Instead of American Quarterly, the Journal of Women’s History

After I decided to included articles from one journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press in my examination of which articles that could have the publisher’s version PDF deposited in an institutional repository have been, I was planning at first on American Quarterly. However, since I’m trying to focus especially on the specific discipline of history here, I wanted to double-check the proportion of authors there who are historians, and in American Quarterly, it looks as though that might not be more than half.

There might be no perfect journals for this with that press, but Journal of Women’s History seems to much more often have historians as authors. Think I’ll switch to that.

Journals currently of interest

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m interested in exploring historians’ views of open access, Gold and Green, and exploring therefore their behavior with the Green OA options they currently have, principally institutional repositories, and it seems likely to me that the best-case scenario for IR deposit are articles for which the publisher’s PDF is allowed, which seem so far to be in about 70 journals from about six different university presses.

To allow for a good range of journals, embargoes, and subject matter while sticking generally with history topics, I’ve changed somewhat and expanded the journals I’m looking at, dropping one of my initial three and adding another seven. The nine I’m now looking in for relevant articles are:

  • American Quarterly Journal of Women’s History from Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Pacific Historical Review from University of California Press
  • Public Historian from University of California Press
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History from MIT Press
  • New England Quarterly from MIT Press
  • Journal of World History from University of Hawaii Press
  • Journal of Modern History from University of Chicago Press
  • Journal of the Early Republic from University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Early American Studies from University of Pennsylvania Press

From those nine, I’m trying to gather up the title, issue, and author for most research articles and long essays for a couple of years and note also the authors’ institutions. (I’m not interested right now in book reviews or in editorials, letters, editors’ notes, or other items of under five pages.) I’m starting with articles published in 2013, since none of these journals have an embargo of longer than 12 months, so 2013 is the earliest full year unaffected by an embargo for all of these. I’ll probably also look at 2011 and 2012.

Once I know which articles I’m looking for and with which institutions their authors are affiliated, I can look at what proportion of authors who could deposit the version of record in their IR have chosen to do.

At the moment, I’m tracking all this information in a Google spreadsheet.

Who knows whether I’ll finish all of this or whether it’s actually worthwhile, but right now it at least seems like it could be pretty interesting.

History Journal Publishers permitting their PDF in Institutional Repositories

There aren’t a whole lot of history journal publishers that SHERPA/ROMEO shows as allowing the publisher’s version/PDF in institutional repositories, so I was disappointed and irritated when Cambridge University Press stopped being among them a year or two ago.

I was happy to discover last week, though, that Johns Hopkins University Press now allows it. They may have already when I was first looking into this a couple of years ago; perhaps I just missed it. Either way, I’m happy to see the increase in the academic presses that allow it. Johns Hopkins University Press, in fact, appears to have the most journals (27) indexed in America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts of any of the publishers that allow IR deposit of the publisher’s version/PDF. The next most is University of Chicago Press with 18 and then University of California Press with 17; after that are MIT Press, University of Hawaii Press, and University of Pennsylvania Press, which are each in the single digits.

Journals from such publishers seem like pretty much the best-case scenario for the articles most attractive to readers when found in IRs and therefore perhaps to authors when depositing in IRs. The best within that group, actually, would be those that don’t require an embargo. Of the group above, Johns Hopkins and California have no embargo, MIT and Hawaii generally have a 6-month embargo, and Chicago and Penn appear to have a 12-month embargo.

[Edited to fix the number for U of California Press.]

Standard behavior for links

An ongoing discussion in my place of work, as in many, is whether links from our website should open in a new tab/window or in the same one. Michael Schofield made a fairly compelling case for the latter in a January blog post. In that post, though, he said,

Design conventions are useful….The conventions set by the sites that users spend the most time on–Facebook, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and so on–are conventions users expect to be adopted everywhere.

Since he’s arguing for using the conventions set by such sites, it seems worth asking whether such dominant sites do share a standard behavior, influencing users’ expectations consistently.

The sites listed in the article he links to include ESPN, Craigslist, Tumblr, eBay, Amazon, AOL, Microsoft (apparently including Bing, Hotmail, and MSN), Yahoo, Google, and Facebook.

I understand the question here to be about links to external sites. Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist, as shopping sites, have a ton of internal links, but external links are harder to find. So let’s look at the others.

The quick and simple testing I’ve done indicates that there’s a real divide. Facebook, ESPN, Tumblr, and MSN all seem to open external links in new tabs. AOL, Bing, Yahoo, and Google all seem to open them in the same tab.

I decided to look a little further at some other prominent sites. Twitter, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and Slate all seem to open external links in new tabs, while Wikipedia, Reddit, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Scientific American all open external links in the same tab.

AOL, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Reddit is a significant set of some major and influential sites. But Facebook, ESPN, MSN, Tumblr, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post are also count for something here.

The other arguments Schofield makes are pretty persuasive. He’s probably right that links should generally open in the same tab. It just doesn’t seem like there’s standard behavior across those major sites to consistently set user expectations in this regard.

OA Research Project Ideas

One of my strongest interests at the moment is exploring the possibility of increased  breadth and depth of open access scholarly publication in the humanities and social sciences, considering attitudes and uses of OA of any sort by historians, sociologists, and such scholars and also more clear and permissive licenses by scholars of any sort, though especially such humanists and social scientists.

The nascent Open Library of the Humanities has the potential to be enormously important, but there’s obviously a lot more to be done.

Along those lines, there are a few different projects that I hope might be useful. Several of these would probably best be constructed as databases ultimately, but at the moment, my database development skills are insufficient, and I’ll probably just settle for spreadsheets or blog entries.

For example,

  • What knowledge and opinions do historians have about OA? I’d like to discuss it with as many as possible and see what we can do with the answers.
  • Toward narrowing the field of the most immediately relevant historians, which universities have faculty mandates for green OA, who are the history faculty there, have they deposited their works in their institutional repository (IR), and (especially if so) what are their attitudes toward gold OA?

This Google spreadsheet will help identify who such historians are.

  • Also in focusing toward some of the most immediately relevant historians, it appears from SHERPA/RoMEO that journals from University of California Press, University of Chicago Press, University of Hawaii Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, and MIT Press each appear to allow authors to deposit the publisher’s PDF in an IR. Who are the authors of articles in history journals from those publishers, are those authors at institutions with IRs, have those authors deposited the articles from these journals in those IRs, and what are their attitudes toward green but especially gold OA?

This Google Spreadsheet should help in examining that question for at least a few journals.

I’m focusing for now on three–Journal of the Early Republic, from University of Pennsylvania Press; Journal of Interdisciplinary History, from MIT Press; and Journal of Religion and American Culture, from University of California Press.

  • There are also a number of journals describing themselves as open access and listed in DOAJ that offer no license for reuse, even as restrictive as CC-BY-NC-ND. What are the thoughts of those journals’ editors and contributors about licenses?

This Google spreadsheet will help to identify such journals.

There are a number of arguments various people make for more or less permissive licenses (e.g., CC-BY vs CC-BY-NC-ND). It might be helpful to gather together an extensive list of the most detailed benefits and drawbacks people see in CC-BY, for example.

There are a lot of uses for OA scholarly literature that journalists, high-school teachers, and members of the public are likely to have. It’d be great to gather an extensive and ongoing list of specific cases.



I actually had a previous WordPress blog at this domain (though with a different hosting provider) before I discovered the hard way that I didn’t actually know how to restore the database for a WordPress blog from backup (which is extra-embarrassing for a librarian, of course).

One silver lining is there weren’t many posts there to be lost in the first place; another is that it made for a decent occasion to switch domain registrar and hosting provider.

All my best stuff is in the future, anyway.