Registration Open for NECS Post-Conference: Open Media Studies

The process of scholarly communication is changing dramatically. Digitization of archives, online research methods and tools, and new ways to disseminate research results are developing fast. During the past four annual NECS (Network for Cinema and Media Studies) conferences, we have held two-hour workshops to discuss the implementation of open access, organized by, among others, editors of the open access journals VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. Both journals were founded in 2012 with a NWO grant.

In 2018 we will expand on our experience by organizing a one-day workshop immediately following the annual NECS conference, which this year will be held in Amsterdam, organized by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), University Utrecht (UU), and the Free University of Amsterdam (VU) on 27-29 June. Our post-conference workshop will take place on Saturday 30 June 2018 at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum, The Netherlands.

The developments in open research follow each other at a rapid pace. For the discipline of media studies, developments appear to be a bit faster than for other disciplines in the humanities, as there is already a longer tradition of online sharing, and different media are used for scholarly communication (blogs, videos, audiovisual essays, etc.), besides the traditional peer-reviewed journal article or monograph. With this one-day workshop we aim to explore the concept of ‘open’ in media studies by sharing best practices as well as to investigate what is needed for media scholars to make the entire scholarly communication process (research, analysis, writing, review, publishing, etc.) more transparent.

We will do so by bringing together a group of maximum 25 researchers in media studies in a series of workshops devoted to the themes: 1) research and analysis, 2) writing and publishing, 3) peer review, and 4) public engagement. The day will open with a keynote by prof.dr. Malte Hagener (Philipps-Universität Marburg), one of the co-founding editors of NECSUS and founder of the recently launched project MediaRep, a subject repository for media studies.

The main goals for the day are: creating awareness among the researchers; offer solutions to concrete issues; and explore new open access/science initiatives in relation to media studies. Outcomes of the workshop will be published on the website of NECS, as well as on the Open Access in Media Studies website.

Registration is free. However, there is a maximum of 25 participants. Workshops will be hands-on and active participation is encouraged. Interested?

For the preliminary program and registration, please follow this link.

Hope to see you in Amsterdam/Hilversum!

Organising team: Jeroen Sondervan (Utrecht University), Jeffrey Pooley (Muhlenberg College, US), Jaap Kooijman (University of Amsterdam), Erwin Verbruggen (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision).

New Learned Society Network: ScholarlyHub

On October 21st the ScholarlyHub initiative launched its website, mission and ideas about developing a new social academic open access network for sharing papers and other scholarly literature. The project is in its incubator stage and needs crowdfunding to further develop these plans. ScholaryHub wants to directly compete with academic social networking platforms like and ResearchGate. The big difference between these commercial networking behemoths and the ScholarlyHub initiative, is the scholarly-led bottom-up approach of the latter. A remarkable group of academics from different disciplines have gathered to take the first steps towards a non-profit framework with options to share papers, collaborate with other researchers, and enhance public engagement, using social networking tools.

From the project website:

ScholarlyHub will be a non-profit framework, where members pay a small annual fee (directly or through an existing learned society, network, project or institution) and create personal, thematic, project-based, associational or institutional profiles and populate them with scholarly and educational materials as they see fit. These are stored in a searchable, real open-access archive, and are directly viewable and downloadable from the portal by anyone (that is, not only members), without having to register or volunteer personal data.”

In order to make this happen, money is needed to built an infrastructure. No venture capital, but actual support from actual researchers. On November 29th ScholarlyHub launched a crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise € 500.000,- for developing the first version of the platform.

It will be very interesting to see how this initiative will evolve in the next few months, because in the last few years criticism has grown about the commercialization of the aforementioned platforms and ResearchGate. For these enterprises, the user is the product and that obviously leads to important (ethical) questions power, ownership, reuse, and archiving policies, etc..[1] All in all, practices ScholarlyHub explicitly rejects.

As can be found on their website: “Growing threats to open science have made it more crucial than before to develop a sustainable, not-for-profit environment. One that allows you to publish, share, and access quality work without financial constraints.”

But some have already asked the question how this platform will relate to, for example, the Humanities Commons, which pursues similar goals and which saw the light last year[2]. And another example the Open Science Framework platform, which offers an open repository for papers and data. A very interesting and much needed discussion will happen in the coming months to investigate whether and how these non-profit platforms should co-exist.

In any case, it will be a much healthier situation if, in addition to the existing commercial academic social networks, non-profit equivalents enter this market.


[1] Further reading: Pooley, J. (2017). Scholarly Communication Shouldn’t Just be Open but Non-Profit Too:

[2] / ScholarlyHub Response: