Just a note to note that I have made public an essay titled “Our Circulatory System (or Folklore Studies Publishing in the Era of Open Access, Corporate Enclosure and the Transformation of Scholarly Societies).” The piece began with a series of posts published on this site in 2008 and was a talk given at the symposium “The Form of Value in Globalized Traditions” organized by the Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University in 2009. It is long (about 5000 words) and can be found on my website here: http://wp.me/p6MUY-8Z.
EduPunk, as I understand it, refers to scholars who, frustrated by the inferior tools offered by their universities, have embraced free online (i.e. “web 2.0″) social tools as a substitute. Much of the focus of EduPunk has been on teaching; for instance, using Google Groups instead of Blackboard. But I think Anthropologists should also think about Edupunk for Open Access archiving. Responses to Jason’s post make it clear that Anthropologists are sorely lacking in institutional repositories where they can store their work. As Peter Suber pointed out in his comment, if your university offers an institutional repository you should make use of it. But many of us are not so lucky.
There is, of course Mana’o, but as Jason pointed out, that has been off line for some time. It is possible that it will be resuscitated, but since it doesn’t look like the AAA is likely to offer a service which would compete with Anthrosource, I’d like to suggest that Anthropologists start looking at some of the Edupunk alternatives.
So I did a little experiment. I fished out some conference papers I’ve given, a couple of journal articles, and a book. I posted them to four “put your stuff out there” locations online, all free:
Mendeley.com Mostly a reference management tool that lets you access your .pdfs from anywhere – especially helpful when I have references that overlap between work and personal. They do also have a Personal Profile page, where you can make your own work available as downloads for anyone. The site can be slow to load.
CiteULike Again, mostly a reference management tool, similar to Mendeley. You can make your papers available for download by anyone. I find it kinda clunky vs. Mendely, but have found a few references I didn’t otherwise know about.
Academia.edu Facebook for academics. With the ability to post papers for people to access, as well as posting research interests, joining groups of folks that share your interests, etc. Perk: you get email when someone searches on you or “follows” you, and you can see how many people have looked at your stuff. Note: it only -looks- like you need a university affiliation to be listed here. Scroll through, there is an “Independent Researcher” catagory.
SelectedWorks Strictly a portal to post your stuff and have it available. Folks can subscribe to get updates, but that’s about it for the acasocial framework. One perk: realtime reports about how many copies of your stuff have been downloaded. They also convert your .docs into .pdfs and index them.
Time passed. The results? Mendeley and CiteuLike, from what I can tell, did squat for me in the “making stuff available” department (though I’m sticking with Mendeley for managing references). Academia.edu – had a few folks peek at the papers; apparently there is a trickle of visitors coming in via Google, no Google Scholar links. I give it a meh.
The real winner here is SelectedWorks. I can see people are accessing and downloading my stuff. It is totally easy to update my site. And, time to Google Scholar for everything (book, journal articles, conference papers) = 1 month. Even though I didn’t provide full text for the book and one journal article, they’re now indexed in Google Scholar.
If your university has an account with SelectedWorks, it’s easy to get listed. But, you can be listed as an individual for free, it’s just not readily apparent. From their homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “Start a Site”. You will have to email them directly to get an access code (took < 1 day for me). That’s it. I found tweaking my abstracts to include words others might search for was helpful (Search Engine Optimization for scholarly papers, woot!), and the realtime download stats let me track that.
This is win-win, for writers (who get their stuff out there) and for researchers (who can find more stuff). It’s a little nerve-wracking to know that my stuff is being read, but I’m coping!
I am really impressed with SelectedWorks as well. I had forgotten that I’d signed up with an account some time ago. It took some time for them to get back to me, but as Mike Digger says, it is easy to sign up for a free account. Other options that Mike Digger didn’t mention include
- The Open Anthropology Cooperative has created its own repository in a wiki format.
- Scribd. Harvard UP has just begun selling 1000s of books via Scribd, using it as a digital publishing platform, including a few free titles as well. NYU and MIT Press are using it as well (although in different ways).
- Google Docs. They are improving their PDF capabilities, although it seems that one still needs to be logged in to Google Docs to read “public” PDFs.
- And a million file sharing tools such as Box.net, Mediafire, and Drop.io. Although these sites may not be as open to Google search results, you can store files there and link to them from your personal web page if you have one, or together with the OAC Repository wiki mentioned above.
There are certainly a lot of options out there now. But we also have to ask about the down side. What is lost when we post to an EduPunk archive instead of a proper institutional repository? For one thing, we loose a lot by not having proper metadata entered by a trained librarian, as was the case with Mana’o. And what about the legal issues? Open Access legal statements seem focused on personal websites and institutional repositories. There doesn’t seem to be language for something the kinds of services listed above… And, in his reply to my e-mail, Chris Kelty pointed out some other problems:
what is the eduPunk approach to archival persistence? How would these tools allow for permanent findability and a certain sense that one can be sure it will stay available for a long time? DOI numbers require an institutional home… COiNs data are easy to add to a blog post… Zotero can find things with this data… so maybe part of the blog post should be best practices for eduPunk future-proofing…
All important questions to ask. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!
UPDATE: Changed author of blog post to Digger as per comments.
Not everyone is employed at an institution that has established an stable, standard institutional repository where manuscripts, working papers, white papers, and green OA articles can be deposited. As discusussed on the Open Access Anthropology list, the Mana’o Project (a provisional subject repository for anthropology) is offline, for the time being at least. While discussions aimed at establishing an anthropology subject repository on firm footing continue, it might be good to inventory known repositories in which anthropologists might wish place their work. Two that I know about have a policy orientation–IssueLab and Policy Archive. Another one of possible interest is the Digital Library of the Commons, a repository for scholarship dealing with commons, common-pool resources, and common property issues. If you know of other repositories into which scholars in anthropology and neighboring fields could place their work, please leave a comment or link.
While nodding in the direction of the AAA publication program of which I am a part, I have danced around the question of placing publisher produced PDFs (final, typeset versions of articles, etc.) in subject/institutional repositories and on personal websites on a number of occasions, most recently in a comment on SavageMinds related to articles made available for download on author websites. Up to this point, I have tried to evoke the existence of widespread confusion on this point without appearing to speak on behalf of anyone other than myself. I am still just a member of the AAA who happens to edit a AAA journal, but it strikes me that a bit more clarity might be useful. SHERPA/RoMEO‘s interpretation of the AAA author agreement is not the same thing as an official AAA interpretation of the agreement, but it is perhaps worth noting that SHERPA/RoMEO’s understanding of AAA policy is clear and concise. For SHERPA/RoMEO, the AAA is “Green,” meaning that the AAA author agreement allows and author to archive a pre-print (that is, a pre-peer review version) and to then archive a post-print version (that is, the final author’s manuscript after peer-review but before the production steps undertaken by the publisher). In SHERPA/RoMEO’s understanding, posting/archiving of the final published PDF (“the publisher’s version”) is not allowed.
If this understanding is correct, then authors publishing under the standard AAA author agreement would not have the right to post the final published version of their papers on a personal website or in repositories. This would hold true for any image files that visually replicated the published version, regardless of format or the source of the file (scanning the paper oneself, obtaining the pdf file from AnthroSource, etc.).
According to the AAA entry in the SHERPA/RoMEO database, it is expected that pre-prints that are placed online must be replaced by the post-print upon publication. This means that authors seeking publication in a AAA journal would need to be cautious about placing early “working paper” versions of their articles online in repositories as (unlike author websites) such archives do not generally have provisions for removing content which has been made available therein. Placing a pre-peer review draft on an author website would pose little danger, as replacing it with the post-peer review version after publication would present little technical challenge (although it would, of course, mess with any existing weblinks and the author website route looses many of the stability, metadata and permanence benefits associated with robust repositories). The RoMEO database entry describes other conditions governing the posting of pre-prints and post-prints. I am not describing these here and I would urge authors to study their author agreements and the RoMEO database entry completely before posting their AAA related work online. Of course, related issues arise with most published works, thus the AAA case is just one of many of relevance to authors in our field. The RoMEO database provides guidance on hundreds of publishers.
While the AAA record in the SHERPA/RoMEO “Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving” database shows a “most recent update” date of February 15, 2008, it also makes reference to the University of California Press’ online content system “Caliber” (and AnthroSource) rather than to Wiley InterScience, the publisher-wide system by which AAA content is now made available by the AAA’s publishing partner Wiley-Blackwell (WB also now produces AnthroSource. The University of California Press is no longer involved in AAA publishing.). I mention this irregularity as a reminder that SHERPA/RoMEO or any similar system cannot, by its very nature, perfectly reflect the (often rapidly changing) details of every publisher’s circumstances and policies. It is a guide for the use of authors and repository managers, but it is not a substitute to knowing what a particular author agreements says and means in its specifics.
Those interested in the issue of posting/archiving publisher produced PDFs may find a new report by SHERPA/RoMEO of interest. A study of the 414 publishers tracked in the database found that 51 allow immediate use of the final published PDF on author websites and in repositories. Some additional publishers allow for use of the published file after embargo periods ranging between 6 months and 5 years Find out more about this analysis and see the publisher list here. (I first learned of this list thanks to Open Access News.) Most of the publishers listed are not prominent in anthropological publishing, but two are well-known to our field–Duke University Press (which publishes Public Culture and Ethnohistory among other titles) and the University of California Press (which, while no longer publishing the AAA journals, still publishes a number of relevant area studies, sociology and history journals).
Searching the RoMEO database for American Anthropological Association can get one to the database’s entry for the association. (See here.)
Last May a correspondent who was understandably frustrated by the lack of a clear submissions path for this blog wrote this comment to the post titled “Kim Christen on Author Agreements and Nuanced Open Access.”
This is NOT a comment on this post, but I can’t find any other way to contact the authors of this blog (you should sort that out…) I wanted to ask you to post this, which was sent around my department of archaeology internally:
At his revised website _www.harrismatrix.com_ Dr. Ed Harris has arranged for the free downloading of his textbook Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. Long out of print and very expensive when it was, Harris was determined that the book should be widely available, especially to students, and therefore is giving it away for free. The site has been set up and is maintained by Dr. Wolfgang Neubauer and Klaus Loecker of the University of Vienna, to which Ed expresses his thanks for this service to archaeology.
Our apologies to Professor Meece for making the good-turn of calling this development to the field’s attention kind of a let down and a pain. Better late than never, I hope.
The book in question was originally published as: Edward C. Harris (1989) Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. Second Edition. New York: Academic Press. See its Open WorldCat entry here.
The author is to be commended for this effort. Free sure beats $79.50 and up for a used copy on Amazon. Perhaps the book can be added to Mana’o to insure availability in the years to come.
While my university (Indiana University) now has a robust institutional repository (IUScholarWorks: Repository), it is also the home to an important subject repository called The Digital Library of the Commons. When these matters were new to me (in late 2004) I posted my introductory remarks from a symposium that I had organized (Contesting Culture as Property) in the Digital Library of the Commons. Commons and common pool resource issues were central to the course out of which the symposium arose and this all fit together and made sense to me, even though at the time I did not know as much as I would come to know about OA issues (not that I am an expert now, or anything). I am telling this story just to point to a new development (new for me, at least).
I have just discovered that my 6 page PDF manuscript, which was made available for free to all comers via the repository, can now be purchased as an “e-book” for $2.99 from a firm that is using ABEBooks.com for this purpose. (Find it, but don’t purchase it, here.)
How common are such situations? For better or worse, the 2004 me marked the paper clearly with a dated (c) mark. Even if I had used a (cc) license (as I surely would have done had I posted it more recently), this still would not have been cool. I hate to think that I will need to buy my paper in order to get a clearer idea who is behind this and what exactly they are doing.
[DLC records clearly state: “This is an open-access digital library and archive. Copyright for DLC documents is retained by the authors. Use and distribution by you is subject to citation of the original source.”]
My paper is too minor to worry about, but I wonder if anyone has thoughts on this phenomena more generally?
I recently wrote a piece for Anthropology News which mentioned among other things that regardless of the AAA’s position, official or unofficial, about Open Access, it’s nonetheless happening in all kinds of ways. Now it’s happening in one more way that the AAA will have to deal with. Viz. Harvard’s recent announcement that it is mandating that faculty give Harvard permission to archive all of their publications, regardless of the AAA’s or Wiley Blackwell’s internal policies on Open Access.
What this means initially for the AAA and WB is that if any AAA journal want to publish an article by Harvard faculty, they need to do one of three things: 1) allow it to be open access 2) refuse to publish it or 3) convince the faculty member to request a waiver from Harvard. Now in some ways this is nothing new: author agreements for AAA publications already allow self-archiving, so there will no need to choose 2 or 3, unless WB decides to change that policy down the line (so this kind of policy is actually good insurance). In other ways, this is a significant step forward for OA because it reverses the role of inertia: instead of faculty defaulting to closed access, they now default to open access, which is in their interests, instead of contrary to them.
Now this policy can be mis-interpreted in a number of different ways (all of which Peter Suber has collected and responded to), but the basic fact is that this is almost the best possible policy for everyone. It functions by mandating permission–Harvard retains a non-exclusive right to everything its faculty publish, and therefore can choose to (and will) make it available in an Open Access repository open to anyone. Continue reading
I’m happy to announce version 1.0 of our Creative Commons licensed poster promoting self-archiving among anthropologists. Feel free to remix and reuse as you see fit – and share those remixes with us. (You can always download the latest version of the PDF and the original Apple Pages document here.)
This document is meant to reach a wide audience, please print it out on a nice color printer and post to your department bulletin board!
For more detailed information, please visit the Eprints Self-Archiving FAQ.
UPDATE: Added version numbers to the PDF. It now reads version 1.4.