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Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access

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Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access. Edited by Martin Paul Eve, Jonathan Gray. The MIT Press. 2020.
ISBN electronic: 9780262363723

A critical inquiry into the politics, practices, and infrastructures of open access and the reconfiguration of scholarly communication in digital societies

The Open Access Movement proposes to remove price and permission barriers for accessing peer-reviewed research work—to use the power of the internet to duplicate material at an infinitesimal cost-per-copy. In this volume, contributors show that open access does not exist in a technological or policy vacuum; there are complex social, political, cultural, philosophical, and economic implications for opening research through digital technologies.

The contributors examine open access from the perspectives of colonial legacies, knowledge frameworks, publics and politics, archives and digital preservation, infrastructures and platforms, and global communities. The contributors consider such topics as the perpetuation of colonial-era inequalities in research production and promulgation; the historical evolution of peer review; the problematic histories and discriminatory politics that shape our choices of what materials to preserve; the idea of scholarship as data; and resistance to the commercialization of platforms.

Case studies report on such initiatives as the Making and Knowing Project, which created an openly accessible critical digital edition of a sixteenth-century French manuscript, the role of formats in Bruno Latour's An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, and the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), a network of more than 1,200 journals from sixteen countries. Taken together, the contributions represent a substantive critical engagement with the politics, practices, infrastructures, and imaginaries of open access, suggesting alternative trajectories, values, and possible futures.

Table of contents


I: Colonial Influences

  • 1: Epistemic Alienation in African Scholarly Communications: Open Access as a Pharmakon 
  • 2: Scholarly Communications and Social Justice 
  • 3: Social Justice and Inclusivity: Drivers for the Dissemination of African Scholarship 
  • 4: Can Open Scholarly Practices Redress Epistemic Injustice? 

II: Epistemologies

  • 5: When the Law Advances Access to Learning: Locke and the Origins of Modern Copyright 
  • 6: How Does a Format Make a Public? 
  • 7: Peer Review: Readers in the Making of Scholarly Knowledge 
  • 8: The Making of Empirical Knowledge: Recipes, Craft, and Scholarly Communication 

III: Publics and Politics

  • 9: The Royal Society and the Noncommercial Circulation of Knowledge 
  • 10: The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge 
  • 11: Libraries and Their Publics in the United States 
  • 12: Open Access, “Publicity,” and Democratic Knowledge 

IV: Archives and Preservation

  • 13: Libraries, Museums, and Archives as Speculative Knowledge Infrastructure 
  • 14: Preserving the Past for the Future: Whose Past? Everyone’s Future 
  • 15: Is There a Text in These Data? The Digital Humanities and Preserving the Evidence 
  • 16: Accessing the Past, or Should Archives Provide Open Access? 

V: Infrastructures and Platforms

  • 17: Infrastructural Experiments and the Politics of Open Access 
  • 18: The Platformization of Open 
  • 19: Reading Scholarship Digitally 
  • 20: Toward Linked Open Data for Latin America 
  • 21: The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of SciELO 

VI: Global Communities

  • 22: Not Self-Indulgence, but Self-Preservation: Open Access and the Ethics of Care 
  • 23: Toward a Global Open-Access Scholarly Communications System: A Developing Region Perspective 
  • 24: Learned Societies, Humanities Publishing, and Scholarly Communication in the UK 
  • 25: Not All Networks: Toward Open, Sustainable Research Communities 



You can read a review of the book (by Joshua M. Avery) --> here


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