Open Access Anthropology: what you can do

Things have been moving very quickly on the OAA front so I thought I should summarize what people can do who are interested in learning more:

Learn about the issue
“”: is now up and, while it’s still very much a work in progress, it is the best place to go for an overview of the issues — and will get even better as we all help grow it.

Sign up for updates
There is an “Open Access Anthropology”: group which people are using as a mailing list — you can “sign up today”: to share your ideas or just keep up to date with what is going on. So far the list is not very high-volume, so you won’t be drowned in email if you sign up.

Join the conversation
We’ve started an IRC channel where there’s been a fair amount of chat about OAA (although really it is just a place for anthropologists to hang out in general). It’s #savageminds on If you are unwise in the ways of IRC just go to “IRC at work”: type in a nickname, for ‘server’ put and for ‘channel’ put #savageminds and then you should be good. If you are looking for an IRC program, we recommend GAIM (PC) or Colloquy (Mac).

There’s more coming (including t-shirts!), so stay tuned…


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at

3 thoughts on “Open Access Anthropology: what you can do

  1. Anthropomorphic Tail Wags Anthropological Dog

    The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has disbanded its “AnthroSource Steering Committee” because it had supported the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). Hardly a surprising outcome: Like the Royal Society and many other learned societies, the AAA has a strong publishing tail that manages to wag the AAA dog. And that tail does not wag the AAA in the interests of anthropological research or researchers. The resolution of this (undeniable) conflict of interest between researchers and their learned societies is very simple: It will not be their learned societies who ensure that Open Access is provided, free for all, but their institutions and funders, by mandating it, just as the FRPAA proposes to do (but with a few of the policy parameters fine-tuned to optimize them).

    Stevan Harnad
    American Scientist Open Access Forum

  2. Stevan,

    That’s not a bug its a “feature”! With thousands of SPAMs a day we have to implement pretty strong SPAM filtering. There are very few false-positives with our system, but unfortunately any comment with more than a couple of links is pretty certain to be considered SPAM. As you can see, I’ve recovered your lost post. Thanks for your comments.

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