Criticizing Paywall Publishing, or Integrating Open Access into Feminist Movement

Authors : Meggie Mapes, Teri Terigele

Dominant scholarly publishing models, reliant on expensive paywalls, remain preferential throughout higher education’s landscape. This essay engages paywall publishing from a feminist communicative perspective by asking, how can publishing extend or prohibit feminist movements? Or, as Nancy Fraser (2013) asks, “which modes of feminist theorizing should be incorporated into the new political imaginaries now being invented by new generations” (2)? With these questions in mind, we integrate feminist epistemologies into publishing practices to argue that open access is integral to the feminist movement.

The argument unfolds in three parts: first, we conduct a feminist criticism of paywall publishing by arguing that status quo practices constitute a dominant public based on onto-epistemological foundations of exclusion that systematically subordinate potentially liberatory knowledge Second, we consider open access as a feminist re-tooling that creates new political imaginaries.

In this section, we place open access in conversation with bell hooks’s conception of literacy and Fraser’s counterpublic theory. We conclude by considering how to live feminist lives with these criticisms and re-toolings in mind.

URL : Criticizing Paywall Publishing, or Integrating Open Access into Feminist Movement


Who Guards the Gates? Feminist Methods of Scholarly Publishing

Authors : Laura Wildemann Kane, Amanda Licastro, Danica Savonick

As demonstrated by recent studies on bias in academic publishing, the traditional tiered system of peer-reviewed journals reproduces social hierarchies in terms of race, class, and gender.

Often, marginalized voices and methods are dismissed as less important, less rigorous, or too narrowly focused. These dismissals perpetuate the myths that only certain scholarship constitutes legitimate knowledge and only certain scholars can count as “knowers.”

In this essay, we explore how digital publishing can intervene in these processes and serve as a form of feminist activism. We take as our focus the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP), founded in 2011 to expand the perspectives and standpoints that count as scholarly knowledge production and provide graduate students with editorial experience.

As three long-standing members of the journal’s editorial collective, we have firsthand knowledge of how JITP’s publishing methods were developed through debate, struggle, and dialogue, including many missteps and failures along the way.

We argue that JITP‘s collaborative knowledge practices of inclusive editorial governance, open access, and open peer review are fundamentally feminist, as they diversify scholarly voices and increase access to the material channels in and through which knowledge circulates.

At stake in our reflective analysis is a broader claim that extends beyond the parameters of our work with one particular journal: that feminist digital publishing methods can expand what counts as knowledge production.

URL : Who Guards the Gates? Feminist Methods of Scholarly Publishing


Navigating Open Science as Early Career Feminist Researchers

Authors : Madeleine Pownall, Catherine Talbot, Anna Henschel, Alexandra Lautarescu, Kelly Lloyd, Helena Hartmann, Kohinoor Darda, Karen Tang, Parise Carmichael-Murphy, Jaclyn Siegel

Open Science aims to improve the rigour, robustness, and reproducibility of psychological research. Despite resistance from some academics, the Open Science movement has been championed by some Early Career Researchers (ECRs), who have proposed innovative new tools and methods to promote and employ open research principles.

Feminist ECRs have much to contribute to this emerging way of doing research. However, they face unique barriers, which may prohibit their full engagement with the Open Science movement.

We, ten feminist ECRs in psychology, from a diverse range of academic and personal backgrounds, explore Open Science through a feminist lens, to consider how voice and power may be negotiated in unique ways for ECRs. Taking a critical and intersectional approach, we discuss how feminist early career research may be complemented or challenged by shifts towards Open Science.

We also propose how ECRs can act as grassroots changemakers within the context of academic precarity. We identify ways in which Open Science can benefit from feminist epistemology and end with six practical recommendations for feminist ECRs who wish to engage with Open Science practices in their own research.