Pamthropologist also has some enlightening things to say about the economic realities teachers face at not-so-well-off academic institutions. She writes,
“Our institution pays NO money to subscribe to any journal listing service. No JStor and very few books, most dating to the 1960’s.”
Looking back at how I’ve been doing research, I couldn’t imagine not having access to a decent library (online and off), but many academic institutions simply cannot afford them.
Her full post can be found here,
Yes we have no readings no readings at all
The metaphor of the internet as a bookstore is really good. I haven’t heard it before, not even in discussions of digital information as a public good.
I have experienced doing research both in contexts where i have access to academic work and in contexts where this access lacks (universities have no money for the subscription fees). The end result is just brain drain and a vicious circle of cultural imperialism (and academic colonization, if one can say so).
Yet, at the same time, I’ve worked for an academic journal and I do know how important it is to have the financial resources for people who do the editorial management part. I think there should be incentives for reviewers too, but then where to get the money from? It’s a really complex conundrum. But I don’t think the solution is relying on the good will of some individuals willing to share their work. Funding institutions (SSHRC in Canada does so) and universities should encourage public sharing of academic research and create funding for this.
Comment from: [Member]
@owen: thanks for the link. sounds like she’s writing from a poor african country, but it’s northern america…
@thinkingdifference: maybe “library” is an even better metaphor? you cannot take books with you from a book shop and read them at home for free.
i think the state shoud fund journals in the same way as they fund universities, it’s a public institution (seen from a European perspective), i wonder how when and why this was privatized…
yes indeed, library works even better.
don’t know if we had this discussion on this blog, but unfortunately the trend is the retreat of the welfare state. as the state adopts the free market stance, we can say goodbuy to our public funding… or maybe i’m just talking from a north-american context, where the mainstream uncritically embraces capitalism.
Hi Lorenz, sorry for invading your blog again.
If I could post one qualification about what SSHRC does in Canada, it is that it does not merit celebration or our endorsement.
SSHRC does not require that those funded by it must disseminate their research without cost or impediment to the taxpayer. It could and should do so, since its funding is public, but it does not. Moreover, SSHRC subsidizes the publications of print publishers, whose products needless to say are not open access or otherwise free to the taxpayer.
SSHRC does fund open access journals, but as I mentioned in one of my series of posts on SSHRC, the program is layered with so many conditions and limitations, that it makes it virtually useless to even think of applying for its support. As someone who edited an open access journal in anthropology and history for 10 years, I have never applied to SSHRC.
That post can be found here.