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:  http://www.arl.org/sc/faculty/coi/COIwebcast2009.shtml.

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

EduPunk Repositories

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.

When I posted a query about this to the Open Access Anthropology Google Group, archaeologist Mike Smith pointed me to a great blog post he had already written by Digger on this topic:

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

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.

In Search of Anthropology-Friendly Subject Repositories

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.

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:

Corporate Publisher Sage Captures and Encloses Sociology, Spoils the “Good News” by Making Political Science Angry

Inside Higher Education reports today on two developments in social science publishing centered on the large commercial publisher Sage.  In the story available here, we learn that the American Sociological Association, has followed the lead of the AAA and foresaken self-publishing its journals portfolio in lieu of a co-publishing agreement with Sage. This would have been a straight forward story of celebration or mourning (depending on where you stand), were it not co-occuring with the other storyline presented in the IHE story.  A fully Saged owned political science journal–Political Theory–is at the center of a controversy related to a flubbed firing/hiring/replacing of the journal’s editor.  The episode revealed for many political scientists the conflicts built into corporate owned or controlled journals and showed again the misallignment of commercial and scholarly values.  Read all about it and think twice when Sage calls and asks you to take up an editorship.  Thanks IHE.

(Forget open access.  Why again are we are dismantling the university press system and selling/giving away the pieces to these folks?)

Another Reason Not to Trust Corporate Publishers (and to Doubt the Societies Who Work with Them)

Inside Higher Education recently reported on a scheme through which Elsevier sought to offer $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who gave one of its textbooks a five star rating on the Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.  The sorry details are available in the IHE story here. Please join me in having nothing to do with Elsevier.

Does your publisher also issue fake journals?

Scholarly communication reformers and critics recently learned of another way in which the for-profit, toll access journal system has become significantly corrupted when media reports revealed that the giant publishing firm Elsevier has been publishing fake medical journals at the behest of large pharmaceutical firms including Merck. While those concerned with the corporate enclosure of journal publishing in anthropology and neighboring fields usually focus attention on Wiley-Blackwell, Routledge and other firms with large and growing footprints in these fields, it is worth noting in connection with the fake journal episode that a number of anthropology titles are on Elsevier’s +/-2000 journal list. There may be more titles from anthropology and neighboring areas, but I identify the following:

Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
Evolution and Human Behavior
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
Journal of Archaeological Science
Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts

I am sure that these journals are edited by excellent colleagues and are contributed to by first-rate scholars, but I would not want to be associated with a journal published by Elsevier. The reasons are multiple but they now include a documented (and acknowledged) history of misleading publishing activity in the service of big drug companies and not in the service of scholarly integrity.

For the background on the fake journal story, see here and search on “Elsevier” at Open Access News.

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.