Professor Alisse Waterston of John Jay College’s Department of Anthropology is the editor of a bold new experiment in scholarly publishing that was recently unveiled by the American Anthropological Association (AAA).
Open Anthropology is an online-only, public journal that will feature a thematically-connected series of articles, commentaries and reviews from the archives of the AAA’s expansive library of scholarly journals. “The American Anthropological Association has one of the largest publishing programs of any academic or professional organization,” Waterston noted. “As editor, I get to choose among the very best writings in our discipline across 100 years of publishing and from over two dozen journals.”
The inaugural issue, which made its debut in April 2013, revolves around the theme of “Marriage and Other Arrangements,” which Waterston said was timely and appropriate in light of the current national debate over same-sex marriage. “By making these articles accessible, we hope to inject anthropology into the public conversation and policy debates about critical social issues,” she observed. Open Anthropology makes each edition available free on the public Internet for a minimum of six months, thereby allowing any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of the articles.
In addition, Waterston noted, the new journal was prompted in part by what she termed “enormous change going on in scholarly publications as a result of shrinking library budgets, the expansion in the number of new journal titles, new technology, and new end-user expectations.” The American Anthropological Association has been a leader among associations in responding to the changing publishing landscape, she said.
“The goal,” said Waterston, “is the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge, sustainability of the publishing program, and supporting a diverse publishing portfolio.”
To read the inaugural issue of Open Anthropology, click here: http://www.aaaopenanthro.org/index.html