Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, March 10, 2008

Consequences of Harvard policy for OA in anthropology

Christopher Kelty, “Now you have two problems…”: On mandating Open Access, Open Access Anthropology, March 9, 2008.

... If Harvard is the entity actually providing the work most widely, circulating it and allowing people to read it, what exactly does the [American Anthropological Association] or [Wiley-Blackwell] provide for you?

This isn’t a stupid question, in fact it’s at the heart of both the old problem AAA had (how to pay for the costs of publication) as well as the new problem it has (how to pay for the costs of publication when authors and their universities are giving it away for free). The answer, to my mind is actually simple: what AAA can provide is, among other things:

  1. prestige;
  2. high quality peer review;
  3. creative, path-breaking editorial vision;
  4. promotion and marketing;
  5. public policy relevance and creative use of new information technology and new networking and publicity possibilities. ...

However, how many of these things do AAA and WB adequately provide today? ...

So this puts us back in the same place as before: what exactly is the AAA providing that we can’t get elsewhere? ...