The Open Library of Humanities (OLH), formally launched last September, promises to be of great value to Arts and Humanities. It is funded by a consortium of libraries, together with support from the Andrew Mellon foundation. Unlike traditional publishers, which commonly make large profits, it is a not-for-profit organisation and makes its journal articles available open access on the Internet without any payment by authors. The high author processing charges required by other publishers to make articles open access are particularly difficult for many scholars in Arts and Humanities to fund
The Open Library of Humanities has seven journals and intends to increase the number of journals each year. One journal, entitled Open Library of Humanities, is a new “mega-journal” which publishes scholarship throughout the humanities disciplines and particularly welcomes inter-disciplinary articles. There have been preliminary discussions about the possibility of publishing books as well as journals.
The directors of the Open Library of Humanities have ensured that academic standards in its journals will be high, with rigorous peer review. They point out that since authors don’t pay for their articles to be published there can be no financial incentive to publish work that is not of a suitable standard.
Articles published in the OLH are likely to have a larger readership than many published solely in journals which only a relatively small number of libraries are able to afford. Measures have been taken to ensure long term preservation of the journals. The journals meet all the requirement of the REF.
The Open Library of Humanities publishing model was discussed in an article in The Times in December entitled Open Library of Humanities aims to ‘flip’ journals to open access.
If you wish to consider submitting an article free of charge for publication in the OLH or if you just want to find out more about it, have a look at the Open Library of Humanities web pages.