Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

OA for a book in need

Open access in action: a Pacific example, Open Access Anthropology, January 2, 2007.  Excerpt:

In November 2006, Tonga was swept by a wave of civil disorder. One of the casualties of this was the Friendly Islands Bookstore, one of the few places in Nuku’alofa (the capital of Tonga) where you could go to purchase academic books.

Enter Michael Evans, a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Mike knew that some of the few remaining copies of his book Persistence of the Gift: Tongan Tradition in Transnational Context were destroyed and that few now existed. As a result he got in touch with his publisher and asked whether it could be made available online. The publisher agreed, and you can now download Persistence of the Gift in its entirety for free....

Of course not all of us have to wait for riots before we make our work open. Rather than assume that our publishers will say ‘no’, why don’t we approach them and ask them if we can put our old and out-of-print books up online? As Mike’s example shows, publishers are often more receptive to this idea than we might imagine.

PS:  Kudos to Michael Evans for the idea and to Wilfrid Laurier University Press for permission to let it happen.