Keeping folk studies journals away from us folk

Sick of seeing that ‘go-no-further’ sign when you come across an interesting article about folklore (or anything else, for that matter) on the internet?

Especially when they’re articles written by academics whose salaries are paid for with your taxes, read by a closed circle of people who are subsidised by your taxes, and published in journals bought by academic and other institutions with your taxes.

Especially when the only people doing well out of the process are the major publishing conglomerates who’ve got the ‘learned journal’ market sewn up, making big money by fleecing libraries and other subscribers.

How come we don’t get a look in when we pay for it all?

How come libraries take this rip-off lying down? How come all those left-wing academics (it’s tautology) don’t down pens and refuse to collaborate? How come all those learned institutions can’t think of a better way to spread their knowledge than one that’s regulated by mammon?

Rant over.

While we’re waiting for them to do the decent thing, there’s a hopeful new initiative been launched (October 2010) by the American Folklore Society and Indiana University.

They’re making available a good amount of stuff that’s been (and is being) written in the field of folklore studies. It doesn’t, of course, include some of the major publications that are still locked into JSTOR and ProjectMuse, but it’s a great start.

Click here to go to their Open Folklore portal.

There’s some interesting stuff on JSTOR access here and a discussion on ‘underground resource sharing’ here.

And if you’re looking to find out about the murky (and wacky) world of scholarly publications, a good place to start is here.

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~ by folkcatalogue on October 14, 2010.

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