Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Peer-Reviewed Online Journal

Indiana University has announced the launch of the Museum Anthropology Review, a free, online, peer-reviewed anthropology journal made possible through collaboration with the University libraries. The editor is Professor Jason Baird Jackson, who called the librarians "among the most engaged supporters of the project." For more information about the project, see this article from Inside Higher Ed.

Inside Higher Ed points out that this new journal "may represent a larger challenge in the end to the traditional model of scholarly publishing." Since the experimental launch of the journal one year ago, it has already attracted over 20,000 visitors, more readers than the traditional subscription-based journal, Museum Anthropology, which is also edited by Professor Jackson. Professor Jackson notes that "he is hearing interest in the model especially from libraries, which find themselves struggling to pay for journal subscriptions and yet realizing that they have the technology infrastructure to support journal publishing and to in effect become the publishers (except for the part of the old role about charging to read)." He also looks forward to a day when every university library plays this support role for journals edited locally. If this happened, "Our scholarly literature would be accessible to humanity in a way that it's not now."

I was particularly interested in the reaction from Patricia Steele, the dean of libraries at IU, who views the "publication of Museum Anthropology Review as a 'natural extension' of the library's role, and one she would like to replicate with other journals."

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