Stumped by AnthroSource

Here is a blog post I was reading:

Rebecca Bird and I recently wrote a brief essay in which we bemoaned this perspective, noting particularly in the case of indigenous peoples, the diagnosis of irrationality is the ticket to paternalism, allowing “marginalized people to be further marginalized and fail to reap the benefits of even well-intentioned [development] projects.”  In many traditional social contexts, pecuniary rewards may trade-off with social prestige.  People could be hyper-rational in their optimization of social capital and fail utterly to meet the bar for narrow-sense economic rationality.

But when I click on the link, a DOI pointing at AnthroSoruce, I see this:

Anthrosource - Abstract Details
I tried everything. I deleted my cookies, then logged in before clicking the link. I tried different web browsers, etc. but I can’t get to the article. And this isn’t a new problem either. I wrote to the AAA about this back in January, nearly a month after the new AnthroSource came out and made CKelty cry. I’ve been able to get around this problem in the past by doing a search for the article title, but I don’t seem able to do that here. And sometimes one can find the article directly on JSTOR, but I don’t see Anthropology News listed there. So how am I supposed to read this? Is it just me, or do you have trouble as well? And why isn’t Anthropology News free anyway? Do they really think people pay their AAA fee just to get it?

14 thoughts on “Stumped by AnthroSource

  1. Kerim, have you tried the link to the HTML-version? It should bring you to Wiley InterScience where you can download the PDF version. The PDF-link, however, did not work for me either.

  2. I have found this recently, also. It seems Anthropology News is the only part of AAA’s output that is completely restricted unless you are a member. It is even restricted from Wiley Interscience, as far as I can tell. Similarly I found it particularly frustrating, since I would expect AN to be one publication you would actively want to make freely accessible. Would be grateful to hear if there is any way to access it that I have missed.

  3. Seems like AN would be a good way to do a little public outreach, for sure. Why not make it available for free? It makes no sense to restrict it to members only. Maybe we should all comment about this on the AAA blog…

  4. I’m our university’s Anthro librarian (and AAA member) and this has always been an ongoing frustration for me…why isn’t AN included in our subscription? In the old system I could see AN articles by sneaking through the table of contents backdoor but that seems fixed now…

  5. It’s funny you should raise this issue. When I wrote the post, I was dubious about linking to AnthroSource so I tested it a couple times before publishing the note. Now when I try to follow the link, I get the screen that you complain about. Lame.

    For al the high-minded rhetoric of inclusiveness that AAA (and most practicing anthropologists) espouse, I find AAA, and Anthropology as a discipline, to be remarkably hierarchical and way too concerned with technologies of control.

  6. Also, as a non-American anthropologist who pays membership fees to my OWN association…this is pretty ridiculous. AN is supposed to be publicly available and readable to a general anthropological audience: yet it’s more locked down that any other publication? It should be free to anyone.

    “AN promotes the discipline of anthropology and the interests of anthropologists across all subfields and acts as a forum for anthropologists to communicate with one another.” Or not!

  7. Funny I was just writing AAA to complain about this. The contact person at AAA is Dion Dears at if others want to follow-up. I was able to get access to the piece I was looking for (a PoLAR article, not AN) by logging in then running my search anew and browsing to the result. But this is nowhere documented on the site.

    I have also requested that they bring back BibTeX citation downloading – whether or not you use BibTeX I think it’s worth encouraging open source formats.

  8. The really sad thing is that there has been agreement within the AAA for at least the past 4 years that AN should be the one publication which goes OA… unless they’ve changed their mind, that is.

    But realistically, why go with AnthroSource at all anymore? I find it much easier to work with the Wiley-Blackwell site, which is where AAA content now _really_ resides. Its not that surprising that AnthroSource should break so regularly, since it is in fact just a figleaf. I bet in 3 years it’ll disappear altogther.

  9. Yeah I looked into this recently and found that you can only access AN if you individually subscribe; I think you can get AN content through a subscribing library but only after it is embargoed for 6 or 12 months. It’s completely ridiculous. If you care at all about open source, you should NOT publish anything in AN.

  10. I’ve had unending problems with accessing not just AN, but also (randomly) a host of other AAA publications via AnthroSource.
    For instance, they used to send out TOC notices for journals with hyperlinks. All took me to a similar “you’re not a member” page. When working at Chicago State University, I was often unable to access articles via AnthroSource when using my office computer, despite being a dues-paying member. I guess it’s because Chicago State couldn’t afford AnthroSource (or JStor, for that matter).
    Again, wherever or however you found the citation, the only solution is to into the aaanet site, log in, go to AnthroSource, and then search for the article again. And we all now how poor a search service AnthroSource has.
    I’ve written AAA countless times about this and never gotten a satisfactory answer.
    thanks for the opportunity to rant.

  11. Just tried it. Had to go through a few hoops since my membership is linked to an older email address. But once I got that sorted out, I had no trouble accessing the PDF.

  12. Responding to the content of the blog that Kerim was reading: Allow me to recommend Yochai Benkler (2006) _The Wealth of Networks_. Benkler argues persuasively that both anthropologists and economists have erred in assuming that market economies replace economies of the gift (those based, we would say, on generalized reciprocity). He points out that social production, based on the gift, is pervasive in all societies, including those ideologically dominated by market principles. If you don’t believe him, he says, try leaving fifty dollars on the table the next time a friend invites you to dinner and see if you get invited to dinner again; ditto after making love with your wife. Imagine three lawyers writing an opinion: One writes on behalf of a client and is handsomely paid. Another is a judge; if she accepts money, her opinion is corrupt and void. A third is a legal scholar who publishes the opinion in an academic journal. In this betwixt-and-between case, material reward is delayed but accepted with pleasure if it takes the form of grants or prizes. If, Benkler says, we admit what common sense shows us, that social as well as purely economic rewards shape economic behavior, we have no need to assume that the social and economic are radically different worlds. Organizations demand clear role definitions. Markets demand crisply defined pricing, so that transactions will clear. Both flourish when there is a need to amass and produce large amounts of capital. Social production occurs when individuals have small surpluses of time or other resources and the social rewards of the gift outweigh the meager economic rewards of calculating an economic return.

    This is, of course, only my summary, and I may have misrepresented Benkler. That said, this is the most impressive piece of social theory I have read in years.

  13. Glad to hear some people are able to access the article. I am still unable to do so via anthrosource, the Wiley InterScience website or any other means…

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