Wednesday, November 8 • 6:00pm - 6:45pm
16 Innovating New Publication Models for Open Access Archives: A Case Study in Anthropology

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Open access content has grown significantly in research and education. 400,000 journal articles were published under open access licenses between 2000 and 2013, with a 30% growth between 2012 and 2013 alone. While open publishing models proliferate in the journal and book space, options have been more limited for archives.

Historically, most archives rely on institutional funding or grants to support digitizing and open publication initiatives. However, funding streams tend to be limited or subject to delays. Additionally, not all content is appropriate for open access. Royalties may be necessary for copyright holders or community repatriation projects. The volume of undigitized primary sources and the varying needs of holding institutions necessitate diversified publication strategies.

There is enormous potential for commercial publishers to support archival content via different models, particularly when publisher and archive share the common goal of broadening access for the global scholarly community. The benefits are mutual. For archives, collaboration can enable more content to move faster along the digitization queue, and for publishers, open content can drive usage.

Models for publishing archival materials have grown, and Alexander Street is responding to the need for diversified models with an open access strategy supported by the traditional collection subscription model. We will present an anthropology initiative undertaken in collaboration with the Vassar College Archive, the London School of Economics Archive, the World Music Archive at Wesleyan University, and others to bring previously unpublished primary sources to a broader scholarly audience. Content was published on different tracks – open access and subscription, in some cases to drive royalties back to the community as repatriation. Taken together, these cases underscore the need for flexible publication channels that enable subscription and open content to co-exist in an integrated way.


Jenna Makowski

Senior Editor, Alexander Street

Alec McLane

Music Librarian/Director of the World Music Archives (retired), Wesleyan University
Alec McLane retired in 2019, after 20 years as Music Librarian/Director of the World Music Archives at Wesleyan University. He received the MM and DMA in Theory and Composition, as well as the MSLIS, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He maintains an active interest... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 6:00pm - 6:45pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401