Category Archives: Announcements

Open Folklore Links

Those visiting this website may wish to follow discussions of the Open Folklore project happening elsewhere.  Here are some links.

The site itself, with an announcement from the lead partners (IUB Libraries and the AFS) can be found at:

Two detailed blog posts about the project have appeared, one at Savage Minds (here) and one at Archivology (here).

The IUB Media Release is here and a Indiana Daily Student story is here.

I have written several blog posts about the project from my perspective as a participant. These can be found here, here, here, and here.

The American University in Cairo: Digital Archive and Research

I would like to announce that The American University in Cairo via its Digital Archive and Research believes in the open access movement.

As stated in AUC DAR website:

Open Access is a worldwide movement to encourage unrestricted availability of high-quality peer-reviewed research for the greater good of science and society. The Internet has the potential to disseminate knowledge and research farther and faster than ever before, but the drastic price increases imposed by publishers (despite the decreasing costs of providing electronic access to research material) limit the potential exposure of valuable research materials. With journal prices increasing, many university libraries, particularly smaller institutions and those in developing countries, are being forced to cancel subscriptions to scholarly journals, which can diminish the dissemination and quality of those institutions’ own academic output. Open Access provides a solution by offering an alternative to these subscription based access policies.Open Access provides an alternative to these subscription based access policies, especially in these times of economic difficulty.

Hence, AUC DAR aims to host:

Electronic versions of graduate student theses, and existing digital collections, such as the Rare Books and Special Collections Library’s digitized photographs, rare books, and architectural drawings.

Materials submitted to the AUC DAR Repository can be retrieved in search engines like Google and Yahoo.

AUC DAR is encouraging its students and faculty to submit their work to the Repository by stating that it will greatly increase exposure of their work to the scholarly community. It emphasizes that their submission of scholarly works does not restrict their right to publish elsewhere.

You can check some examples that I found it interesting here, here, and here.

M.A. Anthropology theses and researches will be available open access in the soon future on AUC DAR since it is newly launched.

Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity

Readers of Open Access Anthropology will want to check out the announcements for (and press coverage of) the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity that was just announced by Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT and Berkeley.

I just finished speaking to Inside Higher Education about it for a story that they will run tomorrow.  I had not yet read the “OA Compact” statement yet, which added to my nerves about weighing in on it (via a phone interview). I may or may not need to explain myself after the story runs.  Having now read the core documents, I can just state at this stage that I very much support open access and I believe in new kinds of university (college, museum, etc.) investments in it.  I believe that different ways of spending on scholarly communication can change the publishing landscape in good ways, including equitable ways.  My sense of the equities that matter here include not just equity between modes of publication but also social justice issues.  This new development could lead to good of many kinds, but my own preference would be for institutional investments at the journal (or journal program) level rather than at the article/author level.

This scheme will make the literature more accessible to readers, which is a wonderful thing, but in fields like anthropology and folklore studies, where authors can make very important contributions without being attached to major western research universities, it may increase barriers to authorship in unhelpful ways.  It may also, by handing private for-profit publishers a new business model and the cash payments to go with it, continue the current arrangement in which large commercial firms lay claim to ever larger amounts of the commonwealth–overtly in the form of university-paid page charges, and covertly in the form of research-derived IP (often publicly funded), uncompensated editorial work, uncompensated peer-review, unpaid-for office space, equipment, etc. and freely provided graduate assistant-based editorial staff support.

This announcement is big and dramatic.  As with the green OA mandates, it represents a step by some major universities to change the terms under which our publishing system works.  It is a major move for OA.  I like that.  I hope that it prompts renewed discussion of the many big issues at stake.

PS:  Thankfully the statement’s architects acknowledge that a minority of gold OA journals are author-pays journals (contra the AAA and its associates). If the scheme works, I suspect that most gold OA journals will move towards author-pays.  This is one place where I agree with several AAA-sanctioned voices.  The growth of author-pays models could really harm existing authors in anthropology and folklore studies and could make the inclusion of as-yet-unheard from voices that much more difficult.  If this is the path that we wind up taking toward gold OA, we will have to work really hard to build and fund a subsidy (or waiver) system sufficient for the inclusion of the vast range of people (=potential authors) who will not have access to institutional author-fee support.


I think that this is the week’s big news in scholarly communications issues.  Its not open access, but it is not-for-profit. There is much that could be said.  Hopefully there will be some discussion among anthropologists, especially in light of the AAA’s experiences working with the University of California Press Journals program.  For myself, I will observe again that the Journal’s staff at California were amazing to work with as an editor.  Personal experience aside, it seems that the big question here relates to the meaning of this to ProjectMuse.  Read all about it below (and see the IHE story too):


A new collaboration emerges to improve access to scholarship for faculty, students, and librarians. University of California Press and JSTOR today announced a new effort to invest in a shared online platform and outreach services that promise to create a more seamless, rich online work environment for faculty and students, ease the burden on librarians of negotiating separate license agreements with a multitude of publishers and independent titles, and promote a more cost-effective publishing environment.

August 12, 2009 – Berkeley, CA and New York, NY – University of California Press, the not-for-profit publishing arm of the University of California and JSTOR, the preservation archive and research platform that is part of the not-for-profit ITHAKA, will work in partnership – and encourage others to join them – to make current and historical scholarly content available on a single, integrated platform, to provide a single point of purchase and access for librarians and end users around the world, and to ensure its long-term preservation.

Beginning in 2011, current content from all University of California Press published journals, including those from scholarly societies, will be hosted on a re-designed JSTOR platform. Faculty and students around the world will be able to access all licensed content on JSTOR – current issues, back issues, and a growing set of primary source materials from libraries – easily and seamlessly. JSTOR’s nearly 6,000 library participants worldwide will be able to license the Press’s current journals, either individually or as part of current issue collections, together with JSTOR back issue collections in a single transaction. Continue reading

Scholarly Society-Library Partnerships Webcast Now Online

The video archive version of the recent Association for Research Libraries (ARL) webcast on “Reaching Out to Leaders of Scholarly Societies at Research Institutions” to which I contributed is now available online.  It can be gotten to for free, all that is required is signing in for ARL headcounting purposes.  Watching it in this way provides the same content experienced when the program was being done live.  The event lasted one hour.  IU ScholarWorks Librarian Jennifer Laherty and I were the first of two pairs of speakers.  We present after about five minutes of introduction from the ARL staff organizers who spoke on the general goals of the initiative of which the program was a part.  Q&A follows the second presentation on data projects in astronomy (by Sayeed Choudhury and Robert Hanisch). Find the webcast via a link available here:

In my comments I address briefly my experiences working on scholarly communications issues in anthropology and in folklore studies.

Social Science and Humanities Associations Report on Publishing Costs

Readers of the weblog will probably want to check out the following story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  “Humanities Journals Cost Much More to Publish Than Science Periodicals.”  It is available for just a few days before the toll gate closes.  Here is paragraph 1.

It costs more than three times as much to publish an article in a humanities or social-science journal as it does to publish one in a science, technical, or medical, or STM, journal, and the prevailing model used by many publishers of STM journals will not work for their humanities and social-sciences counterparts. Those are some of the eye-opening conclusions released today in a report on an in-depth study of eight flagship journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Find the whole article here:

10 Publishers Moving in the Right Direction

There is way more relevant news from the world of scholarly communications than any of us can keep up with.  Thankfully Open Access News does an amazing job of flagging tons of important items for our consideration. A recent bit of news that I was especially glad to see was the pro-OA statement offered by the directors of ten North American university presses.  These presses affirmed a collaborative, not-for-profit, public-interest position that contrasts strongly with that of the AAP and the AAUP.

I do not know all of these presses equally well, but I would note that the University Press of Florida and the University of Michigan Press have important histories in anthropology monograph publishing and that Wayne State University Press is crucial to folklore studies. The University Press of New England (via Wesleyan University Press) is central in ethnomusicology. This statement is one more reason for scholars to think favorably about these presses when looking for publishing partners.

Thank you University Press of Florida, University of Akron Press, University Press of New England, Athabasca University Press, Wayne State University Press, University of Calgary Press, The University of Michigan Press, The Rockefeller University Press, Penn State University, and University of Massachusetts Press.

PS: Where does your University Press stand?

UPDATE:  See the Inside Higher Education story here.

New Updated Directory of Open Access Anthropology Journals

As we were celebrating on May first this year our first  Open Access Anthropology Day, Lorenz made a great contribution by gathering many, if not all, the updated OAA Journals. You can read the post, which Lorenz wrote here, and if you would like to add other OAAJ, which are not listed in the page that he created, please leave him a comment under his post.  Interestingly, the languages that are being used in these journals are various: English, German, Multilingual, Scandinavian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, and French. Looking forward to see more other languages.

I encourage you to bookmark this valuable page. It will save a lot of your time searching for OAA journals since the page is updated. Also, it will be a great idea if professors encourage their students to search OAAJ and use them in their class papers. Professors are encouraged to use the Open Access Anthropology Journals to create materials for their classes. Students as well can encourage their professors to use the materials in OAA journals to prepare for the class readings. Thanks Lorenz.

The First Open Access Anthropology Day

As I posted previously here, In the 1st of May 2009, we will be celebrating the first Open Access Anthropology Day. Anthropologists, in this day, show their support to Open Access Anthropology. Open Access Anthropology is interested in creating open access alternatives to anthropological publications by promoting Open Access Anthropology Journals. In addition, at this day we encourage you to promote further the notion of self-archiving among your colleagues. If you would like to be an active member in this event, here are some suggestions:

How to Participate in Open Access Anthropology Day

1- You can join the event over Blogger Unite, which it would not consume a minute from your time

2- Let others in our field learn about Open Access Anthropology Day by sharing with them this post via social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc

3- If you have a blog, you can spend some time to write a post at that day about any topic associated with Open Access Anthropology

4- Professors can discuss topics related to Open Access Anthropology with their students at that day

5- Graduate and undergraduate students can discuss with their colleagues and professors the importance of Open Access Anthropology

6- You can share with us any open access publication of yours. You can leave its URL in the comment’s section below

7-  Also you can share with us your experience with Open Access Anthropology Journals either by writing a post about it in your blog, or share it with us here under the comment’s section

8- You can copy and paste into your blog’s text sidebar the HTML code of the event’s badge, which is posted in the Blog Unite as I am doing in my blog’s sidebar

9- I strongly encourage you to download the poster, which Kerim and Alex created promoting self-archiving , and email it to the members of your department. Also, you can print the poster out, if you wish, on a nice color printer and post it to the bulletin board of your department

Please feel free to let us know if you have further ideas, we are always open to new ones

To learn more about the importance of Open Access Anthropology and some related topics you can visit these posts:

Why Open Access?

Open Access Journal Publishing in Anthropology by Max

Stumped by AnthroSource by Kerim

A Short Summary of Recent Open Access News by Lorenz

Happy Open Access Anthropology Day

Open Access Awards Presented at the AAA Meetings

While much of its blog work actually takes place on Savage Minds and elsewhere, I have a sense that OA advocates interested in what is happening in anthropology may occasionally check in here or have an RSS feed here. For such folks, I can note briefly the results of the recent Savage Minds OA awards, spearheaded by Chris Kelty and announced to a crowd of real life human beings in the lobby of the San Francisco Hilton on Saturday evening (11/22/2008) during the meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

Most Excellent Blog
Runner up:
Most Win: Culture Matters

Most Excellent OA Journal
Runner Up: Cultural Analysis
Most Win: Anthopology Matters

Most Excellent Blog or Journal that does not end in “Matters” (The Category formerly known as Most Excellent Unclassifiable Digital Thingamajob)
Runner Up: Digital Anthropology
Most Win: Neuroanthropology

For details, one can consult Savage Minds postings here, here, here, and here, as well as notes appearing on, Culture Matters, and Neuroanthropology.

(For the record, I am a small fish on Cultural Analysis‘ otherwise very distinguished editorial board and I am very proud that a journal bridging folklore studies and neighboring disciplines in the human sciences did so well in the voting. If you do not know the journal, check it out here.)