriage postal survey. The range of attacks on queer bodies and politics has come into conflict with the single issue and homonormative goal of same sex marriage. Attacks from the “no” side and the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) on gender non-conforming children, the Safe Schools program and inclusive sex education, have been met largely with a distancing by the “yes” campaign and Australian Marriage Equality from these issues, and a focus on the technicalities of marriage rights versus de-facto rights and the rhetoric of “love is love”. While trans people have been used by the “No” side to evoke fear of queers, the “Yes” side has “largely ignored gender nonconforming bodies altogether in its fight” (Gallagher 2017) and trans people have been “excluded by the respectability politics of the mainstream same-sex marriage campaign” (Gallagher 2017). The singular focus of same-sex marriage as good, or important, for the LGBTIQ community as a whole ignores the far more pressing trans issues of access to health care and changes to identity documents as well as high rates of suicide, violence and homelessness. Claims that these issues can be addressed after same-sex marriage is won, or that they are separate concerns, ignores the fact that the issues are not separate in the eyes of the “no” campaign and trans people are being targeted by opponents of same-sex marriage now.

Anecdotally rates of violence have increased as a result of the 2017 postal survey, circulating throughout queer networks and social media. As is the case generally with anti-queer violence, most is not reported to police (Leonard et al. 2008, 37). As a result, the ability to collect statistics in relation to violence from a diverse and somewhat unidentifiable group is difficult. Arguably, there is no data that will be deemed to “prove” homophobia because of the strength of the discursive hegemony of heteronormativity, however even 2016 attempts by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to collect data on sexuality and gender diversity was flawed. If a person wanted to identify as neither male nor female, or transgender on the 2016 census, they were required to call the ABS and request a special log in or paper form (Karp 2016). This meant an “opt in” rather than extending the opportunity to everyone, and also raised some security concerns in regards to the name retention of the 2016 survey when matched with gender identity (Goldner 2016).

In their 2016 analysis of the cost to the Australian nation of the then proposed plebiscite Price Waterhouse Cooper used the statistic of 2% to represent the rate of GLBTIQ people in the community (PwC 2016, p 6)—an incredibly low estimate which they themselves acknowledge, noting that “other evidence suggests this could be anywhere between 2.3-10%” (PwC 2006, 5). This 2% is based on “a conservative estimate consistent with Psychologists for Marriage Equality”; the estimate only addresses the experiences of LGB people “as there was generally less information available for transgender and intersex Australians in this part of the analysis” while acknowledging that “the impacts are higher for transgender and intersex Australians” (PwC 2016, 5). Most statistics on the existence of LGBT Australians use a 10% estimate, with some slightly higher at 11% (Australian Human Rights Commission 2017). Nevertheless, even with PwC using such low stats their 2016 estimate of the financial cost of LGBTI Australians loss of productivity at work, sick days due to affected mental health and accessing mental health services as the result of a plebiscite was $20 Million (PwC 2016, 7).

These numbers do not reflect (or allow space for the truth and extent of) anecdotal and community knowledge. The Bondi Beat murders are a case in point—the extent of men being assaulted and killed was well known to gay men and other queers in the community but treated by police as unrelated cases of robbery, suicide or misadventure. It wasn’t until police made the connection between the murders post-2000 that they were officially recognised as related, and only in retrospect are these murders referred to as “hate crimes” or a “blood sport”. Similarly, during the postal survey there have been incidents of violence such as the burning of rainbow flags, rocks thrown through windows displaying “yes” posters, homophobic graffiti, and even a dog wearing a “yes” bandana being kicked (Wade 2017). However this is often positioned as an acceptable part of the debate or as “coming from both sides”; there is no recognition of structural homophobia or that this is part of ongoing violence against queers. Even as we are seeing this “shocking increase in harassment and assaults” (Hirst 2017), we are being told by politicians that there is no homophobia in Australia and we are having a “respectful debate”. This is a demonstration of why, in these times, how public discourses of homophobia are told is vitally important as the knowledge of those of us who experience violence is not legitimated or audible, often even by those within the GLBTIQA+ community. When it comes to learning and understanding the history of violence against queers in Australia it matters who is telling this history and how. With a lack of familial intergenerationality, mainstream representations take on a greater significance in the context of queer identity and organising. Those implicated in this history of violence, such as police and the state, cannot present this history neutrally. Through an analysis of media representations and state-based apologies, this paper has argued that the historicising of anti-queer violence found in these discourses has implications in terms of the absolving of individuals of blame and a shifting straight identity that can obscure the violence, and homophobic oppression more broadly, that continues today.


Australian Human Rights Commission. (2017). Face the facts: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People. Viewed 29 September.

Andrews, D. (2016). State Apology to Those Convicted Under Unjust Laws Against Homosexual Acts — Premier’s Speech. Premier of Victoria. viewed 29 September 2017

Baird, B. (1997). The Role of the State in the Regulation of Sexuality: The Police and Violence against Lesbians and Gay Men. Flinders Journal of Law Reform, 2(1): 75-86.

Becker, R. (2006). Gay TV and Straight America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Beyond Blue. (2018). Statistics and References—LGBTI. Beyond Blue Ltd. Viewed 4 March 2018.

Deep Water: The Real Story. (2016). Online Video. Blackfella Films Pty Ltd. NSW Australia. Written by Hickey, J. and Blue, A. Directed by Amanda Blue.

Duggan, L. (2003). The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy . Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Feneley, R. and Abboud, P. (2016). Police admit blunders in gay-hate murder hunt. SBS, 26 September. Viewed 29 September 2017.

Flood, M. and Hamilton, C. (2008). Mapping Homophobia in Australia. In An Australian History (ed S. Robinson). Sydney, NSW: The Federation Press.

Four Corners . (2014). Being Me. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Viewed 29th September 2017.

Gallagher, A. (2017). Is it really a win for queer rights if we exclude our most vulnerable to achieve it?. Guardian, 6th September. Viewed 4th March 2018.

Goldner, S. (2016). Comment: Making Census of gender identity. SBS , 1st August. Viewed 28th September.

Hirst, J. (2017). Shocking Increase In Harassment And Assaults During Postal Survey: Study. QNews, December. Viewed 5 March 2018.

Karp, P. (2016). Census will allow Australians to identify as ‘other’ for both sex and gender. Guardian, 4 February 2016. Viewed 28 September 2017.

Kontominas, B. (2017). Scott Johnson: Inside one brother’s 30-year fight to find the truth. ABC, 30 November. Viewed 4 March 2018.

Leonard, W., Mitchell, A., Patel, S., and Fox, C. (2008). Coming forward: The underreporting of heterosexist violence and same sex partner abuse in Victoria. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Monograph Series no. 69 . Melbourne, VIC: La Trobe University.

Lewis, D. (2016). Push to support homeless LGBTI youth after influx at crisis accommodation centres. ABC, 31stMarch. Viewed 4 th March 2018.

NSW Police Public Site. (2016). LGBTI—. State of New South Wales (NSW Police Force). Viewed 29th September 2017.

Marshall, D. (2013). On queer unlearning (eds). In After Homosexual: the legacies of gay liberation (eds C. D’Cruz and M. Pendleton). Crawley, WA: UWA Publishing.

Price Waterhouse Coopers. (2016). Marriage Equality in Australia: The Cost of Holding a Plebiscite. Report. Viewed 29 September 2017.

Safe Schools, Sniping and Senators . (2016). Q+A. Television Program. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Monday 29th February, 2016. Viewed 20th June 2018.

SBS. (2016). NSW Police respond to history of Sydney’s gay-­hate murders and assaults. Online Video. 19thOctober 2016. SBS. Viewed 29 th September 2017.

Shulman, S. (2009). Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and its Consequences. New York, NY: New Press.

Wade, M. (2017). Dog wearing equality bandana allegedly kicked at by ‘no’ voter. Star Observer, September 27th, Viewed 4 th March 2018.

Warner, M. (1999). The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life . New York, NY: The Free Press.

Whittaker, M. (2016). Out of Sight: The Untold Story of Adelaide’s Gay-Hate Murders. SBS. Viewed 29 September 2017.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

Symbolic acts and reactions to violence in the name of patriotism

Section 1

Symbolic acts and reactions to violence in the name of patriotism

Alex Dunkin

Cannibale is an Italian literary genre that provides new methods of social commentary and critique of established norms through depicting violent and extreme implications of these norms. The genre and its unique grotesque satirical qualities have primarily been restricted to the Italian literary and cultural spaces due to the general ineffectiveness of translation in this case. The hindrance occurs due to the high level of inclusion of specifically Italian dialects, tropes, products, profanities, concepts of the ‘other’, and many localised social attitudes that feature in cannibaletexts. To overcome these difficulties, the creative artefact entitled Fair Daywas produced to match the cannibale genre’s requirements but to replace the Italian attributes with Australian ones. It is within this artefact where, among other social and cultural norms, critique of patriotism and “white pride” is presented.

The sample text selected from Fair Day demonstrates the cannibale commentary confronting such issues while maintaining the essentials of the genre, including the constraint of sourcing the opening creative content from the author’s individual background and lived experiences. The initial representations shown follow canniable trends by developing from casual, unchallenged behaviours and gradually escalating in a manner that appears as the characters’ next natural step toward an extreme and brutal outcome.


Grotesque Satire; Patriotism; White Violence; Nationalism; Accepted Social Attitudes


Cannibale is an Italian literary genre that provides a method of social commentary and a critique of contemporary norms identified by the author, through depicting violent and extreme implications extrapolated from these norms. Cannibale authors have used this approach to critique widely-accepted aspects of Italian culture, such as class and gender structures and social obedience (Lucamante 2001, 98-107; Jansen & Lanslot 2007). This genre, unique to Italian literature, is intentionally restricted by the author’s own perspective, incorporating the specific background, time of writing and local colloquialisms along with the broader social context. This restriction renders the task of direct translation, while maintaining the original intent and impact, difficult to impossible (Maher 2012, 367-384). Some superficial analyses introduce “overstated” connections between cannibale and pulp in film. However, nuanced examination demonstrates separate evolutionary paths (La Porta 2001, 57-75).

Research conducted in order to produce an Australian cannibale artefact implemented linguistic analysis to produce a creative text that assessed how cannibale may be applied to the Australian context, in this case critiquing norms around journalistic approaches to race representations and acceptable levels of violence in public protests and demonstrations. The creative artefact presents a new representation of Australian cultural norms utilising the distinctive style of cannibale, a successful genre and satirical approach that currently exists in only one country. Such work provides a fresh understanding of everyday Australian experiences, particularly of divisive tropes such as “white pride”, in order to undermine representations and biases that might otherwise pass unnoticed. It is also the first creative artefact to demonstrate that the cannibale genre can be transposed to new cultural spaces without relying on direct translation.

The research demonstrates the suitability of the cannibale genre to circumvent the limitations of translation by creating new narratives that specifically mirror experiences of the target culture, in this case Australia. Utilising the structure and style of cannibale is important as it engages the reader via the inclusion of popular writing styles, recognisable brands, colloquial language and relatable characters. In doing so, it allows commentary on cultural mores and social attitudes to be disseminated to a wider audience, and therefore invites critical self-reflection on how blind adherence to socially condoned behaviour may lead to devastating outcomes.

The creative artefact was published in November 2017 through Buon-Cattivi Press.


Context statement: The selected scenes depict some of the final moments from Fair Day. The escalation to violence occurs following a drug-fuelled sexual interaction between two male characters who celebrate Australia Day at an exclusive beach house.


“Good evening, I’m Cassandra Cummings with your 5CCB news update.

“Founders Bay residents are being instructed to initiate their wildfire survival plan as a sudden change in gusty winds is blowing an out of control fire directly toward the town. Emergency services say the sudden change has created a larger uncontrollable front and warn everyone not to drive into smoke even if you think you know the roads. If it’s too late for you to leave, police recommend you shelter yourself indoors or make your way to the school hall where an evacuation centre is being set up.

“In more local news, a race riot has taken over the town square in Founders Bay. Early reports say that members of a non-local white pride movement have attacked a local Indigenous event chanting anti-immigration epithets. Police are making their way to the scene.

“In other news, the local hospital is reporting a record number of people presenting with burns to their feet. A local hospital nurse told 5CCB the majority of people on the beach wear thongs or create their own temporary shade but some have spent prolonged periods standing barefoot on sand at temperatures up to forty-eight degrees Celsius, causing severe burns. Alcohol consumption is believed to also be a factor.

“Rolling blackouts have been reported in the Coonawarren district with many local businesses and homes affected. People are asked to check in on any elderly or vulnerable people who might be unable to escape the heat.

“In sport, the cricket will still go ahead on schedule despite forecasts showing the current heatwave extending for an extra few days. Cricket Australia assures 5CCB that extra water, shade and ice vests will be available for all players and spectators.

“To weather and it’s not cooling down just yet with the temperature currently sitting on forty-two degrees. Hotter temperatures are expected for tomorrow.

“I’m Cassandra Cummings. Stay tuned to 5CCB for all breaking news on the wildfire emergency.”


“Good evening. This is Ronald Ray for Today’s Affairs. We interrupt Jamie and Marge’s Cooking Juices to take you live to the scene of a race riot in the tourist town of Founders Bay. Local reporter Rachel Kind is on the scene. Rachel?”

“Watch it f****r. Thanks Ronald. This is Rachel Kind. I’m here at Founders Bay where a peaceful Australia Day celebration has turned into a race riot. Sirens are ringing out behind me. Smoke is rising all around the town square.

“The riot began when racial slurs were exchanged between Muslim immigrants to the town and the local Indigenous community. The verbal insults quickly escalated to violence that has so far left five white Australians who were caught in the crossfire dead from apparent knife wounds.

“Nowhere is safe in this town at the moment. This riot is the most violent event this town has seen in its history. It is unlikely that anyone will be safe from the impact of today’s ev—”

“Rachel? Rachel? Can you hear me? We appear to be having some technical difficulty. We will have coverage back up and running as soon as possible so that we can return to the brave reporting of Rachel live at the coastal town of Founders Bay. In the meantime, we leave you to return to Jamie and Marge’s Cooking Juices. We’ll be back breaking the news for you. Until seven-thirty or when the real news breaks, I’m Ronald Ray. Good evening.”


“Fuck them. Those brown bastards up the road,” anger sparks in Jonno’s eyes. “It’s their fault I was almost no longer a man. We gotta get ’em.”

“It’s all their fault,” Jacko shouts. “I can’t believe this. We need to make sure it never happens again. This is our country. Fuck their queer shit.”

Jonno stands still and nods viciously. His head nods enthusiastically with each word from his mate. Their eyes meet each other’s in a wild stare; they are together in this moment.

“They think they can just come over here and mess with our way of life. We need to get out there and make things change in this town,” Jacko continues. “Those immigrants are to blame for everything being fucked.”

“Fuckin’ oath! Let’s go show them whose country this really is. I’m getting my flag.”

Jacko marches off with Jonno in tow, fired up as they charge out to their car and rip open the door. The sizzling of hot metal on their fingers fuels their rage. Red pulses under their skin and through the purple burns across their flesh. They snatch the flags out from under the car seats. A few empties clink as they fall off the flags and onto the torn car carpet.

The flag corners knot around their necks with ease. The red, white and blue, and the green and gold flap proudly out from their necks. Jonno and Jacko stand with fists on their hips once their costumes are complete.

They march on, down to the beach where their fellow diggers await.

“My fellow Australians!” Jacko shouts from the top of the dune. A few heads twist around from under their shade next to where the cricket wickets fell and now rest. “My fellow Australians. We are in grave danger!” More heads from their Australia Day party turn around and start sitting up. “We face a very serious threat here today. There is a cult that threatens to harm us. It promotes only death and destruction and faggots. It almost overwhelmed us today but we have seen the light,” he slaps Jonno on the back. More of their entourage turn, a few begin to stand. A drunken fire kindles in some of them. Their purple, inked skin flushes with blood, ready to fight for their nation at the drop of a hat. “These unStrayan traitors to our nation have invaded our lands. They steal our jobs. They spit on our traditions and pervert our very way of life. Those muzzos come here and try to make this land their new muzzo territory.”

“Yeah,” a couple of blokes grunt from the beach. They stumble as they step closer to Jacko and Jonno. More of their mates turn and stand to hear what Jacko has to say. Jacko’s eyes twitch fanatically at the swelling pack of deadset fair dinkum ridgy-didge true blue dinky-di Aussies. “Fuckin’ muzzos!” a few of the pack add to the chorus.

“Those fuckers can’t take our land from us. They don’t belong here. We do. This is our land!” Jacko yells over the gusts of wind. The bright red flush of his mounting rage looks like war paint. “Let’s show those fuckin’ muzzos that this is good Australian land they’ve invaded. We’ll make them too scared to bring their filthy ways here again. Who’s with me?!”

“Fuck yeah!” the building crowd shouts.

“This is our land. We need to take it back! It’s ours! Let’s go get ’em. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!”

“Oi! Oi! Oi!” the mob shouts back.

“Fuckin’ oath, let’s get ’em,” Jonno shouts, his chest filling with pride.

Jonno and Jacko take the lead. They kick through the sand heading in the direction of the town square. A mob of thirty patriots follow their lead. Australian flags worn as capes flutter behind them, chasing them into their just cause.

Timmo looks up from where he’s bobbing in the shallows of the sea. His arse bounces roughly on the sand as each wave draws back out to sea. Tamie lies back next to him, her body moving serenely in time with the water. Behind them on a beach a crowd gathers in front of the toilet block. The people chant and punch their fists into the air.

Timmo looks amongst the crowd and spots Jonno and Jacko at the helm. They shout into the crowd, their faces wild for war. A glimmer of concern emerges in Timmo’s eyes. Tamie glances up at Timmo, blissfully ignorant of the commotion beyond the lapping waves.

“What are you thinking about?” Tamie flirts.

Timmo nods towards the beach. Tamie pulls herself up, her bikini dragging across the wet sand. She jerks around and plants herself cross-legged facing the seething throng.

“I see Jacko and Jonno finally got their clothes back on,” Tamie laughs. “I didn’t realise fucking would be such a big high five moment for them.”

“I don’t think it’s funny,” Timmo stands up. Water drains noisily from his boardies. “It looks like a lynch mob. All they’re missing is pitchforks.”

“What? Why the hell would you say that?”

‘Because they’re cranked up. I’ve seen Jacko and Jonno get into all kinds of shit when they’re like this. And now they’ve got a crowd cheering them on.’

Timmo kicks through the water—and the sand and the flies—as he makes his way up to the group. Movement ripples out from the crowd as it parts like a bogan red sea to allow their two leaders to head the march along the beach. Timmo sprints across the hard, wet sand. His chest heaves in his rush to get in front of the crowd, gritting his teeth through the pain of exertion. The sand flicks about wildly as he runs directly for his two friends.

“Jacko, Jonno, hold up,” he says out of breath. He holds his arms out to stop the leaders’ march.

“What is it?” Jacko barks. “We’ve got some illegals to bash.”

“Wait, what? Why?” Timmo puffs back.

“They’re over here taking all our jobs. They’re ruining our culture, they’re ruining our country.”

“Yeah fuckin’ muzzos!” the crowd shouts back.

“Come off it, man. You’ve never applied for a job in your life,” Timmo replies.

“Yeah, well why the fuck should I?!”

“Are you seriously going to do this? Do you really think this is a good idea?” Timmo asks, straightening up.

“Absolutely!” Jonno retorts, his eyes wide with mania. “We need to protect what’s ours. We created this country from nothing and we made this country awesome! We need to fight to keep it that way. Come on guys. Let’s get ’em!”

“Wait, stop! That wasn’t even a Muslim celebration we went past before,” Timmo pleads futilely. “You’re heading for an Aboriginal event!”

“Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” the crowd chants. “Oi! Oi! Oi!”

Jacko and Jonno are gone, the chanting of the crowd drowning out Timmo’s cries as it flows forward like a river around a boulder. No one touches Timmo as they trek by.

“What’s all that about?” Tamie asks once she catches up to Timmo.

“They’re starting a riot. They’re totally wasted, they have no idea what’s going on, and they don’t know who they’re about to beat into.”

“Shit. What can we do?”

“We can’t stop this from happening.” Timmo says. “All we can do is call the police. I’m dead if they find out, but we can’t do nothing. Come on, let’s get to our phones and warn them a fight is about to break out.”

“Go back to where you came from!” Jacko chants into the incited mob.

Jeers shout back at Jacko over the scuffles in the town square. Jonno bounces nearby, each drop-kick he unleashes smashes into the brown bastard that lies unmoving on the ground.

Jacko shivers with the tight little thrill of destruction. The urge to hurt them more dances in the forefront of his mind. His eyes dart around in search of a target. He spots groups of patriots punching into a muzzo they’ve singled out. But that’s no good to him—that situation is already sorted and there’s nothing more for him to contribute. His mind races with the possibilities of how he can further their cause.

Then, before him, he sees three flagpoles rise like monumental pillars against the dark sky. In the centre stands a symbol he recognises. The Australian flag flickers like a beacon, but is under siege by two other flags, a green and blue eyesore grasps at the edge of the Southern Cross while some red, black and yellow abomination obscures the Union Jack.

Jacko marches towards the flag poles with an insatiable feeling of strength. A flying brick that slams into the side of his leg doesn’t penetrate the patriotic determination controlling his thoughts. He lines up the nearest pole, grabs onto the rope and untangles the knot that fastens the flag in place. The flag steadily descends as Jacko tugs the rope, and as soon as the blue and green flag hits the ground Jacko unclips it. Jacko repeats this feat on the opposite side and pulls the flag to the ground with little difficulty.

With two flags clumped under his arm Jacko strides out into an open patch within the town square, empty except for a limp bouncy castle and a pine tree. He dumps the fabric onto the ground in an awkward clash of colours and spits on them in contempt. He rips on the velcro in his pants and pulls out his cock to complete the insult to these migrant invaders. He pisses on the flags, the colours darkening with the yellow stream of liquid.

“What the hell are you doing man?” Jezza asks from behind Jacko. Jacko snaps his head around. Derek stands next to him rubbing a fresh bruise on his face. Jonno spots the fresh cuts on Jezza’s face too and bounds over to inspect the war wounds.

“I’m fighting against the migrants’ fuckin’ attempt to invade our country with their halal and bullshit religions. Women should wear as little as they want!” Jacko says.

“And how is pissing on the Aboriginal flag helping you to do that?” Jezza wonders aloud.

“Nah mate,” Jacko insists. “They’re muzzo flags.”

“Nope. You fucking idiot.”

“Yeah, well they’re still not Australian flags, are they?” Derek points out. “Let’s burn the bastards anyway.”

Jacko’s eyes light up with an intense joy.

“You got a fuckin’ lighter?” he asks. His eyes bulge with mania.

“Nope,” Derek answers. “Hold on.” Derek turns to the pursuing mob of proud Australians. “Oi! We need a lighter!” he shouts.

Three small coloured tubes are hurled at them on command. Derek picks one up and sparks a flame.

“I have one now. You got any petrol?”

“Shit,” Jacko says. “Who the freakin’ hell has petrol round here.”

The wind howls over their yells. The smoke embellishes the sky with another smother of grey soot. Gusts drive through the town square in a fury of heat and despair. A hollow crack startles the trio.

“What the fuck was that?” Jacko asks.

The aged pine tree fails under the constant beating of the hot wind. The branches cast a dull shadow across the square on its descent toward the sea. Jezza looks up and points uselessly at the tree. The weight of the trunk crashes down on the group holding the piss-stained flags. The smaller branches snap under the force of the fall; the thicker branches hold their own, skewering their soft flesh in multiple places.

Jonno looks up at the pandemonium of the fallen tree. Somewhere in all of that he thought he heard his name. He picks his way through the smoke across the town square. He can’t make out much among the tangle, until some movement catches his eye. Among the branches, suspended like bloody puppets, hang Jacko, Jezza and Derek.

“Holy fuck.”


Jansen, M. and Lanslot, I. (2007). Ten years of Gioventú Cannibale: Reflections on the anthology as a vehicle for literary change. In Trends in Contemporary Italian Narrative 1980-2007. United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

La Porta, F. (2001). The Horror Picture Show and the very real horrors: About the Italian Pulp. In Italian Pulp Fiction: the new narratives of Gioventú Cannibali. London: Associate University Press.

Lucamante, S. (2001). Everyday consumerism and pornography “above the pulp line”. In Italian Pulp Fiction: the new narratives of Gioventú Cannibali. London: Associate University Press.

Maher, B. (2012). Taboo or not taboo: swearing, satire, irony, and the grotesque in the English translation of Niccolò Ammaniti’s Ti Prendo e Ti Porto ViaThe Italianist 32 (3): 367-384.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

With no cock

Section 1

With no cock

Sarah Pearce

This performance poem is an embodied response to a lover who enacted an insidious kind of interpersonal and anti-queer violence against my self. I use physical memory as a starting point to address issues of trauma and to unpack the violent clashing of normative and queer expressions of self. This piece speaks to a personal experience of being silenced, in addition to a far broader issue of female bisexual marginalisation in heteronormative society. Through dialectic opposition, and the consequent undermining of past events, I seek to erode the marginalisation and silencing of bisexual female experience, and provide an alternative narrative regarding female-female sexual experience. Through iteration and the painful excavation of memory, the poem seeks to redress trauma and thus redress some of the oppression faced by bisexual women.


Sexuality; Violence; Trauma; Biphobia; Memory


With No Cock


We don’t talk anymore

You and I


But I remember

the way we danced

in that club

you licked salt from my neck

sucked lemon from my fingers

and every line of your body

swayed and demanded

that I not look away


I remember closing the door and turning to you

—after almost four years,

it was time



You said

with no cock

it’s just foreplay


But honey

I remember—

you led me

every step of the way

you pushed me down

you pulled my clothes up

I remember

the way the ink curled round your ribs

and your lips circled my tit—

You couldn’t believe

how soft

I was


You said

with no cock

it’s just foreplay


But honey

I remember

the way you melted in my mouth

and almost fell

as I knelt

between your legs


I remember

your hand in my hair

and the way you came

on my tongue

again, and again


I remember

cherishing every curve of your body

and the look in your eyes

as you rode me


I had never seen anything so beautiful

You said

with no cock

it’s just foreplay


But honey

I remember

waking in the morning and

turning to you

because we hadn’t had enough

couldn’t have enough

of flesh and lips

and gasping wet


They had to air that room out

because it was full of cunt

and joy and sweat


A few months ago

you posted some meme about


and how hard it is to get people

to take your sexuality seriously

and my heart


for the hundredth time


You said

with no cock

it’s just foreplay


I say—

Honey, it’s a shame

but I will always

know the difference

between foreplay

and fucking

And you?

You didn’t need a cock

to fuck me




This performance poem is an embodied response to a lover who enacted an insidious kind of interpersonal and anti-queer violence against my self and the consequences of which are felt in my body to this day. First drafted in the workshop “Life Writing/writing the body” (Eades 2016), the poem uses physical memory as a starting point to address issues of trauma and the consequences of violence: the body, after all, “iterates, reiterates, archives, and (echoing), is heard” (Eades 2015, 11).

This poem confronts the lingering spectre of heteronormativity, or heterosexual ideology, which “bears down in the heaviest and often deadliest way on those with the least resources to combat it” (Warner 1991, 9). The exclusion of bisexual women, and their repeated marginalisation in queer communities, denies them resources such as community peer support and identification, rendering them less resilient and more susceptible to trauma and violence. The poem therefore seeks to demonstrate “the devastating and often unconscious influence culture can have on our sexualities and sexual orientations” (Obradors-Campos 2011, 224). Fundamentally, the poem communicates the dual experiences of confusion and hurt, as the consequence of denial and rejection. The outward expression of biphobia is revealed as an act with deep internal significance.


Performance poetry is a way of conveying and documenting history orally, particularly experience which has historically been silenced, such as bisexual experience in both heterosexual and queer societies: “Oral history is more than a research method; it has democratised the study of the past by recording the experience of people who have been hidden from history” (Wong 2007, 30). This piece therefore speaks to a personal experience of being silenced, in addition to a far broader issue of female bisexual marginalisation. In performing this poem, I seek to erode the marginalisation and silencing of bisexual female experience, and provide an alternative narrative regarding female-female sexual experience. This body resists, because it “insists on creative process, on writing its way out of the structures in which it finds itself” (Eades 2015, 15).

The iterative use of the phrase “but honey/I remember” indicates the confusion experienced by myself, the contradiction or dissonance between my own experience, and the words used by my lover—the words that cut deeply. Opposing iterations of this phrase and the title phrase evoke the violent battle, between my lover and me, between normativity and queer expressions of self.


This poem is significant because it seeks to redress some of the oppression and tangible trauma faced by bisexual women. According to recent research, bisexual women are more likely than both lesbian and heterosexual women to suffer from mental health issues and eating disorders (Kerr et al. 2013; Koh and Ross 2006). The poem aims to combat this via drawing attention to the ways in which “people with non-heterosexual sexualities… unconsciously reproduce the heterosexist system through values, ideas and actions toward others and themselves in what is known as internalized heterosexism that may lead to internalised biphobia in the case of bisexuals” (Obradors-Campos 2011, 213; see also 224). The poem foregrounds the trauma experienced by myself, in terms of silencing, erasure, and invalidation of sexual experience and sexuality. It also draws attention to broader issues of biphobia as an act of violence against queer women and, in so doing, gestures obliquely to the internalised biphobia of my lover as an act of violence against the self.


Eades, Q. (2015). all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body. North Melbourne: Tantanoola.

Eades, Q. (2016). Life writing/writing the body: workshop with Dr Quinn Eades. SA Gender and Sexualities Studies Postgraduate Conference 2016: Intersections. 17 September 2017. Worldsend Hotel.

Kerr, D. L., Santurri, L. and Peters, P. (2013). A Comparison of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual College Undergraduate Women on Selected Mental Health Issues. Journal of American College Health, 61(4): 185-194.

Koh, A. S. and Ross, L. K. (2006). Mental Health Issues: A Comparison of Lesbian, Bisexual and Heterosexual Women. Journal of Homosexuality , 51(1): 33-57.

Obradors-Campos, M. (2011). Deconstructing Biphobia. Journal of Bisexuality, 11(2-3): 207-226.

Warner, M. (1991). Introduction: Fear of a Queer Planet. Social Text, 29: 3-17.

Wong, D. (2007). Beyond Identity Politics: The Making of an Oral History of Hong Kong Women Who Love Women. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 10(3-4): 29-48.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115MNSW 02218K

Savants, artistes, citoyens : tous créateurs?

Savants, artistes, citoyens : tous créateurs?

Auteurs : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction d’Olivier Leclerc

Date de parution : Février 2017

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

« Amateurs », « citoyens », « profanes », « non-professionnels », « usagers », « public » ont trouvé leur place dans la création artistique et scientifique.

Difficile à mesurer, cette diversification des pratiques créatives est cependant certaine : des amateurs et des amatrices participent à l’élaboration et à la réalisation de projets artistiques dans le domaine de la danse, du théâtre, de la musique, du cinéma ; des non-spécialistes contribuent à la production de connaissances dans des domaines aussi variés que la botanique, l’entomologie, l’astrophysique, quand ils ne sont pas associés à la conception même de projets de recherche.

Comment comprendre et comment analyser cette diffusion des savoirs et pratiques amateurs ? Sommes-nous aujourd’hui tous créateurs et toutes créatrices ? Des limites insurmontables maintiennent-elles les amateurs à distance des créateurs ?

Les contributions réunies dans ce livre, issues d’un colloque tenu au Château de Goutelas (France) en 2015, proposent des regards disciplinaires variés sur les conditions d’une participation réussie des amateurs à la création et sur les obstacles auxquels cette démarche est confrontée. Des entretiens mettent en discussion des expériences concrètes de participation de citoyens et citoyennes à la création artistique et scientifique.

Illustration de couverture : Vincent Leclerc

  • ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-18-5
  • ISBN du livre imprimé : 978-2-924661-17-8
  • ISBN du PDF : 978-2-924661-21-5

Livre publié avec le concours du Centre culturel Château de Goutelas.

Compte rendu du livre dans la revue Lectures.

Bon de commande pour achat par chèque en Europe

Pour acheter le livre au Canada ou dans le reste du monde, par chèque ou virement, téléchargez le bon de commande.

Pour commander par paypal ou carte de crédit la version imprimée ou ePub, merci d’utiliser le lien « Ajouter au panier » ci-dessous. Des frais de livraison sont automatiquement ajoutés.


Table des matières

Avant-propos Marie-Claude Mioche

Les auteurs et auteures

Introduction Olivier Leclerc

Partie 1. Le temps des amateurs et amatrices

  • La participation des amateurs et des amatrices à la création artistique Michel Miaille
  • Le temps civique de l’amateurat Philippe Dujardin
  • Veduta : la plateforme de l’amateur à la Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Mélanie Fagard
  • Politique et poétique du théâtre amateur Marie-Christine Bordeaux

Partie 2. Donner leur place aux amateurs et amatrices

  • De quelques formes de créativité dans le cinéma amateur  Roger Odin
  • Participation, créativité et création des amateurs et amatrices : les gramophiles des années 1920 et 1930 Sophie Maisonneuve
  • Entre le garage, le public et le marché : valuations de la biologie do-it-yourself  Morgan Meyer et Rebecca Wilbanks
  • Contributions profanes et attribution scientifique David Pontille
  • Le droit de la propriété intellectuelle face à l’amateur Michel Vivant

Partie 3. Les amateurs et amatrices dans la création : pratiques, actions, institutions

  • Les Futurs de l’Écrit à l’Abbaye de Noirlac. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Paul Fournier
  • Le croisement des savoirs et des pratiques. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Claude et Françoise Ferrand
  • Créer une boutique des sciences au Bénin Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Pierre-Chanel Hounwanou et Djossè Roméo Tessy
  • Le dialogue des savoirs comme fondement de la démocratie scientifique. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Florence Piron
  • Les sciences participatives et la collecte de données naturalistes. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Romain Julliard
  • Analyser les ressources du milieu pour une collaboration réellement participative. Quelques exemples autour de l’ornithologie et de l’entomologie Florian Charvolin
  • Les Partenariats institutions-citoyens pour la recherche et l’innovation. Entretien avec Olivier Leclerc Marc Lipinski
  • Associer des amateurs et amatrices à la création? Essai de cartographie. Olivier Leclerc
  • À propos de la maison d’édition















Appel : Contributeurs ou contributrices à Open Street Map recherchés

capture-decran-2016-10-23-a-19-43-58 Vous avez déjà contribué à Open Street Map? Vous êtes une ou une leader d’OSM dans votre pays ou votre ville?

Un groupe de géographes français lance un appel à contribution pour la rédaction collaborative d’une série de portraits permettant de « donner à voir » les profils, pratiques et valeurs d’engagements des membres de la communauté OSM.

Cette série de portraits (10 à 20) constituera un chapitre de l’ouvrage « OpenStreetMap : portrait d’une nouvelle génération de cartographes » par les membres du projet ECCE Carto. Publié (fin 2017 ou début 2018) aux Éditions science et bien commun, cet ouvrage seracapture-decran-2016-10-23-a-19-44-15 diffusé en libre-accès sous licence Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0).

Pour constituer ce groupe de 15 contributeurs ou contributrices, nous invitons les volontaires à nous faire part de leur intérêt pour le projet en nous précisant les informations suivantes :

  • Prénom, Nom
  • Lieu de résidence
  • Pseudonyme(s) dans OSM
  • Année de la 1ère contribution
  • Principaux secteurs cartographiés
  • Principaux objets cartographiés
  • Tout autre commentaire jugé utile.

Merci d’envoyer ces informations avant le 15 décembre 2016 à l’adresse:

Pour plus de précision, lire l’appel complet (version pdf).

Justice cognitive, libre accès et savoirs locaux. Pour une science ouverte juste, au service du développement local durable

epub-justice-cogniitveJustice cognitive, libre accès et savoirs locaux. Pour une science ouverte juste, au service du développement local durable

Auteurs : Collectif d’écriture sous la direction de Florence Piron, Samuel Regulus et Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba

Date de parution : 15 décembre 2016

En cas de problème d’accès, écrire à

Résumé :

Fruit de deux importants colloques tenus à Port-au-Prince (Haïti) en mars 2016 et à Yaoundé (Cameroun) en mai 2016 à l’initiative du projet SOHA, ce livre présente en 37 chapitres écrits par 40 auteurs et auteures de 13 pays un panorama des enjeux actuels de la justice cognitive en Haïti et en Afrique francophone. Comment rendre l’information scientifique et technique mondiale plus accessible dans les pays des Suds, tout en valorisant les savoirs qui y sont créés ou transmis? Quel rôle peut jouer le mouvement du libre accès aux ressources scientifiques dans un contexte où l’accès au web est loin d’être généralisé? Les universités haïtiennes et africaines sont-elles prêtes à prendre le virage de la science ouverte pour plus de justice cognitive entre le Nord et les Suds et pour devenir des outils de développement local durable? Comment développer les capacités et le pouvoir d’agir des chercheurs et chercheuses, étudiants et étudiantes d’Haïti et d’Afrique? Articles, essais, études empiriques, témoignages, traductions : ce livre chatoyant, plurilingue, plurinational, donne la parole à des hommes et des femmes de différents horizons qui souhaitent partager leurs savoirs et leurs idées, au nom de la justice cognitive.

Disponible en html (libre accès), en PDF, en Epub et en livre imprimé. 505 pages.

  • ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-14-7
  • ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-13-0
  • ISBN pour le pdf : 978-2-924661-15-4

Sur le web :

Points de vente :

  • Québec : Librairie du Quartier, 1120 Avenue Cartier, Québec, QC, G1R 2S5 Canada. T 418 990-0330.
  • Québec : Librairie Pantoute, avenue St-Jean
  • Québec : Librairie Zone, Pavillon Pollack/Desjardins, Université Laval

Pour acheter directement ce livre en version imprimée, téléchargez le bon de commande et faites-le parvenir par la poste ou par courriel aux Éditions science et bien commun.

Pour commander le livre par paypal ou carte de crédit, utilisez le bouton ci-dessous. Des frais de livraison sont automatiquement ajoutés. Vous laissez votre adresse et recevrez le livre par la poste en quelques semaines.

Version papier ou ePub et pdf

Table des matières

Introduction : Une autre science est possible Florence Piron, Samuel Regulus et Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba

Résumés multilingues

Partie 1. Justice cognitive

  1. Vers des universités africaines et haïtiennes au service du développement local durable : contribution de la science ouverte juste 
Florence Piron, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, Anderson Pierre, Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba, Judicaël Alladatin, Hamissou Rhissa Achaffert, Assane Fall, Rency Inson Michel, Samir Hachani et Diéyi Diouf
  2. Les injustices cognitives en Afrique subsaharienne : réflexions sur les causes et les moyens de lutte Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
  3. La quête de justice cognitive 
Shiv Visvanathan
  4. Les sciences sociales à l’échelle mondiale. Connecter les pages
 Raewyn Connell

Partie 2. Libre accès aux ressources scientifiques

  1. Du libre accès à la littérature scientifique et de quelques enjeux de la recherche en contexte de développement 
Jean-Claude Guédon
  2. Open Access et valorisation des publications scientifiques : les dé s de l’Afrique francophone Niclaire Prudence Nkolo
  3. La fracture numérique nuit-elle aux possibles effets positifs du libre accès en Afrique? Essai d’analyse et éléments de réponse
 Samir Hachani
  4. Les obstacles à l’adoption du libre accès par les étudiants et étudiantes du Bénin
 Djossè Roméo Tessy
  5. La bibliothèque numérique « Les Classiques des sciences sociales » : libre accès et valorisation du patrimoine scientifique en sciences humaines et sociales 
Émilie Tremblay et Jean-Marie Tremblay
  6. La mise en valeur par les Classiques des sciences sociales des savoirs produits en Haïti 
Ricarson Dorcé et Émilie Tremblay
  7. Création d’une revue scientifique en ligne au Burundi : enjeux et méthode 
Rémy Nsengiyumva
  8. La recherche documentaire dans le web scientifique libre : un guide en huit étapes 
Florence Piron

Partie 3. Savoirs locaux

  1. La place des savoirs locaux (endogènes) dans la cité globale. Essai de justification
 Dany Rondeau
  2. Expériences de recherche en anthropologie de la santé au Cameroun et aux frontières tchado-camerounaises : lutte contre le paludisme et le choléra 
Estelle Kouokam Magne
  3. Traditions orales et transmission de la pensée philosophique : à partir de Marcien Towa et Henry Odera Oruka 
Ernest-Marie Mbonda
  4. L’apport des récits de vie en tant que pratique scientifique : forme de savoir dans des espaces scolaires d’Afrique francophone subsaharienne
 Marie-Claude Bernard, Jean Jacques Demba et Ibrahim Gbetnkom
  5. Et si la psychologie cognitive pouvait casser le mythe que le Kreyòl n’est pas une langue scientifique ? Judite Blanc
  6. Renforcer le sentiment d’appartenance des communautés par la valorisation du patrimoine culturel immatériel 
Samuel Regulus
  7. Réhabilitation de la fierté de l’Afrique subsaharienne par la valorisation numérique des savoirs locaux et patrimoniaux : quelques initiatives
 Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba

Partie 4. Université, société et développement local durable

  1. Lettre ouverte sur les Objectifs de développement durable 
Association science et bien commun
  2. Les boutiques des sciences et des savoirs, au croisement entre université et développement local durable Florence Piron
  3. Rapprocher l’Université de la société civile haïtienne : SPOT – Savoirs pour tous, outil de développement durable
 Kedma Joseph
  4. L’Afrique à l’ère de la science ouverte. Plaidoyer pour un Pacte africain de développement pour l’émergence par les traditions (PADETRA)
 Pascal Touoyem
  5. Ce que la science ouverte suscite et signifie dans les universités camerounaises d’État
 Yves Yanick Minla Etoua
  6. Les étudiants, les étudiantes et l’idée d’université : une réflexion pour Haïti Hérold Toussaint
  7. Le Collectif des Universitaires Citoyens, une expérience de recherche participative en Haïti Pierre Michelot Jean Claude et Ricarson Dorcé

Partie 5. La science ouverte, le projet SOHA : analyses et témoignages

  1. Créer un réseau de recherche sur la science ouverte dans les pays des Suds 
Leslie Chan
  2. La science ouverte juste et le projet SOHA au Niger : quelles pratiques pour quels avantages ?
 Hamissou Rhissa Achaffert
  3. Mon engagement dans le projet SOHA : un acte de conviction 
Rency Inson Michel
  4. Mes premiers pas vers la justice cognitive et le libre accès 
Marienne Makoudem Téné
  5. La science ouverte … sur le monde et les autres 
Anderson Pierre
  6. Le projet SOHA, un véritable tournant dans ma réflexion sur la science
 Emmanuella Lumène
  7. Un avenir meilleur est possible grâce au libre accès aux documents numériques 
Mayens Mesidor
  8. Le projet SOHA ou comment la solidarité et la justice cognitive peuvent contribuer au développement de l’Afrique
 Alassa Fouapon
  9. Je monte à bord ! 
Lunie Jules
  10. La science ouverte vue par une enseignante et éducatrice Freinet du Cameroun
 Antoinette Mengue Abesso
  11. Lettre à l’Occident d’un jeune étudiant haïtien 
Djedly François Joseph









Winners of the Photomediations competition announced

After much deliberation, the Photomediations team, together with guest curators Katrina Sluis (The Photographers Gallery), Karen Newman (Birmingham Open Media), and Pippa Milne (Centre for Contemporary Photography), are proud to announce the overall winner, curators’ choices and commendations for the Photomediations open call competition.

We would first of all like to thank everyone one who contributed work. The sheer quality, diversity and creativity evident in each submission made the judging process hugely satisfying for us but equally challenging to agree on our final selections. Every qualifying (licensed & attributed) image submitted to the call will be showcased here on the Photomediations website and we hope will continue to inspire and provide the foundations for others to produce new remix creations and showcase the benefits of open licensing within the creative sector.

Therefore we are pleased to announce the winners:

Overall Winner


Mark Murphy
, Storm in a Teacup (CC BY-NC-SA)

By deftly selecting and splicing together two remarkably different images, Mark asks us to imaginatively ponder the physical impossibility of a ‘storm in a teacup’”. (Katrina Sluis)

“Just really beautiful”. (Karen Newman)

Curators’ Choice Awards

Wioleta Kaminska, I Miss My Home (CC BY)

“An ambitious and poetic combining of images, text and motion graphics – which explores what might be the visual language of a photograph on a screen… [T]he submission has resonance with contemporary events in Europe.” (Katrina Sluis)

CM-Brosteanu-The-Haystack_web-300x263 CM-Brosteanu-The-Ladder_web-300x263 CM-Brosteanu-The-Open-Door_web-300x263

Constantin Marian Brosteanu, The Nature of Pencil (CC-BY)

“In the tradition of other artists such as Andreas Müller-Pohle, Constantin has playfully explored the remediation and materiality of historical photographs in contemporary screen culture with the assistance of a Game Boy camera.” (Katrina Sluis)

Elle Heaps, Muscle Beach (CC-BY)

“The humour that Elle has co-opted here is witty and subtly layered. Her use of a 19th century muscle man, placed on top of a scene that brings to mind Baywatch while giffing through the colours of the gay pride flag, gives viewers a lot to interpret.” (Pippa Milne)

Judges Commendation Awards

Katie Hindle, Blouse (1850—2016) (CC0)
Hayley Pritchard
, Untitled (CC BY)
James Thorn
, Pigeon (CC BY)
Sam Forsyth-Gray
, Scalp (CC BY-NC-SA)
Tara Rutledge
, Moroaica (CC BY-NC-SA)
Nathan Gabriel
, The Flight of the Ava (CC BY)

The new Photomediations exhibition space will be live in time for its launch at the ‘Cultural Heritage: reuse, remake and reimagine’ conference in Berlin.

You might also be interested in the next stage of our project; the development of a set of open-source creative challenge cards that will feature selected Photomediations image submissions throughout the pack – fully attributed, of course! The idea behind these is to build upon the creative jam sessions that we ran across Europe and Australia and offer the cards as tool to use within a classroom or group community setting to stimulate further exploration of open creative practices.

The Photomediations team

Photomediations: An Open Book
Photomediations: A Reader
Photomediations Exhibition Space


A Guide to Open and Hybrid Publishing

Or how to create an image-based, open access book in TEN easy steps


The world of publishing is undergoing dramatic changes, with the emergence of new publishing platforms, the increasing need for cross-media content and the transformation of the book into an ‘open medium’. The aim of this guide is to explain the concept of ‘open and hybrid publishing’ and to encourage various parties – students, educators, artists, curators, independent publishers, cultural heritage managers – to become involved in open and hybrid publishing themselves.

Using two case studies of multi-platform publishing projects, this Guide to Open and Hybrid Publishing demystifies the process of publishing online and offline today. Promoting the creative reuse of the available cultural resources, it draws attention to the complex issue of copyright when it comes to publishing written texts – as well as images. It also discusses the various business approaches that ‘open and hybrid publishing’ can embrace.

What’s happening with publishing today?

The rise of new devices, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, has facilitated new ways of reading. It has also changed the very nature of the medium that is being read. Desktop computers facilitated a shift to screen-based reading, while laptops, smartphones and tablets encouraged the development of cross-platform multimedia contents. Today it is e-books, tablets and smartphones, more than online newspapers, that are radically transforming the publishing landscape. The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported recently that e-books are ‘on course to outsell printed editions in UK by 2018’. The book market itself is showing definite growth tendencies in respect of both the commercial e-book market and, under the open access publishing model especially, academic publishing market. With regard to the former, ‘The UK consumer e-book market – which excludes professional and educational books – is forecast to almost triple from £380m to £1bn over the next four years’ (The Guardian, 4 June 2014 ).

E-books are only one part of this new ecosystem of reading, writing, publishing, distribution, access and sales. They represent, in Europe, just a few percentage points of the revenue of the national book industry. Certainly, for many publishers these days (such as Penguin Random House or Hachette Livres) expanding their access to international markets on a global scale through e-books is a priority. Yet publishing is no longer limited to the traditional publishing houses: technology companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google have now entered the picture. With their new production and distribution models, and new modes of presenting content, these companies are disrupting the traditional structures – and strictures – of the pre-digital publishing industry. Interestingly, they are also promoting a more seamless relation between text and image.

As for academic publishing, while the shift to digital and the promotion of open access (OA) to knowledge – where outcomes of academic research, in the form of articles, research papers and reports, are made freely available online – is relatively advanced in the sciences, it has yet to become more firmly established in the humanities. One reason for this is that in the sciences the major form of communication is the peer-reviewed journal article, and it is easy to make journal articles available on an OA basis because of the way copyright works for articles: you can always publish a pre-print version online as soon as it’s ready. In the humanities, however, the book (the academic monograph in particular)  remains the gold standard by which academics are measured – and it is more difficult to make a monograph available OA. Yet many non-profit, scholar-led presses which publish open access monographs, such as Open Humanities Press and Meson Press, have emerged in recent years. Mobilising academic labour traditionally given to large commercial conglomerates to become directly involved in the book production process, such presses have challenged the monopoly and business practices of commercial publishers of academic books.

What is the Open and Hybrid Publishing model really about?

The Open and Hybrid Publishing model presented here offers an alternative to the top-down, one-to-many traditional publishing model. It does so by drawing on the availability of valuable textual and visual material under Creative Commons licenses (licences which allow free distribution and use of works). Employing open source software – i.e. software whose code is publicly available for all to use, modify and improve upon – the Open and Hybrid Publishing model offers clear benefits to smaller publishing enterprises, both commercial and non-profit, and also to individuals. The ready availability of material that can be published on an open access basis, the reduced costs of printing and binding, the wide availability of print-on-demand services, and the relative ease of distribution of electronic and paper books, including those that are self-published using platforms such as Amazon and Blurb, means that the primary costs of the future implementation of such projects will have to do with staffing, i.e. with the setting up of such projects, copy-editing and proof-reading them, and, last but not least, with publicising them. But the majority of other costs associated with the traditional publishing business will disappear. This is why the role of the publisher now can be taken up not just by large established organisations and businesses but also by small groups or even individuals.

This expansion and the relative ease of performing this role of the publisher today – blogs, Twitter, Scribd and, etc. mean that anyone can now publish in a matter of minutes – have at the same time generated a need for capturing the attention of the increasingly fragmented audience. This is where the role of the book editor as a ‘knowledge curator’, that is as someone who selects relevant bits of knowledge and directs relevant audiences to it, becomes crucial. This role can be successfully filled by various organisations and groups within the cultural, art and educational sectors – organisations that are not traditionally associated with publishing but that already have established audiences for the content they could offer.

The Open and Hybrid Publishing model can thus be of use to many parties:

  • museums and galleries
  • educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities) and communities of learners worldwide
  • artists, curators and arts managers
  • cultural centres
  • business organisations working with media images
  • individual users (book readers, writers and artists interested in self-publishing)
  • non-profit organisations such as artists’ collectives
  • internet communities with interest in open cultures.


How is Open and Hybrid Publishing different from Open Access?

OAlogo         hyb

Exploring the newly arising possibilities in the publishing market, Open and Hybrid Publishing allows users to experiment with different modes of publishing textual, audio and visual material. It also allows for the promotion of alternative, sustainable and resilient business practices for individuals working with texts and images (artists, curators, art managers) and smaller enterprises, such as artists’ collectives and non-profit organisations. This model takes as its starting point the fact that the so-called digital revolution has facilitated the development of new modes of knowledge dissemination and research methods as well as new forms of communication. Digital distribution channels have also allowed for a wider access to academic and other cultural resources – a development that has gained the moniker ‘Open Access’.

Open Access allows free online access to academic research (articles, books, reports, etc.). The scholar-driven Open Access movement emerged in response to academic publishing being dominated by profit-maximising corporations (e.g. Taylor & Francis, Elsevier). While scholars are keen for their work to be read, appreciated and cited, this possibility is being hindered by the gate-keeping business models of their publishers, whereby knowledge is sold at rather high cost. As a reaction to the increasing commercialisation of the universities, Open Access is powered by a belief that access to knowledge and research should be the right of all people and not just a privilege of the few who can afford to pay for it.

The Open and Hybrid Publishing model makes use of, and creates, Open Access resources but it also uses other publishing modes and formats, both online and offline, which can be subsequently monetised (e.g. distribution of an electronic – epub, pdf – version of a textbook or a novel for free, with a paper copy being sold; sales of limited runs of artists’ books to accompany an exhibition or a web project): hence its ‘hybrid’ nature. This hybrid model of publishing allows users to experiment with the overall form of publications and with their business premises. It thus allows for the emergent publishing practices to develop as free educational and art experiments supported by the institutions hosting them, and as sustainable commercial ventures. However, in promoting the socially significant open access to knowledge and facilitating access to cultural heritage, the value of Open and Hybrid Publishing transcends direct monetary benefits.

Building on the approach of Open Access publishers such as Open Humanities Press and Anvil, the model employs a targeted approach to publishing various kinds of materials. It works on a project-to-project basis, thus challenging the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach. The two case studies presented below – (1) the Living Books About Life online series of Open Access academic books that allow all readers not just to access them for free but also to edit and re-version them; and (2) Photomediations: An Open Book, a multi-site project that combines the online and offline publication of texts as well as images – illustrate the educational, artistic and commercial possibilities opened up by this model. They also highlight many of the practicalities of Open and Hybrid Publishing, including the minefield that is copyright.

In a nutshell: Open and Hybrid Publishing learns from Open Access, it sometimes borrows from OA; it may incorporate OA strategies, but it can also go beyond them, depending on what a given publication and the organisation or group bringing it out want to achieve.

Case Studies

I How can you create a ‘living book’ which keeps growing?


Living Books About Life,

Funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), and published by Open Humanities Press, Living Books About Life is a series of curated, open access books about life – with life understood both philosophically and biologically – which provide a bridge between the humanities and the sciences. Produced by a globally-distributed network of writers and editors, the books in the series repackage existing Open Access science research by clustering it around selected topics whose unifying theme is life: e.g. air, agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, neurology and pharmacology.

Editing such an open, living book about life could not have been simpler. After the editors decided on the topic, they had to find 10 or more scientific or science-related articles on it in one of the open access science repositories. They were also encouraged to include some other articles, excerpts, images, podcasts, video clips, etc. – as long as they were available under appropriate Creative Commons licences or, on Flickr, had ‘no known copyright restrictions’ , or as long as permission had been obtained from the copyright owner to use the works in the ways the editors intended.

By creating twenty-one ‘living books about life’ in just seven months, the series showcased exciting opportunities for publishing, in a sustainable, low-cost manner, many more such books in the future. These books can be freely shared with other academic and non-academic institutions and individuals. Taken together, they constitute an engaging interdisciplinary resource for researching and teaching relevant scientific issues across the humanities, a resource that is capable of enhancing the pedagogic experience of working with open access materials. All the books in the series are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers – although ‘frozen’ pdf versions of the books are also created, to strike the right balance between editorial authority and experimentation. Through this, the Living Books About Life series engages in rethinking ‘the book’ itself as a living, collaborative endeavour in the age of open science, open education, open data and e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad.

Living Books About Life is a collaboration between Open Humanities Press and three UK-based academic institutions: Coventry University; Goldsmiths, University of London; and the University of Kent. The publishing model behind it – and behind its parent organisation, Open Humanities Press – has been shared with, and adopted by, other organisations, such as Punctum Books (an open-access and print-on-demand independent publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage) and Meson Press (an open access press that publishes research on digital cultures and networked media). Its authors would like to encourage some further sharing, adoption and modification of this model – and of the idea of the living book embraced by it.

II How can you redesign a coffee-table book for the Internet age?


Photomediations: An Open Book,

Photomediations: An Open Book redesigns a coffee-table photography book as an online experience to produce a creative resource that explores the dynamic relationship between photography and other media. The book uses open (libre) content, drawn from various online repositories of open access material, and tagged with a CC BY or another open licence. Through this, the book showcases the possibility of the creative reuse of image-based digital resources.

Featuring a comprehensive introduction and four specially commissioned chapters on light, movement, hybridity and networks that include over 200 images, Photomediations: An Open Book tells a unique story about the relationship between photography and other media. Its online form allows for the easy sharing of the book’s content with educators, students, publishers, museums and galleries, as well as any other interested parties. To collect the images, the book’s editors conducted an extensive search of open image collections and repositories such as Europeana, Flickr: The Commons, and Wikimedia Commons, using carefully tailored keywords  such as ‘optics’, ‘networked image’ and ‘library’. For intellectual property reasons, the images chosen had to be tagged with a relevant Creative Commons licence, or they had to be marked as being ‘in the public domain’ or having ‘no known copyright restrictions’ (the latter being a designation adopted on Flickr: The Commons, when cultural institutions have reasonably concluded that an image is free of copyright restrictions): otherwise it would have been impossible to include those images in the book. The process of searching revealed the extreme wealth of widely available open images and other forms of visual cultural heritage online – many of which can be reused, often in commercial publications (e.g. images tagged with the CC BY licence, which lets others distribute, remix, tweak and build upon the original work, even for commercial purposes, as long as the original creator is acknowledged).

The book’s four main chapters are followed by three ‘open’ chapters, which can be populated with further content by a variety of users, after the launch of the book. The three open chapters are made up of a social space – a Tumblr blog titled ‘The Book Is Alive’, an online exhibition and an open reader. A version of the reader, featuring academic and curatorial texts on the subject of photomediations, has also been published in a stand-alone book form, in collaboration with Open Humanities Press. A pdf version of the reader is downloadable for free, with a printed copy being available for purchase. All these different publication formats that are part of the project are designed to show what a contested object ‘the book’ has become in the digital area, while also highlighting the hybridity of the publishing platforms and mechanisms that are available today. In an attempt to visualize this state of events, the splash (or front) page of Photomediations: An Open Book is designed to evoke a set of book spines while the navigation around the book mimics a traditional page turning experience. Promoting the socially significant issues of ‘open access’, ‘open scholarship’ and ‘open education’, the project offers a low-cost hybrid publishing model as an alternative to the increasingly threatened traditional publishing structures.

Photomediations: An Open Book was developed as part of the European Commission-funded Europeana Space under its ICT Policy Support Programme. It is a collaboration between Goldsmiths, University of London, and Coventry University.

How to create an image-based, open access book in 10 easy steps

Using the two case studies discussed above, we present behind-the-scenes tips on how these projects came about – and on how anyone can follow in our footsteps to design a similar open/living/hybrid book, either as a free open project for themselves or their organisation, or as a commercial product. Feel free to borrow, share, adjust and improve upon our idea and model.

 1. Choose a platform for hosting your book

One way of thinking about the book as an open, hybrid, living object in the digital age is to reimagine it as a kind of website: a series of linked online pages, held together by a contents list but also by some unique design elements.

The Living Books about Life project runs on a wiki, using MediaWiki software – which is basically the same software used by Wikipedia. Photomediations: An Open Book, in turn, is based a single page of html code. You don’t need an experienced coder to get it done: our html page was customised by our designer from a readily-available module – a Fullscreen Pageflip Layout – taken from the code sharing website codrops. For the splash page (i.e. the front page of our Photomediations site), we repurposed the Image Accordion with CSS3 module. If you can do some basic html design, or have a web designer involved in your project, you can use similar ready-made, freely available modules. You can also get some low-cost help with your website by hiring someone from freelancer, even on a one-off basis.

If you know nothing about web design and have very limited resources, the web software and publishing platform WordPress is the way to go: it’s free, customisable and easy to use. It also provides lots of ready-made templates. You can download it and install it on your own website, or, if you are a complete newbie, you can build your project, and thus publish your book, directly on their site  – in a slightly more limited way though.

2. Develop the right design

To ensure your book doesn’t look like just any old website, you may want to introduce some design features that reference a ‘real’ book – or that playfully remediate its format. (Your can make a book cover and stick it on the splash page or you can insert a page-turning feature into your website). You can pick up plenty of ideas from open source and code sharing websites such as codrops.

It is important that the shape and look of your open book reinforces its content.  In designing Photomediations: An Open Book we experimented with many different shapes and styles of the platform before we settled on a design that remediates the experience of a coffee table book. Its main landing page is designed to evoke book spines and the navigation around the book mimics the traditional experience of turning book pages.

Deciding on the method of navigating through your book is equally important. You should also have an easily accessible contents list, or map, of the book as a whole. Last but not least, you need to ensure that your design is ‘responsive’, i.e. that it works well on different devices and platforms, from desktops and laptops, through to iPads and mobile phones. (Many of the recent WordPress and Tumblr templates are already designed this way.)

3. Secure hosting and a domain name

Unless your institution is able to let you use some web space on their server, your will need to secure some space on which you’ll host your book. Hosting web-based projects on shared servers is inexpensive these days and can be bought from companies big and small. (The biggest ones include Bluehost, GoDaddy and 1and1 – but do look around.) The same companies will also sell you a domain name – like – that will act as the address for your book. They will also ensure your book is easily found by search engines such as Google.

When choosing your address, think of one that best encompasses the nature of your project. For us the concept of mediation (‘photomediations’) and the idea of an open book were important components, all of which found their way into the project’s overall title and also its URL address.

4. Decide what types of content and media to include

Your book will no doubt feature still images such as photographs, as well as scans of drawings, paintings and other visual material. You may also want to include moving images. It is easy to embed visual material into your website/book – for example, using the automated ‘embed’ feature in WordPress. Text can be incorporated directly (through ‘cut and paste’ into your template), but you may also want to enhance your book with some pdf material or even with links to external resources. The advantage of the latter is that the book appears more open, reaching out beyond the confines of its covers. The disadvantage is that you have no control over external links: they can become obsolete any time. When using video, to ensure the smooth and speedy functioning of your book it’s best to host video clips on a free external website, such as YouTube or Vimeo, and embed them into your site from there – rather than place them directly within your book.

5. Curate your visual content

It may be helpful to understand your role in putting together on online book as that of a curator rather than just an editor. In other words, you become someone whose task is to organise the deluge of images and other data available on the Internet into a coherent and visually pleasing whole, gathered under a strong concept. Editing such a book is therefore akin to putting on an exhibition.

There are plenty of well-designed, themed repositories of open access material on the Internet from which you can download very interesting images. Most of these repositories have excellent ‘search’ facilities.

For example, to find content for chapter 2 ‘Photography, Optics and Light’ in Photomediations: An Open Book, we conducted a thorough search through a number of repositories (listed in the Appendix), using a variety of keywords: ‘light’, ‘optics’, ‘luminosity’, ‘camera’, ‘apparatus’, ‘eye’, etc. Importantly, we narrowed down our search to images tagged with appropriate Creative Commons licenses or marked as being ‘in the public domain’ (as explained in the section below), so that we could reuse these images in our project.

6. Think about copyright

If you are using images or texts that do not belong to you, make sure you don’t infringe the copyright belonging to the right holder. (Just because something is ‘on the Internet’ does not mean that you can use it…) Always check the licence of the work you find in a given repository. Also, if you receive an image or a piece of text directly from its author or copyright holder, make sure you clarify what the conditions of its use are: i.e. what you can and can’t do with it (e.g. Can you use it for educational purposes? Can you include it in a book you’re planning to sell? Can you crop the image or shorten the text? Can you use the image as part of a banner you are designing for your website?).

There are several so-called open licences that are considered ‘safe’, in the sense that they leave you a lot of freedom with regard to how to us them. As a rule of thumb, it is safest to use artefacts that are marked as being ‘in the public domain’ (sometimes marked as CC0) or, on Flickr: The Commons, images that have ‘no known copyright restrictions’. You can freely build upon, enhance and reuse them for any purposes.

There are a number of Creative Commons (CC) licences that aim to strike the right balance between permissions and rights: read the letters attached to them carefully, and follow the explanations on the CC website, to see what you can and can’t do with each work (some allow you to do anything as long as you acknowledge the original author; others allow you to use the works for non-commercial purposes only; some allow you to modify the work, others don’t, etc. etc.). Two most useful CC licences are:

Attribution CC BY 88x31

This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 88x31b

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This licence is often compared to ‘copyleft’ free and open source software licences. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

7. Write captions – and supply additional text

It is important to always credit the work used – and, in case of images, to provide further information about them. Even if the copyright licence for a given image allows you to skip providing such information, it is good practice to include some further details about the image anyway, as they will no doubt be useful to your readers. This is how we’ve captioned the images included in Photomediations: An Open Book. Our example shows an image we found on Flickr by an author who calls himself ‘Doctor Popular’, which we included in a chapter on ‘Hybrid Photomediations’, as a commentary on new forms of portraiture today:

59Doctor Popular, AntiTagging, 2014.
 Self-portrait taken using the Anti-Tagging iPhone app that anonymizes photos by auto-detecting faces and glitching them out, thus producing a secure selfie. Source: Flickr. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.

Even if your book is image-based, you may want to include some additional textual material in it, besides the captions for your images. For example, you may want to write or commission an introduction that contextualises the book. You may also want to include some additional reading material, by way of ‘curating’ (that word again!) your book in an interesting and multi-dimensional way. There are plenty of knowledgeable open-access articles and books available online. Most of these have been written by academics and other experts in the field; many went through the ‘peer-review process’: which means that they have been validated by other experts in the field as valuable and original. Curating an interesting list of texts on your chosen topic is not that different from curating a ‘playlist’ of songs on your computer or phone. (See Appendix for a list of repositories of open access material.)

8. Decide how open/closed you want to make your book

We’ve explained above how to include open-access material – be it text or images – in your book. However, the assumption so far has been that readers will come to your online book the way they come to a traditional book, i.e. to read it, and then they leave it intact. But maybe you would be interested in making all or at least parts of your book open, for readers to add material to the existing content, update it, comment on it, re-mix it or make their own versions? (You can think of it as an educational exercise, an artistic experiment, or simply as embracing the much more creative model of engaging with media by younger generations, where the roles of the producer and the consumer of culture become more blurred.)

For example, in the Living Books about Life project all the books in the series are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers – as long as those readers have registered on the site first. This possibility of keeping the books open in this way is both potentially exciting and potentially dangerous. There are two main issues here: (1) First, we wanted to protect ourselves against vandalism, and that was an easy thing to do. Each introduction, contents list and attributions list of each living book is also available as a ‘frozen’ pdf file. Also, the wiki retains a record of all the edits, so it’s always possible to revert to an earlier version. In addition, we have a rigorous backing up system, so we have copies of all the books in their editors’ ‘original’ versions – which can always be restored. (2) But there is also a practical issue with regard to some possible threats and opportunities. Our experience is that people (i.e., readers/users) tend to treat any published text, even on the web, as having a certain authority: too much authority, in fact. So, somewhat disappointingly perhaps, the most that people tend to do is post a comment. It’s relatively hard to get them to do much more than that. Indeed, people tend to adhere to fairly conventional notions of the author and the book as an object that shouldn’t be messed around with – which is interesting in itself. But this reluctance or wariness is also something we want to encourage users to get over with this project.

In Photomediations: An Open Book, alongside the introduction and four ‘closed’, read-only chapters on photography and other media, we have also included three open chapters – which take the format of three separate web pages:

  • Photomediations: An Open Reader – a collection of academic essays on photography and other media, which can be edited and expanded upon by any anyone
  • The Social Space – a Tumblr blog called ‘The Book Alive’, exploring the book as a living and dynamic medium via the posting of images of books present and past
  • The Exhibition – a space that encourages users to creatively experiment with images from our book and from the whole of the Europeana online collection of digitised items (or, more accurately, a single gathering place of data, allowing you to access material in a variety of European collections), and that displays the results of these experiments

9. Think whether you also want a printed version

Alongside your web-based book, you may also decide to publish a printed version. This could be the exact copy of all the online material included; it could include a selection of texts and images from your online book; or it could be an entirely new publication, mixing the online material with the newly sourced content.

For example, as part of our work on Photomediations: An Open Book, we entered into collaboration with the scholarly publishers Open Humanities Press to publish a version of our chapter 6 as a separate, stand-alone book. Titled Photomediations: A Reader, it includes 20 academic essays on the dynamic relationship between photography and other media, some of which are not available online. The book, looking very much like a traditional academic textbook, and illustrated with some images, was published open access, as a freely downloadable pdf. Printed versions can also be purchased.

It is very easy to print short runs of text- and image-based books, in very good quality, these days. Companies such as Blurb and Lulu provide their own online software which allows you to design the book for printing, even if you have no prior knowledge of book or web design. They also convert it for you into various e-book formats. You may also want to check out this website:

10. Get social

It is important to identify your readership by connecting to the existing online resources, be it social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp, Github) or personal blogs. You may want to attach a Twitter account to your book, so that each day you can publicise a different element from it. However, it’s not just about using social media to publicise your content. If you want to achieve real reader engagement, and get people involved in sharing, remixing and creatively reusing your content in some way, or even co-create content with you, you need to work with existent online communities. You can also attempt to build a new community around a particular educational, cultural or artistic project. See this article on co-creation from the EU RICHES project:


More on licences and copyright

  • Europeana Space – Copyright Tools for Cultural Heritage: Here you can access guidelines and tools for clearing copyright and find information about the development of business models for the creative reuse of digitised cultural heritage.
  • Out of Copyright: determining the copyright status of works:

More on academic publishing For a taxonomy of various forms of academic publications see this website by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium:

Selected Open Access image repositories:

Open Access Directories (i.e., meta-lists of various worldwide repositories):

  • OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) – Authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. Includes a tool to search the repositories’ contents.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals – Categorized, searchable links to free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. There are more than 5000 journals in the directory.
  • Open Culture – the best free cultural and educational media on the web:
  • ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) – Directory of the open access mandates of institutions worldwide, with links to their open access repositories.


This Guide was put together by Gary Hall, Kamila Kuc and Joanna Zylinska, as part of the activities of Europeana Space, a project funded by the European Union’s ICT Policy Support Programme under GA n° 621037. December 2015. Licence: CC BY.

A pdf version of this guide can be downloaded from here.


Anne Wyman

Anne_Wyman_01 Anne_Wyman_02 Anne_Wyman_03 Anne_Wyman_04 Anne_Wyman_05 Anne_Wyman_06

Aiming to explore the issues surrounding the lack of plants within urban spaces, this series uses the placement of plants to help people visualise how nature could enhance the urban environment. Concrete buildings and high-rise towers can become overwhelming with a constant repetition of shapes and colours. Through the introduction of plants into unexpected places, these photographs enact a visual ‘takeover’ of the city.

Anne Wyman is a final year student of Photography at the Leeds College of Art.

The Offence

Karolina Breguła

Inspired by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s 1937 novel Ferdydurke, in which obsession with youth and the new takes an absurd and unnatural form, The Offence is a short story in the form of a film. The narrative follows a chorus of characters in a provincial Hungarian town, obsessed with tradition and fearful of the unknown. The unassuming hero of the story is a town official who decides to rescue his fellow citizens from their backwardness by an unusual method: with an uncanny understanding of the human desire for perversion, he forces progress through unnecessary prohibitions and restrictions that he knows will be broken. The film is about the paradoxically liberating effects of censorship, capable of attuning society to its needs and desires.

The Offence was shot in Hungary in the summer of 2013, in reaction to a conservative political climate. Like Breguła’s more recent works, it addresses the complex relationships between non-specialist or “uninitiated” art audiences and the abstractions of modern art.

The Offence was written and directed by Karolina Breguła, with cinematography by Robert Mleczko, sound by Weronika Raźna, and editing by Stefan Paruch. It was produced by Breguła and Tamas Liszka.

Chelsea Haines for Guernica

Karolina Breguła, born in 1979, creates installations, happenings, film and photography. She graduated form the National Film Television and Theatre School in Łódź. She has performed and exhibited in places such as the Venice Art Biennale (Italy), Jewish Museum in New York (USA), National Museum in Warsaw (Poland) and Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw (Poland). She has received numerous awards, including Views 2013 and Samsung Art Master 2007, Polish Ministry of Culture Scholarship, as well as the Młoda Polska and Visegrad Scholarship. She is the author of works such as Fire-Followers (2013), Art Translating Agency (2010) and Let Them See Us (2003). She lives and works in Warsaw.

The Politics of the Office

Andreia Alves de Oliveira

1 Lobby. Advertising agency.

The office is a defining, everyday space of modernity, a space which is far from disappearing. Andreia Alves de Oliveira’s curiosity was not so much focused on what people spend their time doing in offices, but rather on the space itself. Office space is the default space in the lives of professional, corporate, creative, academic, administrative and civil servant workers. It upsets as well as bores people, it frustrates and enervates, it makes people feel inferior or superior, miserable or powerful. It rarely provokes indifference.

The project documents the offices of financial, corporate, and legal institutions based in the City and Canary Wharf in London. These provide an interesting case study not only because they encapsulate a vast body of knowledge, materialised in disciplines such as organisational behaviour, environmental psychology, ergonomics or office design, that has been applied to the architecture and design of offices in general. But they also reveal a contradiction between the visibility of these institutions – occupying imposing buildings in urban centres, with their activities impacting on the whole of society – and the invisibility of the space where these activities take place. Images of such office interiors exist mostly in the form of films, TV series and commercial photographs. It took nearly two years and five hundred companies conducted before the artist obtained access to the offices of around fifty of such institutions, which perhaps explains the general paucity of documentary representations of office spaces.

2Clients’ entertainment floor. Audit, tax, and advisory services firm.

3CEO’s office. Hedge fund.

Alves de Oliveira’s photographs reveal the new, post-Taylorist office, where discipline is achieved through rather subtle, symbolic means: spectacular, richly decorated receptions and clients’ areas which blur the lines between work and fun; colourful, stylish ‘breakout’ areas and staff ‘amenities’ provided as a trade-off for the loss of personal space in the now widespread ‘non-territorial’ offices, where there are no assigned desks; a system of spatial ‘status markers’ – quantity and quality of furniture, décor, amount of space per person, location within the floor and the building – put in place to signal hierarchical relations of power, reflecting wider systems that influence life in industrialised society, where material possessions often signify social status. Although the offices shown are devoid of people, human presence is felt throughout. The low vantage point of the photographs places the furniture at eye level within the frame, accentuating the chairs’ anthropomorphic qualities, making them stand for the people who inhabit these offices. The lower than usual camera height also has the effect of depicting space on a human scale, eschewing the spectacular, pleasing vistas typical of architectural and interiors commercial photography which define the common visual representations of these spaces.

4 Back office. Professional services firm.

5 Copy area. Reinsurance firm.

In their emptiness and neutral mood, these offices may bring to mind what Walter Benjamin saw in Eugene Atget’s photographs of Paris’ empty streets: forensic photographs of crime scenes. Benjamin was referring to crimes that were social and political. Similarly, the scenes here would refer not to individual incidents, but to events that have the capacity to impact on the whole of society happening everyday in these hidden interiors – no less than what could be termed, metaphorically and perhaps less metaphorically, as the crimes of capital.

While questioning how power is exercised through the space in/of the image, The Politics of the Office offers the opportunity to witness photographs of offices that are largely inaccessible to the general public. By making these spaces visible and by addressing them in their totality, the work creates an expanded image of the office that aims to contribute, following the philosopher Henri Lefebvre, to the production of this space – an everyday, overlooked, but defining space of industrialised and service-based society.

6Middle office. Insurance firm.

7 Staff bar. Advertising agency.

Technical specifications
Andreia Alves de Oliveira, The Politics of the Office, 2011 – 2014. 130 photographs, 20 x 30 cm each, with captions.

Andreia Alves de Oliveira (b. Portugal, 1979) is a photographer and researcher based in London. Her practice explores subjects related to contemporary life, more specifically life in Western, service-based society. She is interested in what is around; in the reality she is immersed in; in what makes life here, now.

Ways of Something

Lorna Mills

Ways of Something – Episode 1 by Lorna Mills

Ways of Something is a contemporary remake of art theorist John Berger’s BBC documentary, Ways of Seeing (1972). The project consists of one-minute videos by over 114 network-based artists who commonly work with 3D rendering, gifs, film remix, webcam performances, and websites to describe the cacophonous conditions of art making after the internet.

Curated and compiled by Lorna Mills, this remake is based a four-part series of thirty-minute films created by Berger and produced by Mike Dibb. In the original films, voice-of-God narration over iconic European paintings offers a careful dissection of traditional ‘fine art’ media and the way society has come to understand them as art. This current project invited artists to respond to what Berger called ‘learned assumptions’ about art in dialogue with the camera and the screen in its reproduction. It is, in effect, art about art about television about the internet.

Featuring formal, figural and kitsch practices to videomaking, Ways of Something consists of aesthetically diverse interpretations of Berger’s ideas on looking at art after the introduction of digital media. Ultimately, it turns the highbrow nature of documentary film into a wondrous and disjointed series of alternative outlooks on how artists understand art today.

Artists participating in Episode 1:

Minute 1: Daniel Temkin
Minute 2: Rollin Leonard
Minute 3: Sara Ludy
Minute 4: Rhett Jones
Minute 5: Jaakko Pallasvuo
Minute 6: Dafna Ganani
Minute 7: Jennifer Chan
Minute 8: Rea McNamara
Minute 9: Theodore Darst
Minute 10: Matthew Williamson
Minute 11: Hector Llanquin
Minute 12: Christina Entcheva
Minute 13: V5MT
Minute 14: Marisa Olson
Minute 15: Joe McKay
Minute 16: Carla Gannis
Minute 17: Nicholas O’Brien
Minute 18: Eva Papamargariti
Minute 19: Rosa Menkman
Minute 20: Kristin Lucas
Minute 21: Jeremy Bailey & Kristen D. Schaffer
Minute 22: Giselle Zatonyl
Minute 23: Paul Wong
Minute 24: Alfredo Salazar-Caro
Minute 25: Sally McKay
Minute 26: RM Vaughan & Keith Cole & Jared Mitchell
Minute 27: Andrew Benson
Minute 28: Christian Petersen
Minute 29: Faith Holland
Minute 30: Jennifer McMackon

* Episodes 1 and 2 of Ways of Something were originally produced by the One Minutes in Amsterdam.

Lorna Mills is a Toronto-based new media artist.

For Internal Use Only

Philip Welding

Philip Welding’s new photobook, For Internal Use Only, doesn’t exist. At least not yet. Influenced by the 3D printing phenomenon and Ikea’s flat pack processes, it is a ‘future book’ that you can download – for free – but you have to build it yourself.

PW Bound   IMG_0484

The photographs in the book depict the office workplace, an environment where there is an emphasis on worker productivity. What is evident, however, is that workers continually struggle to fit into this rigid framework, adopting strategies to effectively navigate the working world. Some of these strategies are at odds with the pursuit of productivity and could be seen (by the company) as ‘time-wasting activity’ – or as distraction from achieving the company’s objectives.

©RickyAdamPhoto (2 of 2)

To own the book, you are instructed to print it out at work and bind it using whatever materials are available. To make the finished product an official copy and a numbered edition, a photograph of it in the workplace must be emailed to the address below. In doing so, you are acting on company time, using company resources. Is this just one of many distractions from your agreed objectives? Or just another strategy for workplace survival?


The photographs from the project are only available by downloading the book. The website doesn’t reveal the project itself, but instead shows the photographs that people have taken of the printed and bound book situated in their workplace.

Go to to download the book. Email photographs of the finished book in the workplace to

Philip Welding was born in Leicester, UK, and works as Principal Lecturer in Photography at Leeds College of Art. In 2000 he graduated from Nottingham Trent University, then completed an MRes at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2012. His work fits into a narrative that he has been exploring for ten years in various forms, which incorporates notions of labour, creativity, boredom, resistance and productivity to critique our relationship with daily working lives. Welding was selected to exhibit at Format International Photo Festival in 2015.

The Port

Richard Whitlock

Richard Whitlock, The Port, 2015, HD video, 8 min. loop, ca. 3m x 5m.

The Port is a silent video that depicts cranes loading and unloading ships in the harbour of Thessaloniki in Greece, and people strolling along the quay. At first glance it looks like a normal film, but it is in fact made up of many fragments of looped video and still photographs arranged in a flattened orthographic projection – like a moving painting rather than a film.

This work continues the artist’s enquiry (see Photomediations Machine 18/5/2014) into the effects of non-standard perspective configurations on our experience of photographic images, a viewpoint that has been constrained until now by the perspective of the camera lens. Yet digitalisation now affords the photographer the opportunity to make changes in this standard central perspective. The challenge, taken up in The Port and in Whitlock’s previous work, The Street, is to alter perspective in the moving image.

Many different ‘times’, many parallel narratives, can now coexist on a single screen. The Port has about 40 layers, one for each object, or sometimes two. For example, the sea is not one sea but rather two superimposed layers of waves. Time is thus enriched, being both circular (loops within loops) and multiple (many layers and speeds). This intrigues the eye, giving the feeling of seeing something for the first time.

The objects could of course be synchronised, and made to follow a regular rhythm, like a soundless music, but the artist has chosen to maintain the characteristic irregular pulsations of each type of object, intervening only minimally in the phasing of the cranes and the grouping of the strollers on the quay.

Richard Whitlock (b. Liverpool 1952) has made sculptural, graphic and photographic installations in many parts of the world. Dissatisfied with photography as a means of adequately representing these works, he began making photographs and films in unusual ways, avoiding the central perspective natural to these media. This by-work became a major preoccupation, leading to non-perspectival photographic and video installations in Helsinki, Grenoble, the Crimea, Taipei, Thessaloniki, Athens and New York. He lives in Greece.

Mechanical Calculators (from The Imitation Archive)

Matt Parker

Matt Parker, Mechanical Calculators (from The Imitation Archive), HD Video with Sound, 05 mins 43 secs, 2015

In early 2015 Matt Parker was artist in residence at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park. The museum host the UK’s largest collection of fully functioning historical, vintage computers and artefacts. Among the digital and electronic devices within the museum archives are a large number of pre-digital, mechanical computers / calculators / comptometers. They are manual tools used by accountants the world over from the 1930s to the 1970s, before digital computing technologies took over. The comptometer is a functional tool yet it is utterly obsolete and abstract as a device for someone like Parker, who has only ever known to use a digital calculator, his fingers – and occasionally his brain – to count. Comptometers have varied design schemas, reflecting so many different methods of invention, all with the aim of achieving basic arithmetic with large numbers.

Parker found the idea of grinding, punching and literally ‘crunching’ the numbers to be something to explore, as he placed each item within the vast collection of The Imitation Archive (a collection of over a hundred sound recordings of computer technologies produced during the residency) as a media archaeological exploration into the sounds and functions of pre-digital computing. He explores the sound of each device, woefully misused by a curious but incompetent user, incapable of understanding the logic behind these most logical of devices and unable to programme even the most basic arithmetical calculation. The video depicts the objects with a vintage glow whilst the sound of a ‘digital native’ attempts to perform the same, mathematically basic addition task but struggles to even understand how to wind the correct rotary dials or push the correct buttons.

Matt Parker is an audiovisual composer and sound artist working with and producing archives that amplify hidden connections between every-day technology and the environment. His work is influenced by principles of acoustic ecology, preservation, immersion and saturation. He is a PhD candidate at the London College of Communication within the Creative Research into Sound Art Practice Centre (AHRC funded). He has a Master’s in Music Technology from Birmingham Conservatoire, is the winner of the Deutsche Bank Creative Prize in Music 2014 and was shortlisted for the Aesthetica International Art Prize 2015.


Photomediations: A Reader – new open access book

POB Reader cover front-small

We have the pleasure to announce the publication of an open access book Photomediations: A Reader: (Open Humanities Press, 2016), edited by Kamila Kuc and Joanna Zylinska. The book offers a radically different way of understanding photography. The concept of photomediations that unites the twenty scholarly and curatorial essays collected here cuts across the traditional classification of photography as suspended between art and social practice in order to capture the dynamism of the photographic medium today. It also explores photography’s kinship with other media – and with us, humans, as media.

The term ‘photomediations’ brings together the hybrid ontology of ‘photomedia’ and the fluid dynamism of ‘mediation’. The framework of photomediations adopts a process- and time-based approach to images by tracing the technological, biological, cultural, social and political flows of data that produce photographic objects.

Photomediations: A Reader is part of a larger editorial and curatorial project called Photomediations: An Open Book, whose goal is to redesign a coffee-table book as an online experience. A version of this Reader also exists online in an open ‘living’ format, which means it can be altered, added to, mashed-up, re-versioned and customized. The Reader is published in collaboration with Europeana Space, and in association with Jonathan Shaw, Ross Varney and Michael Wamposzyc.

An open access pdf version of Photomediations: A Reader is freely available here:

Print versions can be purchased from various online bookshops, such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

Editors’ bios

Kamila Kuc is Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is also a curator and an experimental filmmaker. Co-editor (with Michael O’Pray) of The Struggle for Form: Perspectives on Polish Avant-Garde Film 1916-1989 (2014), Kuc has curated programmes of experimental film for international film festivals and venues (New Horizons Film Festival, Poland; Experiments in Cinema, US). Her short films have been screened widely.

Joanna Zylinska is Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. The author of five books—most recently, Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (2014); Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (with Sarah Kember, 2012) and Bioethics in the Age of New Media (2009)—she is also a translator of Stanislaw Lem’s major philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae (2013). Zylinska is one of the Editors of Culture Machine, an international open-access journal of culture and theory, and a curator of Photomediations Machine. She combines her philosophical writings and curatorial work with photographic art practice.


Caroline Abbotts

image1Faders, Unique iron blue-toned silver gelatin paper exposed to moonlight, UV fluorescent lighting, 2015

image2Faders, detail

image3Faders, detail

image4Faders, unique iron blue-toned silver gelatin paper exposed to moonlight, UV fluorescent lighting, 2015

Faders (2015) explores the relationship between natural, chemical and material environments. The works build their own ecology that contemplates the measurable and the immeasurable.

The artist exposed each piece of silver gelatin paper over different time lengths to ambient moonlight. The shadows on the paper unravel the angle at which light has fallen across its surface, disclosing folds or gentle dimples in the paper marked by light. The paper has been developed and soaked in a bath of iron blue toner. The toner replaces the silver in the paper with iron blue while iron sensitises the surface to UV light. The works are hung intermittently under a pink glowing UV light, causing each to begin a process of darkening from vivid blue to black.

The gloss blue surface refers to scenes elsewhere of perhaps a deep ocean blue captured in an underwater environment. The work presents a vision of materiality that considers light passing through surface. This is repeated again and again, as shadows reflect off the gloss surface lit by the pink UV light above.

The works explore their own life cycle as they fade from light to dark through midtones, each piece becoming its own component in response to the atmospheric conditions. It is through the work’s relationship to daylight and moonlight that it functions and malfunctions.

Caroline Abbotts (b. 1988 Derbyshire, England) studied at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy Schools. She lives and works in London.

There/Then: Here/Now

Photographic Archival Intervention within the Edward Chambré hardman Portraiture Collection (1923-63)

Keith W. Roberts

29 Gemmell John Esq - 28571 - 1935         30 Gemmell John Lieutenant - 88068 - 1947 47 Laird D Esq - 28585 - 1935           48 Laird D Major - 80603 - 1945 73 Thomas H S G Reverend - 41067 - 1940     74 Thomas H S G Captain - 46258 - 1941

Intermission Portraits (1. Gemmell John Esq; 2. Gemmell John Lieutenant; 3. Laird D Esq; 4. Laird D Major; 5. Thomas H S G Reverend; 6. Thomas H S G Captain)

The following text has been written to explain the reasoning and purpose behind the contemporary use, display and presentation of a selection of commercial portraiture created by Edward Chambré Hardman between 1923-63, through research I have conducted within the parameters of a practice-based doctorate. Through the use of a recently created database, patterns have been revealed within this forty-year period of commercial portraiture practice. It has therefore now been possible to identify and extract individual sitters, who have had their portraits taken by Hardman at several different points in time, and to re-present these portraits as pairings, seen for the first time together. Through viewing these portraits together, an emphasis is placed upon the gap that exists in time between the two points at which both portraits were created. This gap can be described as an intermission of time, therefore the portrait pairings are referred to throughout the rest of the text as Intermission Portraits. The portrait pairings will be seen through various exhibitions that have been planned in and around the Liverpool area over the forthcoming year, including The Hornby Room at the Liverpool Central Library from 1st December 2015 to 1st March 2016, The Well and Central Space at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, The Discovery Rooms at Hardman’s House on Rodney Street, the ‘Hidden Upstairs Rooms’ on Bold Street in Liverpool as part of the Bold Street Project. In addition to this, a projection piece has been planned for the 2016 Liverpool Biennial, using the Bold Street facing street windows in Matta’s International Foods shop, which is the actual physical space where the portraits were originally taken. Lastly, an exhibition of forty pairings has been planned for the middle of 2016 at the Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead. More recently, a self-published artist’s book has been created to show the pairings together in book format.

Through the public presentation of these paired portraits, their status has been altered in terms of shifting them from being both anonymous and hidden within the archive, to being named and on public display. There is also a shift within the original function of these portraits, which was initially of a commercial nature for Hardman and a personal or private nature for his client, to a non-commercial public display function for the purposes of this project. It is acknowledged that this shift in function may not present an impact upon the majority of the spectators viewing the newly re-presented works, but that there is a possibility some of the spectators might be related to the sitters in some capacity, given that the sitters predominantly came from Liverpool and that the pairings are being shown within this region.

As negatives within an archive, they have the potential to be unseen triggers for personal memory, but they actually remain dormant until found, extracted and activated by me for re-use within a contemporary public context. Their status in the archive, held in the negative form, means they don’t even qualify as being a finished Hardman print, as what might be found on display within the homes of the sitters ancestors. This moving in status, of becoming dormant through being sat in an archive and then suddenly becoming active due to my intervention, is significant as the works are decomposing and, given time, will cease to exist entirely. To this end, I am creating new contemporary images from the dormant archival negatives, which carry a trace back to the existence of the person they represent within the past, for subsequent use in the present. After this intervention, the physical negatives are placed back into the archive and thus become once again dormant historical artifacts, treated as precious objects, never touched directly by human hand. As displayed portraits within a contemporary setting, the images affirm a past existence and represent what no longer exists, which is what Roland Barthes referred to as Ça a été or ‘what has been’.

It is my intention that in viewing these portraits, the spectator becomes the common denominator between the three points in the process of observation. The spectator can either choose to view the first or the second image independently, but the fact that they have been presented together as a pair can never be overlooked. By viewing the images side by side and either traversing between the pair, or even trying to take in both simultaneously, there is an attempt to place the emphasis upon the physical gap in time. Assuming that the spectator holds no personal connection or knowledge of the subjects depicted in the portraits, the gap is simply a period of time, hidden within the studio register records held about the pair of images, which simply indicates when the two images were physically taken. In viewing the portraits pairings, I am suggesting that the spectator inadvertently becomes part of this triangular equation, the angle of which is not defined by the physical distances between the three points of the triangle. Rather, the angle is determined conceptually through the passing of time specified by when the two portraits were actually created by Hardman, which will be highlighted through the dates included in the supporting literature relating to the displayed portraits.

The uncertainty of what happened to the sitters between the two points in time is important to the practice of re-presenting the portraits. The images of the servicemen in particular can act as a ceremonial portrait, signifying the precise moment being recorded by the photograph, making a connection between the personal life of the sitter to the public event of war. Some of the servicemen subjects depicted in the portraits present a melancholy reluctance about them; an apprehension that speaks out to the spectator from beyond the grave. Some of the subject’s eyes often look fear-stricken and preoccupied, as if the subject was aware of the fact this image might become their final parting gift and remain their most accurate and truest likeness for eternity. The sitters look uncomfortable and restricted in their uniforms, conveying a seriousness about their position and predicament. They often show what might be considered a very real fear of their own mortality, with the final click of Hardman’s shutter possibly becoming their last picture they will ever experience, thus signifying its importance. Many of them are young men in their early twenties, thrust into a position of power, saddled with the burden and weight of expectancy of a nation at war. Their obligation is evident and inescapable and their duty is unquestionable. Many of these young adults will not have previously travelled far, but now await their postings to foreign lands torn apart by conflict, with the possibility of never returning.

The portraits only allow the viewers in as temporary spectators, offering the illusion of being a simple transcription of something that was real. We are not completely invited into the familial gaze here, and there is nothing in these family portraits that reveals anything about the complicated histories of the subjects depicted. They say as much about the person whose memory is being triggered as about the person being remembered. It is this potential lack of direct connection between the spectator and subject that is important to the practice of showing the portraits, as the entire process of identification and extraction from the archive relies upon as a series of specific conditions being met (e.g. a returning client and the corresponding located negative).

As present from the beginning of the medium, photographic portraiture quickly became the family’s primary method of self-knowledge and representation. The family portrait is the physical means through which family memory can be triggered through documentation and aided by conversation, and thus perpetuated for future generations. For Barthes, the portrait is the optimal medium through which to consolidate the past and recall it to the present. He argues that it connects all those that look at it in one way or another. This mutual look of a subject looking at an object, who is a subject looking back at an object, helps to explain this direct address to the viewer. This direct address captures the gaze of a person recorded in a portrait, looking out of the frame ‘directly’ at the viewer. The eyes of the subjects specifically within these Hardman portraits have a distinctive clarity and brightness about them, trapping the viewer’s gaze. Hardman clearly controlled the portraiture session, during which normally one of the portraits depicts the subject directly addressing the camera. There is a demonstration of the balance of power evident in these direct address portraits, one which can temporarily be lent to the viewer.

Marianne Hirsch (1999) states that the conventionality of a family portrait provides a space of identification, thus bridging the gap between viewers who might be personally connected to the subjects with those who are not. Affiliative familial looking is available to any viewer of these paired portraits and is the vehicle through which to connect viewers of different backgrounds to one another. In terms of style, these portraits are ubiquitous and most families will have similar images within their family albums. I would therefore argue that there is already a familiarity afforded by them to the spectator, and it is this initial recognition that might trigger individual and personal memory. The timing of WW2 falls into the middle of the period of Hardman’s commercial practice and, as such, creates this central ‘mid-conflict’ period. The types of pairing are not all the same, as some will fall ‘pre-conflict’ and some ‘post-conflict’. What is always consistent within the pairings is that the left-hand portrait will always precede the right-hand one in terms of chronology. I would also argue that the pairings that fall into the pre-conflict / mid-conflict category are the most likely to trigger a shared memory and therefore offer a connection between spectators of different backgrounds.

These portraits are proof of life and continuity and thus themselves become an emblem of survival. By being pulled out from a personal, private and enclosed audience, and into an open and public arena, the meaning of these portraits changes for the viewer. The original purpose of these portraits was to serve as a trigger for memory within the familial setting, but now, through public display, they serve as a ghostly revenant, poised on the edge between memory and postmemory as defined by Hirsch (2012). Postmemory is distinguished from memory by generational distance, and from history by deep personal connection. Postmemory characterizes the experience of those who grew up dominated by narratives that preceded their own birth. Photographs have an umbilical connection to life, they can connect first and second generations’ remembrance. Hirsch has used the construct of postmemory predominantly in relation to a traumatic narrative, but my project intends to widen its meaning in order to include any potential story that might be used in relation to the gap in time being highlighted by the portrait pairings. It is argued that the spectators of the portraits will respond to what they see, as there is a common familial connection evident within the portraits, even without a potential physical or ancestral connection. As client family portraits, these images have historically spent their time located within a contradictory space somewhere between the fiction of an ideal family life and the factual reality of that family, with all its challenges and difficulties. They might depict people from the past, but how they are now being used is very much about the today and the present, in line with how we define the photographs’ ability to trigger a memory from the past in the here and now.

By pairing these portraits of the same individual subject, photography’s ability to ‘freeze’ or ’capture’ a moment in time is also complicated, as two points within an individual’s timeline have been presented simultaneously. Both portraits work together in highlighting a missing block of time present between the two points at which the images were created. Therefore, the motives behind making these portraits are similar for both the subject and the photographer, in that their intentions are essentially to create a vehicle of remembrance. Many of these subjects faced the very real prospect of not returning from war and were actually ‘killed in action’ (KIA), thus these portraits could be described for some as a parting gift. From the photographer’s perspective, there was clearly a desire to ensure the survival of the collection, rather than to simply destroy that which no longer served a commercial function. I believe that the more striking direct-address portraits of pre-war servicemen have a look of real apprehension about them, which cannot be either overlooked or disguised.

In summary, the objective of the project is, first, to raise the profile of this component of Hardman’s archive (as compared to the better known components, such as the landscapes or topographical cityscapes), through extracting selected portraits from the archive and thus altering their original function. Second, it is to show these portraits to the communities from where they first originated, before they have physically decomposed to an extent where they no longer can be viewed or seen. Thirdly, through the use of a database created specifically for the project, it is to allow the identification of patterns to be revealed in the archive and thus to support a contemporary creative response and intervention within the archive. Then finally, it is to explore the difficulties and challenges associated with working in a photographic archive of this nature, while having to deal with the institutions and agencies who are reluctant to allow any access or publication of the materials held therein.


Barthes, R (2000) Camera Lucida : Reflections on Photography. Minneapolis and London: Vintage. First published in 1981.

Duerden, M. & Grant, K. (2013) Doubletake. Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University Press.

Gibbon, J. (2011) Contemporary Art and Memory: Images of Recollection and Remembrance. New York: IB Tauris & Co Ltd.

Hirsch, M. (1999) The Familial Gaze. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Hirsch, M. (2012) Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Keith W Roberts has been the Programme Leader for the B.A. (hons) in Photography at St Helens College for the last ten years. He is a photographic practitioner, educator and researcher, having had his images published and exhibited both nationally and internationally since 1990. The Hardman Intermission Portraits project is a component of the creative output from a practice based PhD Roberts has been engaged within at Manchester Metropolitan University since 2010.

Haïtiennes. Portraits de femmes militantes

haitiennes_final_sketch epubAuteurs : Collectif d’auteurs et d’auteures, sous la direction de Ricarson Dorcé et Émilie Tremblay

Collection Portraits de femme

Date de parution : décembre 2015

Résumé : Il y a des femmes qui ont marqué et marquent encore la vie sociale, politique et culturelle d’Haïti : des femmes scientifiques, journalistes, militantes féministes, défenseures des droits humains, politiciennes, écrivaines… Malheureusement, nombre de ces femmes, en dépit de leur implication, de leur courage et de leur détermination, sont tombées dans l’oubli, car l’histoire officielle haïtienne a été, dit-on, écrite par des hommes et pour des hommes, reflétant l’infériorisation de la féminité dans la société haïtienne.

C’est pour contrer cet oubli que ce livre collaboratif, écrit par des femmes et des hommes, présente les portraits de quinze femmes haïtiennes de différentes époques qui ont contribué, chacune à leur manière, à construire Haïti ou à mieux la comprendre.

Disponible en html (libre accès), en PDF, en ePub, en livre imprimé

ISBN epub : 978-2-924661-05-5
ISBN pour l’impression : 978-2-924661-04-8

Dans les médias : «Haïti et ses femmes », mars 2017, en ligne à

Pour lire le livre en ligne (format html en libre accès)

Pour commander la version imprimée par chèque ou par virement bancaire

Pour commander par Paypal ou carte de crédit le livre en format imprimé ou en PDF/ePub :

Version papier ou ePub et pdf



25%-os akció nyomtatott könyveinkre

Az internetes vásárlás napjától kezdve Karácsonyig bezárólag 25%-os árengedményt adunk minden nyomtatott kötetünkre! Igen, kivétel nélkül mindre (miközben e-könyveink természetesen továbbra is ingyenesen letölthetőek). Ha egy jelre várt – ez az 😉

Íme az akcióban részt vevő kötetek listája:

A vásárlás véglegesítésénél a következő kódot használja a CreateSpace online felületén: ZUH2NP87

#secrecymachine. The Politics and Practices of Secrecy

In contemporary liberal democracies there is a polarisation between ideals of transparency – borne out in open government legislation, freedom of information, and confessionary culture – and what we might call a secret sphere, an institutionalised commitment to covert security operations that exist beyond the public view. In the wake of the Snowden revelations about the surveillance capabilities of intelligence agencies around the globe, an interdisciplinary symposium gathered experts to discuss the place and implications of secrecy in contemporary cultural politics. Speakers addressed what was politically, ethically, socially and ontologically at stake in cultures of secrecy at the individual, national, and international level. Recordings from the event were hidden across some of the darkest corners of the world wide web and were revealed to participants through a series of leaks and revelations starting on the 8th October 2015 at 12 Noon GMT. All of the leaks were revealed to the public on 9th October 2015 at 1102Hrs GMT. They are available as podcasts here:

You can also download the materials from the symposium via a torrent. Distributing this will help our secrets remain permanently in the network. To use it please install a torrent client such as Bittorrent

20% kedvezmény nyomtatott köteteink árából

Itt a nyár, ideje feltölteni a polcokat nagyszerű olvasmányokkal – olyasmikkel, amelyek kitartanak az új tudós szemeszter beköszöntéig is! Hogy ne terheljük meg a pénztárcát, 20%-os kedvezményt adunk Print-on-Demand, azaz nyomtatott könyveink árából (és természetesen e-könyveink továbbra is ingyenesen letölthetőek maradnak).

Íme a lista azokról a könyvekről, amelyek kedvezményesen beszerezhetőek augusztus 31-ig:

Megrendelésnél a következő kóddal lehet érvényesíteni a kedvezményt a CreateSpace oldalán: BELY9A54

Recursive Historiographical Work and the Responsibility of the Historian: Adrian Johns

This interview with historian Adrian Johns by Janneke Adema focuses on historical efforts to redefine print's past, on the  relationship between technology, science and knowledge, and on our responsibility and performativity as historians. The interview was conducted on March 20th 2015 at the Total Archive Conference at Cambridge University, UK. For more information about the online, open access journal Culture Machine, visit

Technogenesis and Media Specific Analysis: N. Katherine Hayles

This interview with literary scholar N. Katherine Hayles by Janneke Adema focuses on Hayles's concepts of technotext and intermediation, her views on technogenesis and agency, and her proposal for media specific analysis. The interview was conducted on March 20th 2015 at the Total Archive Conference at Cambridge University, UK. For more information about the online, open access journal Culture Machine, visit

Software Theory – Federica Frabetti

Interview with media theorist Federica Frabetti by Janneke Adema. The interview focuses on Frabetti's recently published monograph Software Theory: A Cultural and Philosophical Study. Topics of conversation include the materiality of software, code and writing, deconstructive readings of technology, the originary technicity of the (post)human, and the politics and ethics of software. This interview was conducted on February 23rd 2015 at Oxford Brookes University. For more information about the online, open access journal Culture Machine, visit

Radnóti eklógái – megjelent!

Eclogues and Other PoemsWe are proud to announce our latest release: Miklós Radnóti’s Eclogues and Other Poems, translated by Jack Roberts. Born in Budapest in 1909, Radnóti began publishing his poems and translations while still a university student. By the late 1930’s, he had established himself as a major new voice in magyar poetry. His life ended in 1944 not far from the village of Abda, where, a short distance from the banks of the Rába, he was slain by his captors near the end of a forced march that had begun in the mountains of Serbia months before. Many of the poems included here were composed during his captivity in the labor camp whose name appears at the end of several eclogues and other poems.

The translator, Jack Roberts is author of A Life Less Damnable and Having Said That, also published by AMERICANA eBooks.

More information & download »

A színpadtól a színpadig

Örömmel mutatjuk be legfrissebb kötetünket, a hiánypótló A színpadtól a színpadig. Válogatás Marvin Carlson színházi írásaiból című könyvet Kurdi Mária és Csikai Zsuzsa szerkesztésében! A kötet fejezetei Marvin Carlson öt könyvéből és két tanulmányából közölnek részleteket, illetve további két tanulmányt teljes egészben közre adnak magyar fordításban. Ezek a szövegek 1990 és 2011 között születtek és keresztmetszetet nyújtanak az ezredforduló színháztudományának olyan kérdéseiről és folyamatairól, mint a színházszemiotika, interkulturalitás, többnyelvűség a színpadon, a történelem újrajátszásai, az előadás eseményszerűsége és a performanszok világa a posztstrukturalista elméletek kontextusában. Marvin Carlson adatokkal és tanácsokkal segítette a vállalkozást, továbbá a válogatásban érdeklődésük, tanulmányaik és a potenciális olvasók általuk feltételezett igényeinek megfelelően nagy segítségére voltak a szerkesztőknek maguk a fordítók is. Egyetemi oktatók, fiatal kutatók, doktori hallgatók és mesterszakos diákok alkotják a fordítói gárdát. Kiadó, szerkesztők és fordítók közösen reméljük, hogy a szövegek hasznára lesznek mind a színházzal foglalkozó szakembereknek és tanároknak, mind a színházi tanulmányokat folytató, graduális és posztgraduális diákoknak, valamint a színházat szerető olvasóknak általában is.

További információ és letöltés »

Having Said That – a new book by Jack Roberts

Having Said ThatWe are proud and happy to bring you the new Jack Roberts book, Having Said That, that contains a previously unreleased short story (Re: Bright Goddess, At Your Rising) and a collection of twenty-nine poems (including “River Blindness,” “Dream Fox,” and “Margitszigeten”). We worked directly from the author’s original manuscripts and adjusted the layout and design of the collection to fit that of the novel, A Life Less Damnable, to provide the sense of contiguity in Roberts’ works. We are now working on his translations of Miklós Radnóti’s Eclogues, expected to be released in early 2015. Having Said That is avaliable – as usual – in two ebook formats (.epub & .mobi) for free, under the Creative Commons license, and can be ordered in print from CreateSpace and Amazon.

2010-2013-as statisztikáink

Sok barátunk, ismerősünk, kollégánk és a világ minden tájáról érkező kutató kérdezte tőlünk, hogy ment az első pár évünk, amióta beléptünk az e-könyves piacra. Itt a rövid, de remélhetőleg informatív válasz: