Since 1986, subscription costs for academic journals have risen by 300% above inflation. In addition to exponentially increased research output over this period this has triggered what is known as “the serials crisis”; the inability of library budgets to keep pace with the prices set by publishers.
Simultaneously, it has been realised that putting research behind paywalls is both unjust (especially if the research was funded by the taxpayer) and also unhelpful; scholarly and scientific practices are not advanced by restricting access. This lead to the rise of the open access movement. Open access is traditionally schematized into two routes: green and gold. The former means that access is made open through the author depositing a copy of their article in their institution’s repository. The second means that the journal itself is open and free to read.
We believe that with a concerted effort from the academic community, we can build a sustainable, open-access future for scholarly publishing in the humanities.
Image: the University of Lincoln.