This morning, the journal Museum Anthropology Review was launched as an open access journal. The content that was published during 2007 (the journal’s first year) is now available in both HTML and PDF format - free for all readers all over the world.
Editor Jason Baird Jackson said that making scholarly work more easily and affordably accessible is especially important in fields like folklore and anthropology that are rooted in the study of local cultures worldwide:
“If, for instance, a scholar spends months documenting the work of an elderly woodcarver living in a small American town and then writes about what she learned in a peer-reviewed research article, I have an obligation as her editor to make it as easy as possible for the schoolchildren of that town – or the artist’s grandchildren – to gain access to her writing. Open access repositories and journals, in their varied forms, help make this possible.”
UPDATE: Inside Higher Ed reports:
There are hundreds of scholarly journals published online, plenty of them free. But what makes Museum Anthropology Review’s launch notable is that it is being led by the same editor as the traditional journal, Museum Anthropology, using the exact same peer review system.
For years, the criticism of the free, online model has been that it would be impossible for it to replicate the quality control offered by traditional publishing. When online journal publishers have boasted of their quality control, print loyalists have said, in effect, “well maybe it’s good, but it can’t be as good as what we’re doing.”
To this subjective criticism, open access advocates can now point to someone who knows exactly what the standards are at both journals, as he’s leading them both.