The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication
from 4-8 September 2023
Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University, where she also directs MESH, a research and development unit focused on the future of scholarly communication. She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 30,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world, and she is author of several books, including Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011). She is president of the board of directors of the Educopia Institute, and she is past president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.
The many colors and flavors of open-access currently in circulation have obfuscated two key issues: first, that one of the originating goals of the open access movement was creating greater equity by reducing the stranglehold that extractive corporations have developed over scholarly publishing; and second, that the dominant OA publishing mechanisms that have since emerged have if anything reduced equity, by attaching high fees to the formats that allow publications to circulate most widely. If actually equitable scholarly communication is our goal, we need to begin again, rethinking our platforms and workflows -- and above all, the ownership and governance of those platforms and workflows -- to allow for more meaningful scholar-led practices. This presentation will focus on work being done by Humanities Commons to develop open, collective, equitable communication processes that can give all scholars agency over the ways that work in their fields circulates.