Director, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute
Associate Professor of British History, IUPUI
An interview with Professor Kelly
Q. Tell us about your involvement with Open Access.
I manage an open access, open peer review working papers journal with Tim Hitchcock. It’s called History Working Papers, and it is available to any scholar in British Studies who wishes to get peer feedback before publishing their paper in a traditional journal or other online venue. We have run trials in collaboration with the annual North American Conference on British Studies. I have even put my own work-in-progress online. I have found that the process is both engaging and informative, and the quality of my articles have improved in the process.
In collaboration with Kristi Palmer and the North American Conference on British Studies, we have also digitized a complete run of the British Studies Intelligencer (BSI)and the British Studies Monitor (BSM). The BSI was the newsletter of the North American Conference on British Studies from 1962-2004. It is what we call “grey literature,” material that often disappears because it was printed in small runs as a non-commercial product. BSM was an academic journal published by a now defunct organization. It was widely read and cited during its run, but financial difficulties brought an end to its publication. Now scholars from all over the world can access the articles. The ability to scan, use OCR to convert the text into machine-readable characters, add metadata, and host it through an open access repository provides historians with valuable archival data that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find.
Q. What impact has OA had on your research?
OA has definitely increased the circulation of my research. It has allowed me to get more extensive feedback on my work. It has also allowed me to speed up the process of revision because I can have an open dialogue with many scholars at the same time.
Q. Why is it important for faculty to know more about OA?
There are lots of OA resources available to scholars. However, there is a cost associated with providing access. I think that it is important for both professional organizations and faculty groups within universities to engage in a conversation about the best way to make OA sources sustainable. It is important to keep in mind that solutions in science might be different than those in the arts and humanities. So, perhaps a one-size-fits-all answer will not solve the problem.
Professor Kelly's work