Chris Kelty on Open Access to Journals

Anthropologist Christopher M. Kelty, author of the forthcoming book Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (July 2008), is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Kelty is a contributor to the February special issue of Anthropology News dedicated to open access. On the anthropology blog Savage Minds, Kelty and others have expressed dismay that the American Anthopological Association does not seem committed to open access to scholarship. (Among the ironies they point out is that the issue devoted to open access will be archived on March 1 on the subscription only AnthroSource site.) Kelty argues that open access to scholarship will allow readers to comment quickly an publicly on published articles allowing a productive dialogue. He and Duke University graduate student Jason Cross tried to convince the AAA’s staff to allow the special issue of Anthropology News to be published under a Creative Commons license, but were unable to persuade them. Kelty then wrote a Valentine’s Day letter to the AAA on Savage Minds, saying "the more I deal with the AAA, especially the component dealing with
publications, promotion and public policy, the more I am disheartened
by the state of affairs. . . . [T]his is not only a failure of Open Access, its a profound failure of leadership and a failure to create dialogue." Kelty’s own book with Duke University Press will be published under a Creative Commons license and will be freely available online.

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