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In recognition of the growing importance of e-publications in the arts and humanities, in 2004 the (then) AHRB established an e-Publishing Round Table. This met twice a year and reported to the ICT in Arts and Humanities Research Programme’s Steering Committee. Its remit was to discuss and advise on matters of policy relating to e-publications in the arts and humanities including, for example, the maintenance and implementation of peer-review, funding models, business approaches and liaison between the AHRC and other organisations. In addition, a Research Councils UK work group, chaired by Astrid Wissenburg, was developing a common Research Councils policy on e-publications issues.

Considerable impetus has been given to the debate on these issues by the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Tenth Report on scientific, technical and medical publishing (2004). Click here to see the report, which strongly endorses the principle of Open Access to the outputs of publicly funded scientific research, and recommends “that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories in which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online.” Although aimed at the fields of science, technology and medicine, the report has major implications for the arts and humanities.

In May 2005 the AHRC held a Research Strategy Seminar on e-Publishing in the Arts and Humanities. The proceedings of this seminar are now available and can be downloaded here.

A paper entitled e-Publication and Open Access in the Arts and Humanities in the UK, by Malcolm Heath, Michael Jubb and David Robey has been published in Ariadne, 54 (January 2008), and is available here. This builds on points made and generally agreed during AHRC Research Strategy Seminar on e-Publishing in the Arts and Humanities and the AHRC e-Publishing Round Table. It does not necessarily represent current AHRC policy.

A JISC guide, Opening up Access to Research Results: Questions and Answers, provides information on many relevant issues.

An e-Glossary for the Arts and Humanities, which reflects discussions at the e-Publishing Round Table, has been prepared by David Robey, Director of the ICT in Arts and Humanities Research Programme, as a general introduction for arts and humanities researchers to the terminology and issues in the current debate. Click here for a .pdf version of the e-Glossary for the Arts and Humanities.

e-Publishing Round Table Membership: