Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Early Warning: California Classical Studies: Open-Access Digital Publication Project

California Classical Studies

Open-Access Digital Publication Project Launched

The Department of Classics of the University of California, Berkeley, is pleased to announce the initiation of new publication series entitled California Classical Studies. The series is intended to provide a peer-reviewed open-access venue for disseminating basic research, data-heavy research, including archaeological research, and highly specialized research of the kind that is either hard to place with the leading publishers in Classics or extremely expensive for libraries and individuals when produced by a leading academic publisher. It aims to promote open access to such scholarship both in the interest of university library budgets and in the interest of attaining the widest possible dissemination of up-to-date, peer-reviewed classical scholarship.

The three-year startup phase of the project is supported by a grant of $99,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Scholarly Communications and Information Technology). Donald Mastronarde will lead an editorial board drawn from faculty in Classics and Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology at UC Berkeley and from other institutions in the western United States. No affiliation with UC will be required for submissions. Online open access and Print on Demand copies will be provided through participation in the publishing partners program of UC’s California Digital Library.

Apart from aiming to publish 15 titles in the first three to four years, the startup phase will also test different workflows for production and assess the impact of various pricing models for Print on Demand and ebook versions. Some works will have images, plans, datasets, or other material offered only online. While every work will be available in full for page view from the date of first appearance, the series will experiment with the feasibility of shorter and longer embargo periods, or no embargo period, before free download of a full PDF is made available. Finally, the project is intended to find a path to sustainability, which will depend partly on how much revenue can be generated from sales and how far down production costs can be driven, but also on the willingness of institutions, administrators, and individual scholars with access to research grants to make an initial investment in open-access scholarly communication rather than bear the costs of library purchases and especially of ongoing licensing fees for digital material controlled by major publishers.

California Classical Studies will also republish under the open-access model some previous scholarship, including Leslie Kurke’s The Traffic in Praise (1990), one or two major out-of-print commentaries on classical texts, and coherent collections of a selection of a scholar’s articles. In the initial phase, most authors are expected to be tenured scholars who believe in promoting the open-access model, but the series also plans to sponsor a competition for one or two distingished first books by junior scholars, with all costs of production borne by the grant.

Current members of the editorial board are Donald Mastronarde (chair), Alessandro Barchiesi (Stanford and Siena/Arezzo), Todd Hickey, Emily Mackil, Robert Morstein-Marx (UC Santa Barbara), Ted Peña, and Kim Shelton.


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