Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, January 12, 2004

Improved access to anthropology journals

The American Anthropological Association has dramatically cut the prices of its journals without making them open access. Starting this month, the AAA will start phasing in a program to give members access to electronic editions of all 29 AAA journals at no charge beyond membership dues. (Dues for a typical faculty member are $145/year.) Libraries will be able to get all 29 journals for less than the present cost of the leading five. The AAA expects to have 10 journals available at these prices by 2005 and the rest soon after. In each case, the full back run of the journal will be available at the AAA portal, AnthroSource, along with datasets, audio, visual, and other material. Quoting Rebecca Simon, assistant director for journal publishing at the U of California Press, which is taking over the AAA journals: "I think everyone is really excited about the idea of creating an electronic community that will contain such a core of the scholarship in a particular discipline...That hasn't been attempted before in the social sciences." Quoting Suzanne Calpestri, anthropology librarian at UC Berkeley and chair of the AnthroSource steering committee: "[Open access is] a controversial topic. That's not where we are right now." For more details, see David Glen, Anthropology Association Will Give Electronic Journal Subscriptions to All Members, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2004 (accessible only to subscribers).