Open Access in San Jose

We’d love to do something at this year’s AAA to promote Open Access. The main goal would be to educate fellow anthropologists about the importance and feasibility of the Open Access publishing model and why the AAA should support it.

Here is what we have come up with so far: One idea would be to construct a web page with information and then make stickers with the URL which we could hand out. Another idea was to have an informal meeting (perhaps over lunch on Friday or Saturday) where we could talk about these issues. A third idea was to write a blog post about the topic and see if anyone had better suggestions … So please, help us brainstorm in the comments section! Or volunteer to help out with this effort.

Previous Savage Minds posts on the topic:

5 thoughts on “Open Access in San Jose

  1. Regarding open access scholarship and the internet and the dissemination of papers:

    I have been wondering if a system like the physics pre-print server arxiv would work in anthropology. It is basically free-wheeling: one just uploads a paper once one has been endorsed by one of the Board (how this works exactly I am not sure). There is an email alert service, searching, etc. As far as I understand, it has become *the* place for discussion in real physics and mathemtatics, with papers sent to the journals as an afterthought after they have been debated and revised.

    There is no peer review, per se, except that of — guess what — one’s peers! They read the publicly posted work with the name attached, so serious scholars police themselves: what could be worse for a career than making an ass out of oneself and having your entire community of discourse hear about it (automatically) via email? It works fine, and the crazies don’t get endorsed so there isn’t a lot of clutter. (And it isn’t like peer review keeps out the childish vitriol in anthropology anyway.)

    If not a complete transposition of this system, maybe we could use/start something inspired by it?

    The software would be pretty easy to recreate or borrow from them too.


  2. There are a number of software options for creating a subject repository for anthropology, but a really popular and open source option is E-Prints. If AAA wouldn’t support something like this, I’d bet that one could find a university/university library that would. The one drawback is that some of the bigger publishers may have policies against posting pre-prints in subject repositories (while allowing submissions to institutional repositories).

    I do like the idea of creating a web page with info about OA and anthropology and then handing out cards or stickers – it allows the conversation to continue on after AAA is over.

  3. Thanks John. We have discussed possibly installing e-prints on this site, but your point makes it sound as if it would be better if it were hosted by a university. That is very helpful information.

    Regarding having a web page. It seems that having a wiki to do this would be the most suitable approach. Here is a page on my wiki which we can use.

    Everyone: Please help us get started fleshing out some content.

  4. Hi all,

    I’ve been terribly busy teaching so I haven’t been keeping up with the blogging as much as I would like. Nov. 3 at Savage Minds shocked me into getting my act together.

    Count me in for an open access meeting. I’d love to participate in this, and contribute to this in some way.

    -Eric Kansa

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