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Smith on the Launch of (the) Journal of Anthropology

Archaeologist and advocate for open access strategies in archaeology (and anthropology) Michael Smith offers a skeptical review of the announcement that Hindawi plans to publish a general journal of anthropology to be called Journal of Anthropology. I was going to let this news just slip by with no comment, but I am pleased that Michael has weighed in and I recommend taking a look at his post.

Author-side fees is just one aspect of Michael’s commentary. I’ll elaborate on one aspect of this. I have nothing in particular against Hindawi and for those who work and publish in other science fields, its $425 article processing charge may seem reasonable. For folks in those fields who wonder about anthropology’s take on this, keep in mind that old fashioned page charges are extremely rare in our own ancestral publishing system. I have paid page charges twice in my career. Both times it was when publishing in Economic Botany–a journal on the edge of anthropology with biology norms and customs. Page charges and other author-side fees are outside the experience of most anthropologist and many would be faced with actual difficulties if asked to pay them. (Not all anthropology research is funded research and in many workplaces, there is no money available for such purposes.) Because author-side fees are so often brought up as a reason to reject (gold) open access in anthropology, it is important to note that there are numerous (gold) open access anthropology journals now in existence that do require submission charges, author fees, or page charges.

I recommend Michael’s post for a wider discussion of this particular development. I share some of his reservations.

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