Author: Marcus Burkhardt

When talking about Open Access to technologists, developers etc. the focus quickly shifts to repositories as well as the issue of automated metadata exchange. Essentially repositories are huge document stores that allow for the systematic description of documents with metadata. Additionally contemporary repository systems like DSpace, Fedora, Opus etc. usually provide a standardized OAI-PMH interface allowing data aggregators to harvest data from the repository and to include this data into their own catalogues. That’s an important feature which comes at considerable cost with the above mentioned systems. Even though they are Open Source they are designed for huge collections of Open Access publications and are thus rather complex. Installing and maintaining them easily becomes a full time job.

For small and medium publishers in the area of Open Access DSpace and the like are just too big, too powerful, and too complicated. Thus, we searched for a different solution. And we found one. Continue Reading…

A while back we published the infographic „How to Start an Open Access Journal“ on this blog. Drawing on existing research on Open Access journals and the experiences we gained in the Hybrid Publishing Lab we originally assembled the poster for a workshop with a group of scholars interested in starting their own Open Access journal. Recently my colleague Andreas Kirchner and I have been conducting another workshop with doctoral and postdoctoral researchers from the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture at the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen on the same topic. We took this occasion as an opportunity to create an “Open Access Journal Canvas” (PDF) which supplements the poster.

Open Access Journal Canvas Continue Reading…

Over the course of the last year we were working hard on establishing an experimental publishing outlet for the Hybrid Publishing Lab. As our first publication is finally completed we are happy to introduce meson press to you. Run by members of the lab the aim of meson press is to publish high quality Open Access monographs. Even though the scholarly book is changing its face in the age of digital media, we strongly believe in the many virtues of its format for academic communication. Some might claim that the book is dead. Nevertheless we are aiming to reinvent the book by developing creative solutions for scholarly publishing in the digital age.

meson press publishes research on digital cultures and networked media. Its publications challenge contemporary theories and advance key debates in the humanities today.


Rethinking Gamification
Today our first book will be released: Our friends of the Gamification Lab at the Centre for Digital Cultures of Leuphana University of Lüneburg have put together a formidable volume of articles that seek to rethink gamification. The book offers a candid assessment of the current gamification hype by tracing back its historical roots as well as exploring novel design practices and methods. The contributions to “Rethinking Gamification” (edited by Mathias Fuchs, Sonia Fizek, Paolo Ruffino and Niklas Schrape) furthermore critically discuss the social implications of this phenomenon and present artistic tactics for resistance. Read the full publication here. It’s open access!

Join us on Monday, June 30th, 2014, at 7 p.m. for the official book release of “Rethinking Gamification” at Mond­ba­sis (Lüner­tor­s­traße 20, Lüne­burg, Germany). Let’s talk about Gamification, future books to come, and upcoming topics. And last, but not least, let’s celebrate.

Following the great example of the Austrian Science Fund the Swiss National Research Foundation will fund the publication of Open Access monographs beginning on July 1st. Apparently this forthcoming shift from granting printing subsidies to supporting digital editions was not received positively by many stakeholders in the Swiss scientific community as Caspar Hirschi discusses in his thoughtful NZZ article. However, creating funding opportunities for publishing books in Open Access is an important step in the right direction. This leaves me wondering when the German Research Foundation and other research funding organizations in Germany will finally introduce similar funding instruments.

Reverse Engineering Digital Methods2. Workshop der AG Daten und Netzwerke

Centre for Digital Cultures
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Sülztorstr. 21-25 (Post)

Mit der jüngsten Konjunktur der Digital Humanities und der damit einhergehenden methodologischen, heuristischen und förderpolitischen Neuorientierung scheinen die Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften nun endgültig im digitalen Zeitalter angekommen zu sein. Dabei sind die Konturen des „digitalen” Forschungsparadigmas noch weithin unscharf. Dies stellt auch für die Medienwissenschaften eine Herausforderung dar, die sich an der Schnittstelle von Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften einerseits und Sozialwissenschaften andererseits mit der Frage konfrontiert sehen: Welche neuen Wege der Forschung können mit digitalen Medien beschritten werden und welche neuen Erkenntnisse zu Tage gefördert? Aber auch: Welche neuen Kompetenzen müssen Medienwissenschaftler_innen erwerben, um digital forschend tätig zu sein? Zugleich drängt sich die Frage nach der medialen Bedingtheit des digitalen Forschungsparadigmas auf: Auf welche Weise strukturieren technische Infrastrukturen und digitale Forschungspraktiken das Wissen, welches aus ihnen hervorgeht? Continue Reading…

Christoph Kratky, current president of the Austrian Science Fund, published an insightful piece on the state of Open Access in Nature. For Kratky the disequilibrium between local OA policies and global publishers remains one of the biggest challenges the Open Access movement faces:

Yet despite this progress, a worrying imbalance remains between the efforts of research funders (including organizations that perform research), which can act only at a local level, and big publishing houses, which act globally. As a result, countries and institutions have different OA policies and behaviours that form a confusing patchwork. Some have explicit OA policies; others do not. Some require; others recommend. Some offer funds to pay for OA costs; others do not. Some have opted for ‘gold’ OA, which demands that publishers make papers freely available; others prefer ‘green’ OA, which allows researchers to archive the work.

This cannot be resolved on a national level according to Kratky. As a consequence he calls for Europe to take a leading role in the efforts to make publicly funded research outcomes available for free.

The dispute amongst scholars and policy makers about which road to take to Open Access (gold or green) revolves to a great extend around the problem (or danger) of double dipping. It is widely acknowledged that publishers ought not to be allowed to charge twice for scientific publications, that is scholars and their public funders on the one hand and publicly funded libraries and readers on the other hand. On first glance this claim seems to be quite obvious as well as its solution appears to be trivial: when published open access a text has to be put online free of charge. Yet, that’s only part of the story.

Continue Reading…

The revelation of Prism and Tempora caused an ongoing discussion about data, privacy and surveillance. Yet, considering for example the fuss about Big Data or the struggle for Open (Government) Data there is a need for a broader discourse on how to grasp a better understanding of our digital data culture. Therefore the working group on data and networks of the German Media Studies Association (GfM) convenes next week (July 26/27, 2013) for its first workshop in Cologne.

Datenkritik Poster

Yuk Hui, Andreas Kirchner and me from the Hybrid Publishing Lab will be there to tackle together with the other participants the question “What is Data Critique?”.  Registration is still open. So just stop by, if you happen to be around Cologne next weekend. All necessary information can be found here.

He is one of the ancestors and masterminds of today’s digital media culture. Yesterday, Douglas Engelbart died at age 88. In 1968 Engelbart gave a presentation which is since widely regarded as the mother of all demos. To catch a glimpse of the history of computer culture the video of the event is still worth watching – even more so today. Continue Reading…

Yesterday the German parliament passed a law granting scientists the right to make their research available online after a period of twelve month independent of former agreements with publishers. On first glance this appears to be a good thing. Yet as always the devil lies in the detail. The law excludes the regular everyday research done in universities. This limitation has been justly criticized. Moreover the legislation falls short in another respect which is especially important to the humanities: The legal right is limited to publications in periodicals. Scholarly monographs and papers in edited volumes therefore cannot be made legally available online after the embargo period. So it comes back to the question under which conditions book publishers allow authors to make their books Open Access.

Heinz Pampel put together a great overview (in German) of the debates around the so-called ‘Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht’ on his blog

The recent launch of the Digital Public Library of America and the Internet Archive’s release of a vast collection of historical software once more shows that the quest for Open Access to scientific publications is just one side of the story of scholarly digital publishing. Especially in the humanities the findability or even accessibility of historical resources on the Internet is considered to be of great importance. Even if their scope is not limited to scholars the DPLA and its European pendant Europeana as well as the Internet Archive provide invaluable resources for researchers all over the planet. Continue Reading…