Open Research in Humanities and Arts disciplines
Open research is about more than opening access to publications. It involves transparency of the whole research process. Many of the principles of open research can be followed in humanities and arts (HARTS) disciplines, such as applying good research data management principles in documenting, structuring and organising data to facilitate future reuse; working collaboratively; sharing sources, research tools and methodologies; using persistent identifiers or taking opportunities for open peer-review.
The UK Reproducibility Network has produced some examples of good practice, and resources relevant to different disciplines and below are some HARTS-specific links to guidance, platforms for sharing, and open access publishers. While not forming a comprehensive list, these provide some pointers for implementing good open research practices. HARTS researchers should also consult the general Open Research pages, which include information about open access books.
Preprints, discussion and sharing research outputs
Humanities Commons A nonprofit network where researchers can create a professional profile, discuss common interests, develop new publications, and share their work.
OSF Preprints The Open Science Foundation’s platform for sharing preprints, including an arts and humanities section.
MediArXiv An open, community-led, digital archive for media, film, and communication research. Authors can upload working papers, pre-prints, accepted manuscripts and published manuscripts. Articles, books, and book chapters are included.
BodoArXiv An open, non-profit repository for papers in medieval studies. It includes works in progress: draft chapters, articles and book manuscripts, as well as peer-reviewed texts and fully formatted articles.
PhilPapers An index and bibliography of philosophy, hosting an open access archive of articles submitted by authors (PhilArchive) and a directory and social network for philosophers (PhilPeople).
Research data sharing
Researchers in HARTS disciplines sometimes generate their own data as a product of research, but HARTS research data may also take the form of collected sources or of documentation produced as a record of practice.
Digital sources should be cited using persistent identifiers if possible, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or Archival Resource Key (ARK). This provides a stable reference, which will not change over time.
If photographing sources which may be subject to copyright restrictions or other sensitivities, it is important to establish whether the photographs may be shared and under what conditions. It is good practice to facilitate reuse by choosing an open licence, such as a Creative Commons licence, as well as by using standard or open formats and providing comprehensive metadata. Digital images of archival material or links to copies deposited in a data repository can be offered back to the archive.
Research data may be shared openly or with restrictions via data.bris, the University of Bristol’s research data repository. There are also discipline-specific options.
Archaeology Data Service Digital repository for heritage data, with guidance on good practice and recommended formats.
Dig Digital Good practice guidance on creating, managing and sharing digital data in archaeology.
Preserving your research data lesson from Programming Historian about documenting and structuring data to ensure it remains useable in future.
UK Data Archive Social, economic and population data archive, also providing good practice guidance.
Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud The social sciences and humanities area of the European Open Science Cloud, containing datasets, tools and training.
CAIRO Project Guidance on managing creative arts research data.
Open Data for Humanists, A Pragmatic Guide by members of Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH).
Recommendations for FAIR Data Citation in the Social Sciences and Humanities produced by Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC).
Using open code in the research process means that the research can be more easily reproduced and validated. If new code is written as part of the research, making it open means that others can reuse it.
The Programming Historian has novice-friendly tutorials on a wide range of digital tools and techniques, making use of open source programming languages and software whenever possible.
Open access to publications
Options for open access to publications may be limited by lack of funding for article or book processing charges, but some publishers are experimenting with alternative models of funding open access publication without author-facing charges and some publishers may waive fees in certain cases. Self-archiving a version of the publication in a repository, such as Pure, also makes your work open access.
HARTs research may generate outcomes other than peer-reviewed publications that can be open, such as tools for research, websites or exhibitions.
The Open Library of Humanities A publishing platform supporting open access, peer-reviewed, academic journals from across the humanities disciplines, as well as hosting its own peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal. It is funded by an international consortium of libraries so there are no author-facing article processing charges.
Open Humanities Press An international, not-for-profit, scholar-led publishing collective, publishing peer-reviewed, open access journals and book series without author–facing charges.
Modern Languages Open A peer-reviewed platform for the open access publication of modern languages research, published by Liverpool University Press. They will waive the fees for a limited number of publications by early career researchers each year and the University of Bristol Library has a membership which covers a limited number of article processing charges.
Open Book Publishers Open access, not-for-profit, book publisher.
OAPEN An ERC-funded online library and publication platform providing an open infrastructure for monograph publishing. ERC-funded researchers can self-archive publications.
Open Access Books Toolkit from OAPEN. Designed to help authors better understand open access book publishing. Topics addressed include copyright and licensing, funding, quality assurance, discoverability and impact.
Punctum books Not for profit, open access, monograph publisher, which does not charge book processing fees to authors without funds to pay.
The Library has signed transformative agreements with some publishers of HARTS journals, which allow University of Bristol authors to publish gold open access articles at no additional cost.
The use of digital technologies to enable public involvement in academic research is often referred to as ‘citizen science’, but citizens also contribute data and input to humanities projects, for example by uncovering primary sources, tagging or transcribing archival material or offering local knowledge.
Zooniverse is a well-established platform for crowdsourced research in many disciplines.
Micropasts is a crowd-sourcing platform for data collection in archaeology, history and heritage research.