Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More on the state of OA in anthropology

Michael E. Smith, The AAA Discusses Open Access, Publishing Archaeology, February 15, 2008.

The Feb 2008 issue of Anthropology News (newsletter of the American Anthropological Association) has a special Focus section on Open Access. Several anthropologists (NOT including archaeologists) provide essays on the nature of OA and its possibilities for the AAA. Although a few good issues are brought up, I am disappointed for the exclusive emphasis on Gold OA (open access journals) and lack of consideration of Green OA (self-archiving). ... The fact that this focus section was not made openly available (e.g., through a Creative Commons license) is a signal of just where the AAA stands on OA.

The good points I noted include:

  • Lack of OA means lowered access to anthropological knowledge. ...
  • The AAA needs to rethink not just OA, but its whole mission and organization in light of changes in the internet and publishing.
  • Who are scholars working for? The AAA publications program has been subcontracted to Wiley-Blackwell, one of the largest commercial publishers. ...
  • I don't recall signing an employment contract with Wiley-Blackwell, and I don't really want to work for them. Maybe I will just not publish in AAA journals any more.

Why doesn't the AAA set up an institutional repository for the publications of anthropologists? This will accomplish the goals of OA without waiting for major upheavals in professional societies and commercial publishers. ...

Comment. Peter earlier blogged the issue of Anthropology News.