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Wenner-Gren Foundation Takes Major Step for Open Access

Anthropologists have reason to cheer with news from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research that the biannual symposium proceedings published by the Foundation as an extension of the journal Current Anthropology will now be made available in open access form. Wenner-Gren Foundation President Leslie Aiello describes the move and the rationale behind it in a [toll wall protected] contribution to the latest issue of Current Anthropology [volume 51, page 727, December 2010] See: DOI: 10.1086/657920.

The two supplements published in 2010 are freely available via the journal’s page at the University of Chicago Press.  Formatted like the journal, these are book-sized edited collections organized thematically. Discussing the history of the Foundation’s Symposium efforts, Aiello writes:

The first Wenner-Gren Symposium was in 1952, and since then, more than 170 symposia and workshops have been sponsored by the foundation. Many of these have resulted in landmark edited volumes that have made significant contributions to the development of our field (see http://www.wennergren.org/history). In today’s electronic age, the foundation wants to ensure that its symposia continue to have a significant impact and reach the broadest possible international audience. We believe that open-access publication in Current Anthropology is the best way to achieve this goal.

This is wonderful news and a real advancement. One more reason to say thank you to Wenner-Gren for its dedication to the discipline of anthropology. Wenner-Gren joins other scholarly foundations working to advance the cause of a more just, rational, and effective system of scholarly communication.

Note:  While there is not a press-release on the Foundation website regarding this shift, there is a discussion of the move to publishing the symposium in connection with the journal (rather than as edited books). This announcement also discusses several recent symposium volumes.

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