19 January 2015

Digital Humanities and New Frontiers

At the end of November the University of St Andrews hosted the Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow. This event showcased some of the important work that is currently going on in the world of scholarly publishing, and in particular book publishing. The response to the Roadshow was overwhelmingly positive, showing that there is clearly a lot of interest in open access book publishing in the humanities. With this in mind, we wrote a blog post to highlight the work the library is doing to increase visibility and accessibility to open scholarly ebooks through our catalogue.

Copyright Quinn Dombrowski

We would like to turn back to journals with this post and point the spotlight on Frontiers, an open access publisher with a very innovative publishing platform (more on that below). Last month the publisher announced that it is making a push on humanities and social science disciplines by announcing a series of HSS journals. Frontiers in Digital Humanities is the first to be announced, and is already open for submission. Digital Humanities is a fascinating new field that exists at the point of intersection between computing and humanities disciplines, and it is great to see that Frontiers have recognised the need to develop and share exciting new research in this area. Here at St Andrews our Digital Humanities Research Librarian Dr Alice Crawford has been working to raise the Library’s profile in this field. She has developed an Islandora repository in which rare books and manuscripts from Special Collections can be digitally displayed, and is assisting staff in academic Schools with a number of other digital projects. A project to convert the University’s Biographical Register of alumni into database format is also underway. The Library is very pleased to be using a range of new digital technologies to make these historical texts and data available to the public and to be opening up new avenues for researchers to explore.  To find more information about Digital Humanities at St Andrews check out the webpage, or visit the blog.

A bit about Frontiers:
Frontiers is a publisher with a twist, since it functions on a community-driven editorial model, with over 40,000 scientists and researchers as editors. Frontiers also uses an interactive open peer review system whereby review editors and authors engage in a discussion in order to seek agreement about the review outcome. This results in a peer-review system that is transparent and quick (Frontiers has an average time of 3 months between submission and publication). All Frontiers journals are also fully Open Access.

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