My FLC-related project is the creation of an overlay journal, History of Media Studies. The open-access journal,slated to launch its first issue in summer 2018, is published by the Open Library of Humanities—the Mellon-backed open-access publisher with an innovative library-subsidy funding model. The journal will launch as OLH’s first overlay journal, taking advantage of the brand-new overlay capabilities included in OLH’s new Janeway. An editorial board has been recruited, and other policies have been drafted. I am currently testing the Janeway platform to help troubleshoot the overlay functions.
One aim of the journal is to experiment with new digital and open-access publishing possibilities, including hosted archival documents, iterative article "editions," and internal hyperlinks. The journal's other aim is to provide a home for refereed scholarship on the history of media, film, and communication research and education that is published first elsewhere—across an array of otherwise disparate publications.
There is a need. The history of media studies scholarship is a sub-field that has no dedicated outlet. Each of the mainline social sciences, and some of the humanities disciplines, already support one or more journals dedicated to their disciplinary histories. These titles provide a focal point for historians, by channeling attention and establishing standards and shared reference points. The absence of a media-studies journal has meant that published scholarship on the field's history—while plentiful by raw tally—is siloed and comparatively weak. History of Media Studies will help furnish a common purpose and the sense of a shared field.
The OLH partnership is one of the motivations for this proposal. From the moment I learned of its existence, I have been an excited booster of the initiative and its library-subsidy model. Given the funding realities of the humanities and humanist social sciences, the OLH model is the only realistic OA path forward. And the library-budget underwriting (as a diversion of usurious subscription costs) is an elegant and rational solution to the transition-to-OA quandary.