Interview with KU Pilot Author Cynthia Skenazi


Knowledge Unlatched asked authors who took part in the KU Pilot about their experiences of Open Access and the KU approach.  

Here is the fourth interview with Cynthia Skenazi, author of Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance. Stories of Later Life from Petrarch to Montaigne (Brill).

Brill - Cynthia Skenazi Front Cover

What were your hopes for your book, and do you think Open Access has played a role in achieving them?

My hopes: making my book available to anyone who enjoys reading and learning. OA has played a role in making it accessible to a wide international audience that might not have known this book’s existence otherwise.

Do you think that making your book available on an OA licence has increased its reach and impact? – Have you seen any concrete indications of this?

Yes, in terms of reach since according to the last data, the book was downloaded a respectable number of times in a wide range of countries. In terms of impact, I cannot say, only time will tell us.

What other benefits have you seen from participating in the KU Pilot?

I followed my beliefs. As a Professor, I find it important to make scholarly research accessible and visible.

How have you been promoting your OA book?

I participated in a summit organized by the library of my institution, the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Has your opinion about OA in general changed since your book was published through the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot? If so, how?

As a Professor, I find it important to make scholarly research accessible and visible.

What do your friends/colleagues now think about your decision to allow your book to be made available for free under a CC licence? Has their opinion changed following publication through Knowledge Unlatched?

My friends’ and colleagues’ opinion has not changed because my decision met my institution’s concerns. The University of California has implemented recently a policy to expand open access to research publications.

Cynthia Skenazi is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published books and many articles on Renaissance literature and culture, including Le Poète architecte en France. Constructions d’un imaginaire monarchique (Champion, 2003).

Read our pre-Pilot author interviews in the Featured Authors section.

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