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Course studied: Thesis research

United Kingdom

More about Gareth

Thesis title: Through Struggle and Indifference: UK Academics' Engagement with the Open Intellectual Commons

Gareth is a third year PhD researcher based in the School of Arts and Humanities where he also regularly lecture part-time on modules dealing with aspects of culture, communications and media. Gareth's research interests include open access to research literature, neoliberalist marketisation of higher education, exploitation of intellectual labour, alternative rights control and licensing regimes and the commodification of scholarly knowledge.

Gareth's thesis, provisionally titled Through Struggle and Indifference: UK Academics' Engagement with the Open Intellectual Commons is supervised by Dr Andreas Wittel and Dr David Woods and is supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Gareth's research is focused on exploring the cultural effects of knowledge commodification and neoliberalist capitalist ideology have had in shaping the behavioural responses of UK academics to emerging paradigms of open access to scholarly research. Despite a long history of activism to this self-evident good, a sporadically staccato praxis of open access has been witnessed across the UK academic sector.

Unlike prior work in this area, the research is not concerned with eliciting neo-Taylorist measures of compliance or technological remedies; but is seeking to understand the epistemological and ontological roots of the UK academy's societal responses to open access. At the same time the work seeks to expose and problematise the circuits of power and influence operating within the research dissemination arena by actors such as publishers, funders and learned societies. It is hoped that the research will contribute new insights into the underlying root causes for academic opposition, resistance and reluctance that will allow open access activists to more successfully enable the engagement of their institutional communities.

Gareth has been a fellow of the Higher Education Academy for over a decade and was the past chair of the UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) as well as the Forum for Interlending and Information Supply (FIL). Gareth was also a trustee of the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP) and have published numerous articles, chapters and book reviews related to my research and professional interests.

Gareth has chaired panels and presented at close to 100 conferences and workshops on a range of topics; as well as also occasionally acting as a guest lecturer at other institutions. Gareth hold's an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Technology and a master's degree in Information Management.

Director of Studies

Dr Andreas Wittel


Recent Articles

  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. Diversity, collaboration and renewal: reflections on the 2014 UKSG conference. Insights, 27(2).
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. Heady, challenging, provocative, and satisfyingly emboldening. UKSG Newsletter, 320.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2012. UKCoRR – At the Heart of the UK Open Access Repository Landscape, Cataloguing & Index, 167, pp. 2-4.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2012. On a Clear Day You Can Interlend Forever: A Snapshot of the UK Interlending Scene. Insights: the UKSG Journal, 25(1), pp. 86-91.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2012. eTheses: Mandates, Embargoes, Compliance, Impact and Sanctions - The results of a brief survey. UKCoRR.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., and Rowlett, T., 2012. Keeping your Thesis Legal. University of Leicester Library.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2011. No Fate But What We Make? Current trends and challenges in the UK document supply community. Interlending & Document Supply, 39(3), pp. 127-133.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2008. In the Kingdom of the Blind: Successfully implementing institutional repositories in the UK and the SHERPA Partnership Experience. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 13(1&2) pp. 13-34.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2007. Institutional challenges to increased library provision of electronic materials. The Acquisitions Librarian, 19 (1-2), pp. 3-14.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2006. A race through dark places: researching, embedding and innovating at Warwick. SCONUL Focus, 36, pp. 27-30.


  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2011. Spielberg your way to information literacy. In: G. Walton, and A. Pope, ed. Information Literacy: Infiltrating the curriculum, challenging minds, Cambridge: Chandos Publishing, 2011.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2007. Institutional challenges to increased library provision of electronic materials. In: D. Su, ed. Collection Development Issues in the Online Environment. New York: Haworth Press, Inc., 2007.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2005. Resources for Mathematics; Resources for Physics and Astronomy. In: R. Lester, ed. The New Walford: Guide to Reference Resources, Volume 1: Science, Technology, Medicine. London: Facet Publishing, 2005
  • HODGES, S., and JOHNSON, G.J., 2003. Does one size fit all? The Iliad Model. In: A. Martin and H. Rader. eds. Information and I.T. literacy: enabling learning in the 21st Century. London: Facet Publishing, 2003.

Recent Book Reviews

  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. The Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory (2 vols), Reference Reviews, [in press
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. The Science Fiction Handbook, Reference Reviews [in press].
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. The Deluze & Guattari Dictionary, Reference Reviews, 28(7), pp. 15-16.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. Encyclopedia of Terminology for Educational Communications and Technology, Reference Reviews, 28(5), pp.18–18.
  • JOHNSON, G.J., 2014. A Dictionary of Genetics (8th edition), Reference Reviews, 28(1), pp. 26-27.

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