self-archiving and anthropology – not there yet

[warning this is a grumpy blogger post... it could have been written in more productive way, but anyways... ]

I was pretty excited to help some collaborators self-archive their work. Having read hundreds of blog posts advocating it, and being a strong believer in the ethical necessity of making anthro research accessible, I am sad to say that I’m very disappointed with the state of self-archiving repositories.

I started with RoMEO, a database which keeps track of self-archiving and OA policies for various academic publishers. This is the first step to finding out if you have permission to self-archive your work. [unless of course you signed away exclusivity believing the publisher would do a good job getting your work 'out there'. ]

Once I determined it was okay to self-archive the work, I emailed the publisher to confirm that this was indeed okay. This part worked out well.

Excited, and with full legal permission, I went out in search of self-archiving repositories. I started with the document “self-archiving made easy for anthropologists” produced by Kerim at Savage Minds.

It recommends the Mana’o archive, and it makes it sound incredibly easy. Unfortunately the Mana’o site seems to have fallen into disrepair. The front page hasn’t been updated in months, neither has its blog. It says it is being worked on, and to check back soon, but other than it comes across as quite messy and honestly a real turnoff to the teachers whose work I’m trying to archive.

I went ahead with it anyways, but two days later all my emails came back. The Mana’o email address is full, or broken. Either way, its not really being maintained. Server troubles jinxed my first self-archiving attempt, but hopefully the next will go better.

Bummer.

Thankfully Concordia will have its own institutional repository, and this I think makes a lot more sense anyways. Also, I can always help teachers create simple blogs or websites to archive the work… With the right key words and site design Google will help make the work accessible… but a repository really is key…

I tried emailing the Mana’o list to offer my services to get things going, but that email bounced too!!!

Anyone know whats going on with it? Or can anyone help recommend places/repositories for anthropological work?

[so all that to say, I'm sure its just some maintenance work that needs to be done over at Mana'o and once they do get it all running I'll be sure to support it!]

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Have you emailed Kerim or Rex from Savage Minds? They took the initiative to Manao as far as i know

    Reply

  2. Alex Golub is a professor at the University of Hawai’i, and is also associated with the repository. His e-mail can be found at the end of this post:

    http://blog.openaccessanthropology.org/2007/10/10/please-submit-to-manao/

    Reply

  3. thanks,

    I sent out a few emails and I’m sure its all been worked out – a repository is yet another server needing maintenance, and knowing how Concordia works IT maintenance is understaffed and overworked.

    This however could be one of the reasons more people self-archive on their own webpages than they do in self-archiving repositories… I’ve only found the Mana’o repository, and the sign saying “under development” wasn’t encouraging to people I showed it to. [I'll email Alex Golub and let him know my teachers reactions].

    Reply

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