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Open scholarship beyond the lab

September 22 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Registration for this event is open


How relevant is the open research and scholarship agenda to the arts, humanities and social science disciplines?

As momentum builds to make scientific research more accountable and transparent, through the use of open research initiatives, such as pre-registration of research projects and the use of preprints, this is a timely moment to consider the relevance and importance of open scholarship for other academic disciplines.

To what extent can the initiatives proposed by the scientific community be directly transposed to other contexts? Or do the concerns of the arts, humanities and social sciences demand their own approaches to open scholarship?

Topics for discussion in this workshop will include:

  • philosophical approaches to making and sharing interpretations of data and other research materials
  • opportunities and challenges for arts and humanities researchers seeking to take an open scholarship approach
  • the suitability of software tools for research practices which are not oriented towards a scientific approach

Facilitated by Mike Kelly, University of Brighton.

Please note, by joining this workshop you are agreeing to follow the UKRN code of conduct.


Workshop facilitator, Mike Kelly is a SEAHA PhD student at the University of Brighton with a background in online learning in the arts and cultural heritage.

Dr Melodee Beals is a Senior Lecturer in Digital History and the Open Research Lead for the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Loughborough University. Her research explores the ways in which the movement of peoples and ideas intersect and the practical traces of imagined communities within the Anglophone World. Her most recent project, The Atlas of Digitised Newspapers, is an open access online report and dataset on the development and potential uses of digitised newspaper databases around the world. As an advocate of the Digital Humanities and Open Research, she works to develop and promote computer-aided methodologies through her roles as history editor for the Open Library of Humanities and Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute.

Dr Amy Milligan is Associate Publisher for Humanities & Social Sciences at F1000, a provider of open research publishing solutions and services.

Dr Rose Harris-Birtill is the Acting Director and Managing Editor of the Open Library of Humanities. Rose has a PhD in English from the University of St Andrews, where she is also an Honorary Fellow, and is Head of Editorial at OLH. She is the editor of the C21 Literature journal special collection on David Mitchell, author of David Mitchell’s Post-Secular World: Buddhism, Belief and the Urgency of Compassion (2019), and Secretary for the British Association of Contemporary Literature Studies.

Schedule (GMT+1 / BST)

13:00 – Mike Kelly, Introduction and themes

As workshop facilitator, Mike will start the session by introducing some key themes, in part inspired by his research into archaeology’s multidisciplinary approaches to interpreting historical cultures and its strategies for dealing with uncertainty. These include the potential of using digital tools for documenting process and making researcher assumptions explicit; and how interactive publishing models might foster inclusivity and transparency in research.

13:10 – Melodee Beals, Humane Reproducibility

One of the hallmarks of open research has been the promise of reproducibility through the provision of free and open access to a project’s intended aims, methodologies, data and results. In the arts and humanities, however, the aim of reproducibly may seem suspect. As primarily observational rather than experimental research, history, literature and art may seem ill-suited to pre-registration of scholarly aims, while the intrinsic role of subjective hermeneutics make the production of open methodologies less than straightforward.  Open data can appear impossible, as scholars wrestle with labyrinthine copyright claims, or unnecessary with the expansion of the electronic public domain. Even open access publication is not without controversy as the long dominance of the monograph, particularly as the culmination of years or even a lifetime of research, sits uneasily with the rapid open access requirements of many funding models. Yet, the idea of reproducibility in the humanities is actually part of its very fabric. This talk will discuss the history of reproducibility in the humanities and how we might build upon these rich traditions in an age of computer-aided open research.

13:30 – Q & A

13:40 – 5 minute break

13:45 – Amy Milligan, Designing a research project

In this part of the workshop, we explore publishing Open Research by designing a research project that makes the most of open access article types, but reflects the realities of how scholars in the arts & humanities conduct and share their research. The Open Research movement proposes that scholars should strive for openness throughout the research cycle by encouraging and acknowledging collaborative working, sharing methodologies and research tools, enabling others to access and re-use their data, and, especially, by publishing their findings with open access. Scientists have developed a number of methods for sharing the different stages of their research, and publishers are now enabling them to publish a wide range of their research outputs, from methodologies, to software tools, to data notes and case studies. But are these article types relevant in the arts & humanities?  Does the way we conduct and publish our research allow for openness on the same basis?

14:05 – Q & A

14:15 – 5 minute break

14:20 – Rose Harris-Birtill, Open access publishing and the Open Library of Humanities

Dr Harris-Birtill gives an introductory overview of open access publishing and the multi-award-winning scholarly publisher the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), covering the different types of open access currently available, the benefits and challenges facing open access today, and how OLH’s business model works, discussing what has been achieved to date.

14:40 – Q & A

14:50 – General discussion

15:00 – Workshop close



September 22
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Online workshop