Cultural Anthropology Will Go Open Access in 2014

The Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), is excited to announce a groundbreaking publishing initiative. With the support of the AAA, the influential journal of the SCA, Cultural Anthropology, will become available open-access, freely available to everyone in the world. Starting with the first issue of 2014, CA will provide worldwide, instant, free (to the user), and permanent access to all of our content (as well as ten years of our back catalog). This is a boon to our authors, whose work we can guarantee the widest possible readership—and to a new generation of readers inside of anthropology and out. Cultural Anthropology will be the first major, established, high-impact journal in anthropology to offer open access to all of its research, and we hope that our experience with open access will provide the AAA as a whole, as well as other journals in the social and human sciences, valuable guidance as we explore alternative publishing models together.

While the recent content of Cultural Anthropology will be available open-access, the current AAA contract with Wiley-Blackwell requires that the AAA continue to provide the journal to our library and member subscribers. Thus, CA will also continue to be available, in full, to library subscribers and all AAA members via the AnthroSource portal. Indeed, if you have access to a library subscription or enjoy the benefits of AAA membership, we hope that you will continue to access CA by means of AnthroSource. The statistics these downloads generate continue to play an important part in the allocation of revenue, including to the SCA, and thus help subsidize this new publishing venture. In the future, our goal, and that of the AAA, is to sustain Cultural Anthropology independently as a preeminent publication, produced with the hard work of editors and authors, and the contributions made by the members of the SCA.

This change opens up new possibilities and new questions for Cultural Anthropology. The most important aspect of the journal is the quality of the research it publishes, and CA will continue its practice of detailed and critical peer review and extensive editorial involvement in the publication of articles. CA will also explore new ways of communicating its content, making it visible to the world beyond our members and subscribers. The SCA will begin to explore other sources of revenue, and will consider options for making a print edition of the journal available on demand. We are confident that CA can continue to maintain the extraordinarily high standard of scholarship it currently enjoys; indeed, we expect that this new opportunity will attract ever more interesting work. We want to thank the Executive Board and the publishing office of the AAA, and especially all of the members of the SCA, for their encouragement and support of this new project. The members of the SCA Board look forward to working with our editorial team, as well as our colleagues across the academy and in the library world, as we undertake this important endeavor.