The Universe and I are working towards a better relationship, in some areas at least. For example, I am trying to persuade the Universe that if it wants me to read something it must not put too difficult obstacles between me and that text. Money is an obstacle.
So, we look for useful things in Open Access resources, useful books and articles - though sometimes those Open Access resources are hard to find, hidden deep within academic or commercial publisher web sites. Come along, Universe, make things easier...
And, of course, funding bodies need to think again - is it really Open Access if it is so hard to find...?
I have already mentioned two aggregating web sites, OAPEN and DOAB, and you can browse those web sites, and, back-tracking, see how funding decisions and scholarly decisions have made books available there - very often through European academic publishing houses and funding bodies... But the net is spreading wider...
'The OAPEN Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation based in the Netherlands, with its registered office at the National Library in The Hague. OAPEN is dedicated to open access, peer-reviewed books. OAPEN operates two platforms, the OAPEN Library (www.oapen.org), a central repository for hosting and disseminating OA books, and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB, www.doabooks.org), a discovery service for OA books...'
Directory of Open access Books is provided by OAPEN Foundation
Very often we can find material of Irish interest, and Irish Diaspora interest, within DOAB and OAPEN - and I will return to that at a later date. Again, I have already mentioned here on Fiddler's Dog the lovely (money-saving) discovery of Mícheál Briody's lovely book about The Irish Folklore Commission, and Séamus Ó Duilearga (James Hamilton Delargy) - which became freely available on OAPEN just when I needed to cite it... Thank you, Universe.
The Irish Folklore Commission 1935-1970: History, ideology, methodology Briody, Mícheál Finnish Literature Society / SKS, Helsinki 2008
Let me now cite something from an overlapping area of interest - interdisciplinary studies. Often, usually at the funds-seeking part of a project, I get asked to advise on the 'interdisciplinary' part of the bid - and I tippy-toe in.
Noting, for example, a remark by Amy E. Earhart - about p.28, 'The blurring of interdisciplinarity with collaboration...'
Challenging Gaps: Redesigning Collaboration in the Digital Humanities
The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age Edited by Amy E. Earhart and Andrew Jewell
Series: Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism
(This book is free to read and download on yet another Open Access site, digitalculturebooks, an imprint of the University of Michigan Press... Not that easy to find, unless you already know it is there.)
But let me look briefly at an 'interdisciplinary' moment, one that is almost the opposite of collaboration - I can look briefly because the text is open access on the OAPEN web, and you can read it at your leisure.
I read this splendid book by Karl Widerquist and Grant S. McCall as a study of that moment when we try to be interdisciplinary, but realise that first of all we have to be critical - one discipline must offer a critique of another discipline. In this case Widerquist and McCall ask how and why do modern philosophers use and perpetuate myths about prehistory? (I might add that economists and theologians do it too...)
Widerquist, K., & McCall, G. (2017). Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Retrieved from http://www.oapen.org/record/625284
Would I have come across this book if it were not for DOAB, OAPEN and Open Access? Thank you, Universe.