Publishing and Open Access

The Royal Historical Society is actively engaged in ongoing debates about the future of arts and humanities publishing. Overseen by its Publications Committee, the Society is both a publisher of scholarly history and a leading participant in debates over Open Access publishing — with reference to the benefits and limitations for individual researchers and learned societies.

The Society’s Publications Committee is chaired by Professor Jane Winters (School of Advanced Study, University of London).

Open Access Policy Work

The RHS engages closely with wider debates about Open Access publishing, and the implications of OA policies for historians and learned societies:

UKRI and Open Access for those receiving research funding

Plan S and its implications for historians

  • October 2019: RHS Guidance Paper Plan S and the History Journal Landscape. This report is designed to assist History and broader Humanities & Social Sciences stakeholders to understand and navigate the current policy frontiers of open access publishing for peer reviewed scholarly journals.
  • July 2019: Interim Working Paper Plan S and the Hybrid History Journal Landscape: a preliminary mapping of current preparedness for Plan S open access implementation among UK and international ‘hybrid’ History journals and designed to elicit further evidence, feedback and corrections for a more comprehensive analysis to be published in October 2019.
  • May 2019: response to the Updated Guidance on Plan S, available here.
  • April 2019: RHS published a Working Paper assessing the implications of Plan S compliance for history researchers, focusing particularly on those with Wellcome funding.
  • February 2019: we submitted a response to the consultation on the ‘Plan S’ open-access initiative, which is available here.
  • January 2019: publication of a briefing paper, call for evidence and interim report, available here.

Publishing and the Research Excellence Framework

In early 2018, the government announced that for REF2027 policies on open access journal articles would be extended to include monographs.

Data management and scholarly communications