(via OA News)
I’ve been having trouble getting away from the blogsphere to do research. One of my goals is to develop a slew of great interviews, but I’m finding the blogsphere is providing that too!
Christopher Kelty and a bunch of co-authors have published a conversation that deals perfectly with my research topic, titled “Anthropology Of/In Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies”. They discuss issues relating to the circulation/distribution/sharing of anthropological productions. Particularly interesting is the discussion surrounding the role of Wiley-Blackwell publishing now that it manages the American Anthropology Associations publishing program.
They wrote the paper by circulating a draft written by two of the contributors, with each person adding bits and pieces to the conversation. The text was then edited and published.
It also points out how new generations of scholars are ignoring traditional scholarly societies, and so they ask, what is the purpose of them today? They state it cannot be simply about dissemination, as open access and online publishing make that unnecessary. They argue the AAA needs to adapt its methods to new publishing environments, and in order to that it needs to focus less on simply distributing work, but instead to put more emphasis on review, promotion, discussion, teaching, and reading.
In order for AAA publishing to survive, they argue anthropologists need to think beyond the budget of the AAA, to the budgets of libraries, schools, NGO’s, and other interested parties. Jason Baird Jackson writes,
“But if we want to think seriously about “sustainability” we
must realize that sustaining anthropology means more than sustaining the AAA budget—it means sustaining the viability of research libraries and of our not-forprofit university press partners as well. More and more research libraries today are responding by partnering directly with scholars to “publish” (in Chris’s sense) research, and thus they are expanding the library’s role in new ways. They are trying to make scholarship more open and more sustainable by cutting out the middleman, the publishing companies.”
They also discuss the possibilities for an improved Anthrosource which properly integrated new internet strategies. Jason Baird Jackson argues that outside Anthrosource and the AAA, a “shadow anthrosource” is emerging that in many ways threatens it. By not adopting new technologies, scholars are going elsewhere and sooner or later Anthrosource will be made irrelevant. He writes,
“AnthroSource was going to have a subject repository in which we
could have put our field notes, white papers, unpublished book manuscripts, etc. I saw this vision die during my first year as an editor. When the AAA couldn’t find a university to partner with, the repository was given up and AnthroSource became just a journal bundle.”
Self arching repositories, internet promotion on Youtube and blogs etc, have all taken up the roles traditionally held by journals. In many ways, the discussion brings to light the failure of traditional scholarly societies/journals/publishers to properly promote material and build interest, and that scholars are bypassing these instutions using new communication technologies to achieve results far greater than ever achieved by the AAA and its publishing program.
It is a great discussion. In the paper they link to a site where more discussion can take place, but its not working right now. Hopefully it will be up soon. (http://culanth.org/incirculation)