The Open Library of Humanities One Year On: A Chat with Martin Paul Eve

Open Library of Humanities logo

I‘ve organised a public event at City, University of London as part of the International Open Access Week 2016.

Professor Martin Paul Eve will give a talk titled “A New Model for Open Access: The Open Library of Humanities One Year On” (register here).

Date and Time:  Thursday, 27 October 2016, 18:00 BST.

Location:   124 Goswell Road, Franklin Building, R101  City, University of London EC1V 7DP


Martin Paul Eve profile picture

Professor Martin Paul Eve is Chair of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. Among other things he is the author of Open Access and the Humanities (Cambridge UP, 2014; available OA) and is a co-founder of the Open Library of Humanities. Twitter: @martin_eve.

Five Questions; Five Answers

I asked Martin five brief questions in advance to his talk and he was kind enough to provide five brief answers.

Ernesto Priego: What was the ‘elevator pitch’ for the Open Library of Humanities (OLH)?

Martin Paul Eve: We originally wanted to create something like the Public Library of Science in the humanities disciplines. But we needed an economic model to support open access that didn’t rely on authors paying Article Processing Charges (APCs).

The elevator pitch we made was that there are technical and social issues that have to be addressed in the humanities if Open Access is going to work.

EP: You also have a serious interest in computing…

MPE: Well, I’m not a computer scientist or anything like that, but I do have a background as a professional computer programmer, so I like to keep my hand in there. This is actually very useful for work on open access publishing since I understand both the social challenges in my humanities discipline, but also the technical side of production and platform work.

EP: In two tweet-sized sentences, in which ways are human computer interaction and data science related to the OLH?

MPE: Open data is a broad term that could characterize much of what we do (papers are just “data” after all). HCI is incredibly important when we need to win people over to our platform.

EP: Text and data mining and the humanities: is that a thing?

MEP: There is generally a lack of skills among humanities researchers to do this at scale. Most wouldn’t know how to begin (and couldn’t easily since not enough material is openly accessible). That said, I continue to believe that these techniques will come to be more and more important as the volume of material grows.

EP: Finally, what can we expect from your #oaweek2016 talk at City?

MPE: I’ll talk a bit about the background to OLH, what we did in the first year, and how we are developing various stacks of open-source software to facilitate our future mission.

This event is free but requires registration. Limited number of tickets available. Suggested hashtags: #oaweek2016 #OLHone

This event has been organised by Dr Ernesto Priego for The Centre for HCI Design at City, University of London as part of the International Open Access Week 2016.

This event has been listed on the International Open Access Week 2016 events site: