One of the most striking changes in scholarly publishing is the growth of open access, and anthropologists are deeply engaged in this movement. Tom Boellstorff, former Editor of American Anthropologist, made the case for “Why the AAA Needs Gold Open Access” (open-access version). Cultural Anthropology will go gold open access in 2014. And I expressed support for an open access future in my inaugural editorial for MAQ. These developments are at the heart of current debates about the future of the AAA’s publishing program.
But even as we consider the future of “gold” open access in AAA journals, it’s good to remember that MAQ authors already have three ways to make their work freely accessible.
The first option, frankly, is not likely to appeal to many authors because it requires a hefty fee. For $3,000, AAA’s publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, will make any article freely accessible and will deposit the article in PubMed Central and its mirror sites. This option, OnlineOpen, may work for you if your research is funded by an open-access friendly agency or if your academic institution is a signatory to the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity or makes funds available to pay for open-access authors’ fees. Otherwise, this option puts open access out of reach.
If your work is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, MAQ will automatically deposit your article in PubMed Central, a full-text repository for NIH-funded research. Other open-access articles, such as those made available through OnlineOpen, can also be deposited in PubMed Central. New and emerging policies in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere mean that a wider range of research may soon be eligible to be deposited in publicly funded repositories.
The third is a free way to make your work available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. With support from the University of Florida Libraries, MAQ has established an open-access institutional repository for authors’ preproduction prints. This repository, which is modeled after a similar initiative at Cultural Anthropology, secures MAQ’s status as a “green” open access journal. It’s an easy way to make sure that people can read your work even without a subscription.
We are reaching out to all MAQ authors to let them know about the new institutional repository, and we’re adding new content all the time. If you’ve published a paper in MAQ and haven’t heard from us yet, get in touch with the Editorial Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How important is it to you — as a reader or an author — to have open access options? Do the current options meet your needs? If not, what would you like to see develop at MAQ? Let us know by leaving a comment below.