Reader rights and author rights at Cultural Anthropology

The latest issue of Cultural Anthropology (the last issue edited by Anne Allison and Charlie Piot before until the end of the year when the editorship moves to James Faubion, Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe) has a bunch of great articles on Open Access (as well a fantastic article by Joe Dumit about a classroom assignment called “The Implosion“). There is a really detailed and wonderful article about CA’s former managing editor Ali Kenner about all the work that goes into making a journal like CA work. Fellow Minds blogger Matt interviewed the new Managing Editor Tim Elfenbein who is already doing great new things with the journal, and other fellow Minds blogger Ryan interviewed Jason Baird Jackson about the state of OA today. There is also an excellent article by non-anthropologists Kevin Smith and Paolo Mangiafico from Duke Library about the challenges of OA in the University context today.

In the course of preparing the interview that I did in the same issue, I discovered that even though the AAA is making Cultural Anthropology open access, they are not doing it the way everyone else does so–by applying CC licenses to the articles. I explain this more in a blog post on the CA website, but I think it is important for people to recognize that OA is not just about reading, and not just about Author’s rights but about readers’ rights as well–something we in anthropology should be especially sensitive to.


Christopher M. Kelty is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a joint appointment in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on the cultural significance of information technology, especially in science and engineering. He is the author most recently of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as numerous articles on open source and free software, including its impact on education, nanotechnology, the life sciences, and issues of peer review and research process in the sciences and in the humanities.

3 thoughts on “Reader rights and author rights at Cultural Anthropology

  1. One quick correction: Anne Allison and Charlie Piot are the editors of Cultural Anthropology through the end of 2014, including the August and November issues.

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