Humanities researchers are gradually becoming informed about open-access publishing. What they need now is journals to publish in, says Martin Paul Eve.
From 1 April, Research Councils UK’s open-access policy will come into effect. Papers resulting from research council funding must be published in open-access journals or placed in open repositories, and RCUK will begin to provide block grants for the payment of article processing charges.
For humanities researchers, this hardline approach is to be both welcomed and feared. Welcomed because the principles of open access are sound; feared because, unlike the natural sciences, the humanities lack the number and diversity of open-access journals needed to sustain the field, and the proposed high charges of those there are may deter many researchers.