Friday, 13 April 2018

Open Access, Collaboration, Interdisciplinarity...

Open Access, Collaboration, Interdisciplinarity...

The Universe and I are working towards a better relationship, in some areas at least.  For example, I am trying to persuade the Universe that if it wants me to read something it must not put too difficult obstacles between me and that text.  Money is an obstacle.

So, we look for useful things in Open Access resources, useful books and articles - though sometimes those Open Access resources are hard to find, hidden deep within academic or commercial publisher web sites.  Come along, Universe, make things easier...

And, of course, funding bodies need to think again - is it really Open Access if it is so hard to find...?

I have already mentioned two aggregating web sites, OAPEN and DOAB, and you can browse those web sites, and, back-tracking, see how funding decisions and scholarly decisions have made books available there - very often through European academic publishing houses and funding bodies...  But the net is spreading wider...

'The OAPEN Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation based in the Netherlands, with its registered office at the National Library in The Hague. OAPEN is dedicated to open access, peer-reviewed books. OAPEN operates two platforms, the OAPEN Library (www.oapen.org), a central repository for hosting and disseminating OA books, and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB, www.doabooks.org), a discovery service for OA books...'

http://www.oapen.org/home

https://www.doabooks.org/
Directory of Open access Books is provided by OAPEN Foundation

Very often we can find material of Irish interest, and Irish Diaspora interest, within DOAB and OAPEN - and I will return to that at a later date.  Again, I have already mentioned here on Fiddler's Dog the lovely (money-saving) discovery of Mícheál Briody's lovely book about The Irish Folklore Commission, and Séamus Ó Duilearga (James Hamilton Delargy) - which became freely available on OAPEN just when I needed to cite it...  Thank you, Universe.

The Irish Folklore Commission 1935-1970: History, ideology, methodology Briody, Mícheál Finnish Literature Society / SKS, Helsinki 2008
http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=617192

Let me now cite something from an overlapping area of interest - interdisciplinary studies.  Often, usually at the funds-seeking part of a project, I get asked to advise on the 'interdisciplinary' part of the bid - and I tippy-toe in. 

Noting, for example, a remark by Amy E. Earhart - about p.28, 'The blurring of interdisciplinarity with collaboration...'
Challenging Gaps: Redesigning Collaboration in the Digital Humanities
in
The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age Edited by Amy E. Earhart and Andrew Jewell
Series: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism
http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/etlc.9362034.0001.001

(This book is free to read and download on yet another Open Access site, digitalculturebooks, an imprint of the University of Michigan Press...  Not that easy to find, unless you already know it is there.)

But let me look briefly at an 'interdisciplinary' moment, one that is almost the opposite of collaboration - I can look briefly because the text is open access on the OAPEN web, and you can read it at your leisure.

I read this splendid book by Karl Widerquist and Grant S. McCall as a study of that moment when we try to be interdisciplinary, but realise that first of all we have to be critical - one discipline must offer a critique of another discipline.  In this case Widerquist and McCall ask how and why do modern philosophers use and perpetuate myths about prehistory?  (I might add that economists and theologians do it too...)

Widerquist, K., & McCall, G. (2017). Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Would I have come across this book if it were not for DOAB, OAPEN and Open Access?  Thank you, Universe.

Patrick O'Sullivan




25 years of the Irish Studies Review

25 years of the Irish Studies Review

There is to be a reception to commemorate 25 years of the Irish Studies Review, plus a presentation of postgraduate prizes from the British Association of Irish Studies at the Embassy of Ireland, London, on 23rd May 2018.

Looking back, those of us who were there at the beginning of the Irish Studies Review, and the founding of the British Association of Irish Studies...

I have put most of my Irish Diaspora Studies material on my MediaFire archive...


There is a little cluster of items which first appeared in Irish Studies Review, from 1992 onwards.

A number of writerly names are perhaps over-represented in the early issues of Irish Studies Review. 

The Founding Editors were, in those years, still finding their way - seeing quite where to pitch the journal - and a number of us were supportive, and did what the Editors asked us to do.

For example, the Editors decided to publish a short story of mine, 'The Fiddler's Apprentice' - the text, as published, complete with errors, is in that MediaFire archive.

I am told that the Editors were later to bitterly regret publishing that short story - for, they say, they were thereafter swamped by unsolicited short stories.

What can I say?  Not my fault, not my fault...

That story, 'The Fiddler's Apprentice' was later picked up by BBC Radio - I have put an audio file here...

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/lckrf8paym1n9/Music_%26_Audio

Later Irish Studies Review was to morph into a standard academic journal...  Quite right, too...

And here is an opportunity to congratulate the Irish Studies Review team...