Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, July 15, 2007

OA journals in archaeology

Mike Smith, Open Access Journals and Archaeology, Publishing Archaeology, July 14, 2007.  Excerpt:

There are a few OA (Open Access) journals in archaeology, and these are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Two good ones that I have used are the Journal of Caribbean Archaeology, and the Bryn Mawr Classical Review….

Journals published by commercial publishers are a real problem. Subscription costs are skyrocketing; to take just one example, the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory just doubled in price, so I dropped my subscription. Libraries are in crisis mode over commercial journal costs. Given the economics of these journals, coupled with their efforts to restrict access to published articles (C.T. Bergstrom and Bergstrom 2006; T.C. Bergstrom 2001; Fisher 2007), I have almost decided to stop publishing in commercial journals.

Journals published by university presses are better than commercial journals in both their economics and their access policies; in these areas they are similar to journals published by many professional societies. I was initially surprised that the main societies that I belong to, the SAA (Society for American Archaeology) and the AAA (American Anthropological Association), generally oppose OA policies for their journals. For the AAA case, see discussion and links in the Open Access Anthropology Blog….

The fact that finances trump science in the SAA is clear from the Annual Meetings….

There are institutions that help in the production and operation of OA journals for relatively small fees (for example, the Scholarly Exchange), and many university libraries now help faculty who want to start OA journals by providing expertise and resources. But unless one is willing to sacrifice basic quality features of journals (such as copy-editing and professional-looking page layout), financing OA journals remains an obstacle….