Skip to Main Content

Open Access: a guide for researchers

Open Access and the Humanities

A guide for Academics interested in Open Access and identifying how to make their research available via Open Access

Humanities are quite distinct from the Sciences & Social Sciences

  • Monographs and book chapters are more important as research outputs
  • Research specific to a Nationality or Language may be more common in the humanities
    • This may affect how/where you choose to publish
  • Integrity of the text is important
    • Which may be related to the meaning & value of the work
  • Greater inclusion of third party material within published work – copyright issues
  • Less grant funded research
    • Smaller grants, may not run to paying article processing charges (APC's)
  • Many more independent scholars
    • No access to institutional repositories or funding for APC's
    • Independent OA Journals may be an option
  • Less collaborative research in the humanities
  • Open access first emerged in the sciences - so the current model suits the sciences more; however the model is evolving


Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

The OLH recognises that the economics of the humanities are different. The majority of research in the humanities remains unfunded except through institutional time. For this reason, Article Processing Charges are not a palatable option for these disciplines. They are funded instead through a model of Library Partnership which includes Maynooth University. So there are no author fees.

The OLH publishing platform supports academic journals from across the humanities disciplines, as well as hosting its own multidisciplinary journal. Launched as an international network of scholars, librarians, programmers and publishers in January 2013, the OLH has received two substantial grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to date, and has built a sustainable business model with its partner libraries.

All of their academic articles are subject to rigorous peer review and the scholarship they publish showcases some of the most dynamic Research taking place in the humanities disciplines today – from classics, modern languages and cultures, philosophy, theology and history, to political theory, sociology, anthropology, film and new media studies, and digital humanities.

OLH’s mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.

Other Projects include: the Monographs and Open Access Project (HEFCE) and the National Monograph Strategy (JISC)

Book Chapters can be invisible !

Book chapters are difficult to discover as they generally are not picked up by Google / Google Scholar or catalogues. However, once they are in an Open Access repository, they will become visible; for example in the Maynooth Institutional Repository

Palmer, Fiona (2016) Conductors and Self-Promotion in the British Nineteenth-Century Marketplace. In: The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World, 1800-1930. Boydell Press, Woodbridge, pp. 130-149. ISBN 9781783270651

In Google Scholar