American Anthropological Association Nods In The General Direction of Open Access

The American Anthropological Association has announced that it will give open access to the American Anthropologist and Anthropology News. There are limitations, however. Starting in 2009 the AAA will give free access to issues published between 1888 and 1973. Basically, there will be a 35 year wait time on an article before it becomes available via open access. This is an small step in the right direction, many important articles will become available, but, and this is a big but, the field has changed vastly in the last 35 years. Part of the need for open access, it seems to me, is for people to have access to start of the art articles, something not found in a 35 year window. I’m not sure why it can’t be six months or one year like a lot of other science journals.
One does have to wonder, though, when the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and American Antiquity are going to follow…

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6 Responses

  1. Holy Crap, it published! Been trying forever. See you all when ScienceBlogs is unborked.

  2. Are you off to sell camomile tea to your Sciblings? Something to sooth the furrowed brow.

  3. I’m thinking their policy will change, and it will be a lot sooner than 35 years. Because open access is going to get more and more common, and holdouts will find their articles just aren’t getting read. Same for AJPA and American Antiquity(among others).
    Anne G

  4. I’m with Ann Gilbert. I think once some parts are open access, the door’s open and it gets awfully hard to justify closing it after that. It’ll probably begin to open wider and wider. Which is an excellent time which is SO last year! There is so much out there which no one has time to keep up with anyway, much less subscribe to, there must be some better way to handle the stream of info than what we have. At least with a journal such as PNAS you can get some of the things free and abstracts of the others. With a lot of the things in linguistics (my real field) half the time I can’t even get past the title without paying! Or the first page is on screen but it won’t print so my little shaky arthritic hand is put to work scribbling it out longhand. OOG!

  5. do you think, though, that as part of open access, authors will be charged to publish their articles? that’s the way many of the hard sciences do it, and a lot of the money to publish the journals comes through institutional subscriptions right now.

  6. You’ve got start of the art… now you need state of the art :P

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