What do all humans have in common? My interview with anthropologist Christoph Antweiler in German about his book on cultural universalisms has been translated into Portuguese and will be published in the journal Revista ANTHROPOLÓGICAS. You can download the Portuguese translation here.
The text was translated by Peter Schröder, one of the editors of Revista ANTHROPOLÓGICAS. The journal is open access.
Open Access, he tells me, is supported by the Brazilian government. The best scientific journals are freely available on the Portal Scielo http://www.scielo.br Via the subject list, I found three more anthropology journals: Horizontes Antropológicos, Mana and Revista de Antropologia. Most of the articles are in Portuguese, only a few of them in English.
Anthropology professor Joe Rubenstein has started an interesting project: Students in his course “Field Methods” are expected to blog their field experiences (it seems). Their research topic is teens and adolescence.
“The purpose of writing on our blogs is to keep each other and ourselves informed and up to date on what is going on for *Adolescent* field work project", Danielle explains.
The students are about to meet their first informants. Take a look at the long list of student field blogs on Rubensteins blog (at the bottom of the left sidebar).
Lots of interesting posts in the professor’s blog as well, for example On Doing Fieldwork where he helps us organizing one’s thoughts for the Weblog methods reflections and lists some useful fieldwork websites.
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.
According to their self-description, the journal “seeks to ‘democratize’ research-based studies on South Asia by giving them a greater visibility through a free and worldwide access. It is the “first academic and peer-reviewed on-line journal devoted to social sciences studies on South Asia.” It covers studies in history, geography, anthropology, sociology, political science and economy.
The next issue (due in Spring 2008) will deal with the mobilization of ‘offended communities’ in South Asia.
How can I find research papers and theses that are freely available? ScienceCommons is a search engine and portal that is still in beta but now lists 893 repositories (according to Peter Suber at Open Access News). A search for anthropology gives more that 44 000 hits but a quick check reveals that not all papers or theses are open access.
The major aim of the project is to develop the world’s largest communication medium for scientific knowledge products which is freely accessible to the public. A key challenge of the project is to support the rapidly growing number of movements and archives who admit the free distribution and access to scientific knowledge
There is another search engine as well: OAIster. There a search for anthropology gives 54679 records - but also included some papers with restricted access (f.ex. from journals like Current Anthropology)
See also 2007 Highlights over at Savage Minds: “2007 was a great year for the open access movement".
MANAO - new Open Access repository for anthropology was announced for the first time not more than two months ago. Now, already 82 publications can be read and downloaded - both theses, conference papers, monographs and book chapters - including the papers Alex Golub gave at AAA-meeting and other publications by Savage Minds bloggers.
While new media can foster participatory ethnography and enhance access, one also has to reflect on the implications of the Internet’s openness and availability. This was one of the lessons of a session at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association about new media and anthropology according to Inside Higher Education.
Kate Hennessy, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, described an online exhibit on the indigenous culture of the Doig River First Nation that she helped to develop for the Virtual Museum of Canada. It makes songs, photographs and video of the Dane-zaa people freely available to the general public, in what Hennessy described as “a form of repatriation” — the term for returning objects and artifacts to the cultures from which they came, although here the term was used in a virtual sense.
Over the course of several meetings with community elders, the team came to realize that, according to the Web site, “it is not appropriate to show Dane-zaa Dreamers’ drawings to a worldwide audience on the Internet. Even though the drum is central to this website, in order to ensure that the Dreamers drawings are treated properly and with respect, no images of Dreamers’ drawings or the drum that we describe here are shown.”
(T)he online exhibit project extended discussions about when the display of cultural heritage crosses the line into appropriation, and how giving communities access to digital tools can provide a means for self-representation.
For more news on the AAA meeting see Circumcision: “Harmful practice claim has been exaggerated” - AAA meeting part IV, “The insecure American needs help by anthropologists” - AAA-meeting part II, and Final report launched: AAA no longer opposes collaboration with CIA and the military - AAA meeting part I
Not even more and more anthropologists are blogging. Now, even anthropology organisations have discovered the internet. A few days ago, ASA (Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth) has launched their blog “aimed at providing a new platform for anthropological discusion". Their first guest blogger is Alberto Corsin Jimenez of the University of Manchester.
PS: More updates soon