The Rise of the Guest Editor—Discontinuities of Editorship in Scholarly Publishing

Authors : Marcel Knöchelmann, Felicitas Hesselmann, Martin Reinhart, Cornelia Schendzielorz

Scholarly publishing lives on traditioned terminology that gives meaning to subjects such as authors, inhouse editors and external guest editors, artifacts such as articles, journals, special issues, and collected editions, or practices of acquisition, selection, and review.

These subjects, artifacts, and practices ground the constitution of scholarly discourse. And yet, the meaning ascribed to each of these terms shifts, blurs, or is disguised as publishing culture shifts, which becomes manifest in new digital publishing technology, new forms of publishing management, and new forms of scholarly knowledge production.

As a result, we may come to over- or underestimate changes in scholarly communication based on traditioned but shifting terminology. In this article, we discuss instances of scholarly publishing whose meaning shifted.

We showcase the cultural shift that becomes manifest in the new, prolific guest editor. Though the term suggests an established subject, this editorial role crystallizes a new cultural setting of loosened discourse communities and temporal structures, a blurring of publishing genres and, ultimately, the foundations of academic knowledge production.

URL : The Rise of the Guest Editor—Discontinuities of Editorship in Scholarly Publishing


The Democratisation Myth: Open Access and the Solidification of Epistemic Injustices

Author : Marcel Knöchelmann

Open access (OA) is considered to solve an accessibility problem in scholarly communication. But this accessibility is restricted to consumption of Western knowledge.

Epistemic injustices inhering in the scholarly communication of a global production of knowledge remain unchanged. This underscores that the commercial and “big deal” OA dominating Europe and North America has little revolutionary potential to democratise knowledge.

Western academia, driven by politics of progressive neoliberalism, can even reinforce its hegemonic power by solidifying and legitimating the contemporary hierarchies of scholarly communication through OA.

I approach the accessibility problem dialectically to arrive at a critique of the commercial large-scale implementations of OA. I propose a threefold conceptualisation of epistemic injustices comprising of testimonial injustice, hermeneutical injustice, and epistemic objectification.

As these injustices prevail, the notion of a democratisation of knowledge through OA is but another form of technological determinism that neglects the intricacies of culture and hegemonial order.

URL : The Democratisation Myth: Open Access and the Solidification of Epistemic Injustices


A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship

Authors : Jonathan Tennant, Ritwik Agarwal, Ksenija Baždarić, David Brassard, Tom Crick, Daniel Dunleavy, Thomas Evans, Nicholas Gardner, Monica Gonzalez-Marquez, Daniel Graziotin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Daniel Gunnarsson, Johanna Havemann, Mohammad Hosseini, Daniel Katz, Marcel Knöchelmann, Christopher Madan, Paolo Manghi, Alberto Marocchino, Paola Masuzzo, Peter Murray-Rust, Sanjay Narayanaswamy, Gustav Nilsonne, Josmel Pacheco-Mendoza, Bart Penders, Olivier Pourret, Michael Rera, John Samuel, Tobias Steiner, Jadranka Stojanovski, Alejandro Uribe-Tirado, Rutger Vos, Simon Worthington, Tal Yarkoni

There is no clear-cut boundary between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship, and the histories, practices, and fundamental principles between the two remain complex.

In this study, we critically appraise the intersections and differences between the two movements. Based on our thematic comparison here, we conclude several key things.

First, there is substantial scope for new communities of practice to form within scholarly communities that place sharing and collaboration/open participation at their focus.

Second, Both the principles and practices of FOSS can be more deeply ingrained within scholarship, asserting a balance between pragmatism and social ideology.

Third, at the present, Open Scholarship risks being subverted and compromised by commercial players.

Fourth, the shift and acceleration towards a system of Open Scholarship will be greatly enhanced by a concurrent shift in recognising a broader range of practices and outputs beyond traditional peer review and research articles.

In order to achieve this, we propose the formulation of a new type of institutional mandate. We believe that there is substantial need for research funders to invest in sustainable open scholarly infrastructure, and the communities that support them, to avoid the capture and enclosure of key research services that would prevent optimal researcher behaviours.

Such a shift could ultimately lead to a healthier scientific culture, and a system where competition is replaced by collaboration, resources (including time and people) are shared and acknowledged more efficiently, and the research becomes inherently more rigorous, verified, and reproducible.

URL : A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship


Open Science in the Humanities, or: Open Humanities?

Author : Marcel Knöchelmann

Open science refers to both the practices and norms of more open and transparent communication and research in scientific disciplines and the discourse on these practices and norms.

There is no such discourse dedicated to the humanities. Though the humanities appear to be less coherent as a cluster of scholarship than the sciences are, they do share unique characteristics which lead to distinct scholarly communication and research practices.

A discourse on making these practices more open and transparent needs to take account of these characteristics. The prevalent scientific perspective in the discourse on more open practices does not do so, which confirms that the discourse’s name, open science, indeed excludes the humanities so that talking about open science in the humanities is incoherent.

In this paper, I argue that there needs to be a dedicated discourse for more open research and communication practices in the humanities, one that integrates several elements currently fragmented into smaller, unconnected discourses (such as on open access, preprints, or peer review).

I discuss three essential elements of open science—preprints, open peer review practices, and liberal open licences—in the realm of the humanities to demonstrate why a dedicated open humanities discourse is required.

URL : Open Science in the Humanities, or: Open Humanities?