The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current state of debates surrounding Open Access (OA) in non-STEM disciplines.
This paper uses a selective literature review and discussion methodology to give a representative summary of the state of the art.
Non-STEM disciplines persistently lag behind scientific disciplines in their approach to OA, if the teleology towards open dissemination is accepted. This can be attributed to a variety of economic and cultural factors that centre on the problem of resource allocation with respect to quality.
This paper will be of value to policymakers, funders, academics and publishers. The original aspect of the paper pertains to the identification of an anxiety of irrelevance in the humanities disciplines and a focus on “quality” in Open-Access publishing debates.