30/10/04

Open Source Anthropology : Are anthropologists serious about sharing knowledge?

Anthropologist P. Kerim Friedman, Temple University

Concerns over the ethnical dilemmas involved in producing knowledge about the “other” have, in the past few decades, radically changed how anthropologists conduct research and write ethnographies. Unfortunately, they have not changed how we publish.

While it is true that many anthropology journals never recoup their publication costs, the system of barriers which serve to protect their meager revenue comes at the expense of accessibility. These barriers make it all but impossible for those outside of well-endowed academic institutions to access that knowledge, undermining the lofty goals of producing a “shared anthropology.”

Anthropology lags behind other disciplines, especially the medical sciences, in adopting new models of financing and distributing peer-reviewed journals, known as “Open Access” which allow everyone to access journal articles freely online.

If anthropologists are serious about sharing knowledge, it is essential that we begin thinking not just about the nature of the knowledge we produce, but also how we publish and distribute that knowledge. Do we want our intellectual contributions to be hidden in dusty archives, or available to anyone who can Google? >> continue

He also wrote a text on Citations and why anthropologist should use wikis

SEE ALSO EARLIER ENTRIES

Shaping a culture of sustainable access to anthropological information

On Copyright and taboo and the future of anthropological publishing

Marshall Sahlins wants to make the Internet the new medium for pamphleteering: "I truly lament the various forms of copyrights and patents"

UPDATE (31.10.04): Comment by Alex Golub: He proposes - here an excerpt from his blog - "... to make the electronic text cannonical. Rather than produce the book first and then worry about getting it online, make the online article the definitive version of the text and then publish the book form wherever needed." >> continue

UPDATE: (1.11.04) See my special on Open Access Anthropology (multilingual)

UPDATE (17.8.05): antropologi.info survey: Six anthropologists on Anthropology and Internet

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