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Europe PMC team

 | 2 December 2014


Innovation in Digital Publishing: blog series

Guest post from Lisa O’Sullivan, Director, Center
for the History of Medicine and Public Health
By now it’s axiomatic that the
digital world poses new opportunities and challenges for researchers,
libraries, educational institutions, and publishers, which must be engaged with
digital formats in a sustained and thoughtful way. The realities of this
landscape encompass challenges to traditional models of publication and new
expectations around access to both historic collections and new research
literature. Open Access (OA) publishing and archiving is a central one of these
Why is OA such a critical concern
for libraries, researchers and publishers? (And why should you as a reader
care?). In December 2013, we at
The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) hosted an informal meeting around questions
of OA. Participants discussed how issues of access to information have,
ironically, been exacerbated by the growth of digital journals and electronic
resources. Access to new research, whether in the sciences or humanities, is
often prohibitively expensive for individuals and institutions. Authors
struggle to make their work accessible to the broadest possible readership.
Jill Cirasella at CUNY
has produced an excellent summary 
of what’s at stake in discussions of OA.
The Wellcome Trust has been at the forefront in supporting open
access to the research it funds in biomedical science and medical humanities,
from its support of the open-access
eLife journal and Europe PMC to ensuring that all research funded by
the Trust is made freely available to users. As such, NYAM are delighted to be
working with the Trust to coordinate a panel called Innovation in Digital
Publishing in the Humanities at the
American Historical Association Annual Meeting taking place in New York in January. The panel will be chaired by Stephen Robertson, professor and director of the Roy Rosenzweig
Center for History & New Media at George Mason, whose
Digital Harlem project has won multiple awards for innovation in
digital history.
Our panel will
examine OA from a number of perspectives. However the potentials (and
associated challenges) of digital publishing go beyond OA to broader
opportunities for readers, publishers, and writers in the digital world,
whether relating to new ways of presenting archival material online, new ways
of doing and sharing research, or new ways to engage larger audiences, and we
will explore some of these as well.

We’ve asked our speakers to start the conversation early by
giving their thoughts on the biggest challenge or opportunity
facing digital publishing. This week, the blog series features two
perspectives on Open Access and its implications, from
Cecy Marden (Wellcome Trust) and Lisa Norberg (Barnard College Library). We will publish
thoughts from Martin Eve (University of Lincoln and Open Library of
Humanities), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Modern Language Association), and Matthew K.
Gold (New York City College of Technology and City University of New York,
Graduate Center) over the next few weeks. Visit NYAM’s
Innovation in Digital Publishing section to read them all as they go live.

Feel free to pose questions to
the participants individually or as a group; they will respond on the blog and
take your thoughts into consideration for the panel itself.

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