(via media/anthropology and Open Access Anthropology blog) Where can I publish my papers online? A few weeks ago, I wrote about ResearchGATE and other initiatives. Now, SSOAR - the Social Science Open Access Repository is online. It is according to Kerim Friedman from the Open Access Anthropology blog, “the first general Social Science Open Access repository we’ve found".
The repository is multilingual with texts in English, Spanish, German, Polish and many other languages. There are already around 5000 papers available, around 84 of them are listed under Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology (84), whille searching for anthropology gives 96 hits.
SSOAR’s goal is to provide free electronic access to journal article preprints and postprints. Master’s theses are not included here, it seems. You can deposit the following types of documents:
Copyright permitting, you can deposit in SSOAR all quality-assured scholarly contributions which have already been published or have been accepted for publication in journals, collective volumes or journal-like series.
Journal contributions include scholarly articles, reviews, interviews and conference proceedings. By collective volumes we mean all text compilations such as handbooks, conference readers or proceedings. Contributions such as research reports, discussion papers and working papers from, for example, institutes’ series or research networks can also be deposited in SSOAR, and are, indeed, becoming increasingly significant. Such contributions can be monographic in nature or comprise several documents. Actual monographs (books, dissertations) may also be deposited, ideally in full.
SSOAR is a German initiative, “operated jointly by the Center for Digital Systems, the Institute of Qualitative Research (both are part of the Freie Universitaet Berlin), and by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Open Access Anthropology gives an overview over other repositories.
A friend of mine sent me a link to the website of the Norwegian migration researcher Jørgen Carling http://www.dragoeiro.com It has an unusually nice design, but what I’m even more impressed about is the section “Research findings". Here, he lists selected findings from his own research on migration in a very simple but convincing manner like
“It is misleading to say that the ‘total effect’ of labour emigration is either positive or negative for a given country.”
“We are living in an era of involuntary immobility”
followed by a short explanation and link to the relevant publication.
I haven’t seen something like this on other websites, it looks like a great way to present one’s own research - and it might be even a good exercise for the reasearcher: What have I learnt through my research? What has anthropology taught me? Yes, what would you answer?
Wow! Overwhelming! The British Library has made more than 23 000 sound recordings from all over the world freely available to everyone at http://sounds.bl.uk
“World and traditional music", “oral history", “accents and dialects", “environment and nature” are some of the categories on the websites. Right now I’m listening to Sunna Saora in India with his two-stringed Sora fiddle. Sunna went from house to house, asking for some rice grains and playing his songs.
“One of the difficulties, working as an archivist, is people’s perception that things are given to libraries and then are never seen again – we want these recordings to be accessible", Janet Topp Fargion, the library’s curator of world and traditional music, says in the Guardian.
To say the sounds are diverse may be understatement, according to the presentation in the Guardian:
There are Geordies banging spoons, Tawang lamas blowing conch shell trumpets and Tongan tribesman playing nose flutes. And then there is the Assamese woodworm feasting on a window frame in the dead of night. (…) The recordings go back more than 100 years, with the earliest recordings being the wax cylinders on which British anthropologist Alfred Cort Haddon recorded Aboriginal singing on his trip to the Torres Strait islands off Australia in 1898
Unfortunately, the website is optimised for Windows users and the people behind the website don’t seem to have much knowledge about other operating systems. For example, they advise Mac users to download “software such as Winamp or Windows Media Player” - which are Windows applications (VLC works fine). Their statement “Some features are unavailable in some web browser/operating system configurations” is not very helpful either.
(via AAA-blog) He was both president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and editor of the journal American Anthropologist. Now Walter Goldschmidt, born in 1913, is joing the growing anthropological blogging community at http://waltergoldschmidt.wordpress.com/
Electronic communication, and these things called “blogs,” represent a medium I am singularly unready for. My amanuensis has suggested that I use it to place various of my essays and monographs for public use, and I do find this appeals to me, and invite you to make what use of them you may. Among these, I shall offer presentation of a book of memoirs that I have long intended to write but am only now getting around to.
During the recent weeks and months, many other anthropologists have started blogging as well. Among others, there are two new group blog projects: Anthropoliteia - a blog about police, policing and security from an anthropological perspective and Anthropologyworks - a more general anthro blog that also provides overviews over “anthropology in the news". It is a project of the Culture in Global Affairs (CIGA) research and policy program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Then there is the blog Economics in Cultural Perspective that also looks very interesting. I’m very glad to see that two anthropologists from Scandinavia have joined us: Daniel Winfree Papuga with his blog Recontextual - Expressive culture in new formations and Johanna Sommansson who is blogging about her fieldwork in India at Anthromodernity.
Not all of them can be found on the blog overview at http://www.antropologi.info/blog/ I’ll update it later
It’s hard to believe that I have been running this blog already for around five years. It was in June 2004, I bought the domain antropologi.info and on the 7th of July 2004, the English blog was launched by anthropologist Simon Roberts from Ideas Bazaar who was the first one who found antropologi.info and blogged about it (see screenshot or the webarchive) - three weeks before I launched it officially in Norway (he is still blogging by the way).
There were only very few anthropology blogs at that time. So the news about a new anthropology blog spread fast. The same day, Dina Mehta, located in India, and Mónica Pinheiro in Portugal, blogged about it. Dina Mehta is still blogging, too, and was recently interviewed about her early blogging. And four days later, antropologi.info was mentioned on maybe the oldest anthropology blog, the ethno:log in Munich.
Blogging in 2004 (or even in 2005) was totally different from today. We were a very small anthroblog-community. There was no Savage Minds or Culture Matters. It was easy to stay up to date. People generally didn’t know what blogging was and rather looked upon it with suspicion. There was no web 2.0. Few used internet in their research and only few scholars published electronically. In 2004 there was no spam! I started with a simple blog script without any spam protection (see the old blog here)
My plan was creating an anthropology portal with both a news section, a calendar, link directory, forum, chat and some kind of magazine section - both in Scandinavian languages, in German and English. I found there is so much interesting research that should be wider known. I wanted to make anthropology more accessible - both to people outside and inside the university.
So I started scanning the news: But I also blogged about interesting posts by other bloggers. In the beginning, I wrote about every thesis that was posted online because this happened so rarely. I interviewed lots of people and also wrote some book reviews. I had lots of time as I just had quit my job. I missed my discipline. I tried to get up to date again, created this website and prepared possible phd-projects (that were never realised).
My first interview was with Eduardo Archetti (in Norwegian only) who died less than one year later. He had just returned from the largest European anthropology conference and I thought it must be exciting to know what knowlege was exchanged when so many anthropologists from all over Europe come together. Usually, this knowledge would remain unknown to the wider public.
I also tried to get anthropologists online, start blogging, publishing online (but only with limited success). I also offered free blogs on antropologi.info - one of the anthropologists is still blogging - Cicilie Fagerlid.
Things are very different now. Much has changed in a very short time. We have become a huge community. It is an amazing development! Many anthropologists have started blogging. In addition to pioneering sites like Savage Minds and anthropology.net, we now have several impressive group blog projects like Culture Matters, Material World, Neuroanthropology, Cognition and Culture, Somatosphere and more.
Blogging has become mainstream and blogs a central space for scholary communication.
One of the most impressive developments might be that mainstream organisations like the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) have started blogging. Today the AAA has one of the most active anthropology blogs. There are new posts nearly every day. Who would have thought that only one year ago?
Then, more and more papers and theses are published online, and the list of Open Access journals is growing. Some have started podcasting like the Society of Applied Anthropology (SfAA) or most recently The Informal Ethnographer (Alexandre Enkerli). German EVIFA has created an impressive anthropology online library (German / English).
Recently, Facebook has become a new arena for communication. Anthropologists are extremly active on twitter and the new Open Anthropology Cooperative has more than 1400 members.
I was once asked if the large number of blogs leads to competition. I answered that for me there are no competitors or rivals. Blogging is fun because there are so many other bloggers. It is because of the anthropology community (and the many friends I made via blogging), that I enjoy blogging and still do blog. Blogging in Norwegian for example is less fun than blogging in English. There is no Scandinavian anthrosphere online, and there is little interaction on the Norwegian blog.
So a big thank you to you who read these lines! Thanks also to everybody who sent papers and theses and contributed with book reviews, guest posts, articles and comments!
Nevertheless, the growing number of anthropological content online has also changed the content of this blog. Too much is happening, it is no longer possible to follow up and cover everything. But this overview feature is still available - on the “antropologi.info Newspaper site” http://www.antropologi.info/blog/ and http://www.antropologi.info/feeds/anthropology/
Feedback face to face, via email, links via other websites etc tell me that the website has been useful for anthropologists. But antropologi.info is not only visited by loyal readers. Most websites get the most traffic from occasional readers - via search engines like Google. I think it is funny to know that for example people who google something like “most primitive people” or “naked tribes” (happens several times a day) are directed to posts where I criticize the idea that there are primitive people. A few days ago, a Norwegian googled after a Norwegian doctor in Arguineguin (place in Spain where many Norwegians live) and then was directed to a blogpost about Norwegians in Spain not willing to integrate.
News travel fast. It was fascinating to see that few hours after I had published the news Anthropology in China: IUAES-conference boycott due to Uyghur massacre, the post was reposted on several Uyghur websites and even translated into Chinese. They weren’t regular readers. They either googled or used aggregators that notify them when new articles about Uyghur issues appeared online. Something similar (in much larger extend, though) might have happened to Maximilan Forte at Open Anthropology. His blog post on America’s Iranian Twitter Revolution received much attention. It was translated into Arabic and Farsi and even published by Al Jazeera. He was also interviewed by Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly.
Although it sometimes takes a week or more before a new blog post appears, I have no plans of stopping blogging. It might be necessary to stress that antropologi.info is a one-man project without any financial support. I say that because I often get emails that treat antropologi.info as an institution or organisation. I was for example asked if it was possible to visit antropologi.info’s office and an anthropologist in India even sent me a job application.
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has launched a new blog at http://blog.aaanet.org/ It combines their previous Anthropology News, Public Affairs and Human Rights blogs. All archived content and comments were migrated to the new location. The blog looks much better now and it is easier to stay updated.
The AAA writes:
We have created this blog as a service to our members and the general public. It is a forum to discuss topics of debate in anthropology and a space for public commentary on association policies, publications and advocacy issues. We will post select items that we think are of interest to our members and that readers have voiced an interest in. We invite all anthropologists to use this domain to stimulate intellectual discussion, and would be delighted to host guest bloggers who are active in any of anthropology’s four fields.
Most anthropology blogs have participated, so these two posts provide a great opportunity to explore the growing community of anthropology blogs. A good start into 2009!
At the same time, Savage Minds has published Savage Minds Rewinds…The Best of 2008
toBEintheWORLD is the name of a new anthropology blog. In his first posts, anthropology student Pawel Tomasz Chyc (University of Poznań, Poland) asks anthro-bloggers to explain what they understand as “anthropology".
For, in his opinion, good anthropologists have to define the terms they use precisely - this includes also the term culture. He perceives “a lack of precision” both in anthropological articles, books and blogs. “Lack of precision", he writes, is “one of the fundamental problems of anthropological theory".
I’m not sure if I agree. I think anthropology might rather profit from being defined in many different and vague or experimental ways.
There are huge differences between American anthropology and German or Norwegian anthropology. I am no big fan of the American four-field approach and their focus on culture. I would rather define anthropology as the science of the diverse ways people live on this planet (= core definition). Its main method of gathering data is fieldwork (which also can be defined in many ways). It also relies on knowledge in other disciplines like history, linguistics, psychology, biology, archaeology etc
Pawel Tomasz Chyc’ posts remind me of a short discussion we had nearly three years ago after I had written the post The Five Major Challenges for Anthropology. Kambiz Kamrani from anthropology.net wrote that “Anthropology will never succeed until it clearly defines culture.", while Erkan Saka disagreed: “This emphasis on definition is against all I know about social sciences", he wrote.
See also the definition of anthropology on Anthrobase, the definition by the American Anthropological Association, the text “What is anthropology” by Thomas Hylland Eriksen and my post “Take care of the different national traditions of anthropology”