My research in libary and information studies focuses on open access publishing and the digital commons, particularly how the two concepts relate to one another and can be used to stimulate new forms of commons-based governance and practice within academic publishing. My Ph.D thesis (‘Common Struggles: Policy-based vs. scholar-led approaches to open access in the humanities‘) explored the differing values of governmental mandates and academic-led open access initiatives. Through analysis of a range of source material including interview data, blog posts, policy consultations and secondary literature, I critique the UK government’s implementation of open access and illustrate how scholar-led presses offer a counterpoint through commons-based forms of publishing.
I am also engaged in ideas of the commons and practices of commoning as a way of thinking through the radical possibilities of open access publishing, collaborative governance and shared infrastructures. My concept of the ‘care-full’ commons refers to a non-competitive and mutually-reliant approach to publishing grounded in an ethic of care, which I am fully exploring in a forthcoming monograph for the University of Michigan Press on the relationship between the commons and open access (working title: Publishing Beyond the Market: Open Access, Care and the Commons). My long-term research agenda involves trying to understand the forms of governance required for researcher-led infrastructures and publications for open access. This entails engaging with the open-access policy landscape (most notably ‘Plan S’) and the move towards an open access ecosystem based on principles of the commons (through scholar-led, library-led and other forms of publishing). This analysis will help us understand the infrastructures, governance models and forms of organisation required for equitable and diverse publishing futures.
With my colleague Janneke Adema I help organise the Radical Open Access Collective, a heterogeneous community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other projects united by a commitment to diverse, non-competitive and experimental approaches to open access in the humanities and social sciences.
I have also published on a range of issues relating to open data, higher education and publishing, with particular interests in peer review and sustainable models for new forms of publishing. I have written a number of briefing papers and consultancy reports on these topics.