The Scholarly Commons Must Be Developed on Public Standards

By Björn Brembs and G. Geltner

[This article first appeared in the LSE Impact Blog on 11 January 2018]

It’s not every day that a neurogeneticist and a medieval historian write a post together, let alone for the LSE Impact Blog. But the overall urgency to provide scholarship with a Web 2.0 infrastructure clearly straddles all fields. As highlighted by recent debates about net neutrality, access to information on the web constantly faces the threat of being increasingly defined by narrow financial interests. It’s the same with access to scholarship, which is becoming the privilege of the few; that is, those who can pay handsomely for it. Perhaps the first to be impacted are professional academics who cannot afford to publish in or subscribe to “prestigious” journals that charge high fees, or access books and databases behind expensive paywalls. But the ripple effects for society at large will arrive quickly and be devastating. Journalists, medical and legal clinics, think tanks, local government agencies, students and teachers, families and local businesses; all rely on critical scholarship to plan and make important decisions on a daily basis. Continue reading “The Scholarly Commons Must Be Developed on Public Standards”

Clearing the Garden

By April Hathcock and Guy Geltner

[Under peer-review for UKSG Insights Magazine]

In eco-biology, an “invasive plant species” is one that takes over a natural habitat and competes with native species for food, air, water, and other resources. The invasive species grows exponentially such that native species are no longer able to survive. At some point, native plants die out, leaving the invasive species to thrive in a monopoly over its new habitat. Scholarly communications is one such habitat in which we as researchers have allowed an invasive species—the private, for-profit academic publishing industry—to take over the resources we need and use to create and disseminate knowledge. With a revenue stream of $10 billion (and growing), private, for-profit academic publishing is threatening to choke out all other, smaller forms of knowledge creation and dissemination, leaving companies like Elsevier, Springer, Sage and Wiley, as the sole plants in the scholarly communication garden. At ScholarlyHub, we’re determined not to see that happen and are working to clear the garden, a little space at a time, to allow for research to continue to grow and thrive in its natural environment: the world of non-profit, researcher-owned and operated scholarly communication.

Continue reading “Clearing the Garden”

Launch Week’s FFAQs

It’s been a hectic and sometimes exhilarating first live week for us here at ScholarlyHub. The genuine interest and warm words our plan received, in private and on social media, bodes well for the broad support we will need once the funding campaign is launched (stay tuned!). A few critical and important points were raised, however, which we felt should to be addressed immediately. Some of them meant eliminating ambiguities or errors from our FAQs, while others are dealt with below. The following responses may not satisfy everyone, but at this very early stage we consider them to be the most responsible way of clarifying certain concerns: Continue reading “Launch Week’s FFAQs”

Academics Push for Alternative to ResearchGate

By Cristina Gallardo 8 November 2017

Original article in RF

A group of academics based in Amsterdam is raising funds to build a social network and open-access repository platform without the financial motivations of ResearchGate.
ScholarlyHub, which launched the first iteration of its site last week, aims to raise €500,000 through crowdfunding to develop an open-access repository and social network that responds to scholars’ needs rather than to financial interests, according to its founder Guy Geltner, a professor of medieval history at the University of Amsterdam. Continue reading “Academics Push for Alternative to ResearchGate”

Scholars Launch Non-Profit Rival to ResearchGate and


Original article in THE

Would you pay $25 (£19.10) a year to use a not-for-profit alternative to ResearchGate or

A group of open access campaigners are raising money to build a rival to academia’s biggest social networks, who they say cannot be trusted to put researchers’ interests first.

ScholarlyHub is trying to raise up to €500,000 (£446,000) in order to build a platform that would at once be a social network, publishing platform and repository. Continue reading “Scholars Launch Non-Profit Rival to ResearchGate and”

A Nonprofit Alternative to ResearchGate

Scholars are planning an alternative site on which to network and share work.

By Lindsay McKenzie    November 9, 2017

Original Article Inside Higher ED

A nonprofit scholarly networking and publishing platform is being planned as an alternative to for-profit platforms such as ResearchGate and The platform, called ScholarlyHub, will be member-run, but first its team must raise 500,000 euros ($579,705) to build it. Continue reading “A Nonprofit Alternative to ResearchGate”

A New Learned Society: Introducing ScholarlyHub

By Harriet Bergman and Guy Geltner

In whose benefit do we let people who need access to science pay for it, again and again and again? How do we allow for-profit academic publishers to syphon off around $10 billion annually from depleting research budgets and ransack people around the world who lack direct access to scholarly publications? $10 billion paid by governments, libraries, institutions, projects and individuals to read work that has, for the most part, already been paid for through taxes or donations and produced in and for a public domain. Scholarship that is subject to extortionate access fees and that hides behind paywalls doesn’t serve its key mission: to engage in a free and critical exchange of ideas. Nor does it challenge an academic world already fraught by diverse social injustices, from gender-based discrimination to lingering colonial paradigms. Continue reading “A New Learned Society: Introducing ScholarlyHub”

Upon Leaving

By Guy Geltner

Early last week I uploaded to my homepage a brief note signaling and explaining my decision to close my account on that site. As a medieval historian, I had been an active and enthusiastic member since 2010, with moderately high exposure, and while “On leaving” was meant as a provocative goodbye, I hadn’t expected it to draw much attention. In the four days that elapsed between uploading my note and closing my account, however, the text was accessed more than 22,000 times and the critical discussion board accompanying it (known as a Session) was still going strong, attracting some 2,000 active followers making numerous contributions, including from the site’s founder and CEO, its Product VP, and of course hundreds of engaged scholars and academics from around the world. A flurry of tweets and emails ensued, and colleagues at my home institution accosted me about it around town. At some point someone even created a counter-Session, “On staying with” Continue reading “Upon Leaving”

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