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Publications FAQs

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The AAA publishing program aims to further the professional interests of anthropologists; disseminate anthropological knowledge and its uses to address human problems; promote the entire field of anthropology in all its diversity; and represent the discipline nationally and internationally, in the public and private sectors.

The guiding principles of the AAA publishing program are the following:

  • to develop and maintain a diverse portfolio, in recognition of the diversity of the discipline;
  • to serve the needs and interests of AAA membership and sections, and more broadly of those who produce, who access, and who reference anthropological knowledge and content; and
  • to facilitate the adaptation of the publishing program to ongoing changes in publication conditions, promoting sustainability of the association’s publishing program with the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge.

The AAA is unique among scholarly associations for the range and breadth of its publishing program. The AAA publishes a bimonthly member magazine (Anthropology News), scholarly journals, monographs, and a guide to anthropology resources. Its flagship journal is American Anthropologist; in addition, AAA supports over twenty actively publishing journals and newsletters produced by its constituent sections. These serials are available through AnthroSource.

The AAA publishing program is complex, involving twenty AAA sections, permanent AAA staff, and the AAA publishing partner, Wiley. Publishing sections are responsible for producing the content and editorial policy and practice of their publications, and journal editors work in conjunction with the publishing staff and Wiley to produce and distribute the publications. However, the AAA Executive Board, in conjunction with the AAA President and Executive Director, is charged with ensuring the overall publishing program goals are met, its fiscal health maintained, and its future viable.

One reason for this complex structure comes from the history of the program. The program rests on two pillars: 1) the creativity of sections; and 2) the resources of the collective. These two support structures have always existed, as evidenced by the AAA by-laws, but the balance between them has changed over time. Read the history of AAA's "portfolio strategy" in "Why a Collective Portfolio? The History of Principles and Practices of the AAA Publishing Program" by Deborah Nichols (Former Chair, CFPEP), Bernard Perley (Former Chair, POWG), and Oona Schmid (Former Director, Publishing).

When an author chooses to publish in a AAA journal or in Anthropology News, the author is granted rights regarding reuse the article while at the same time is expected to responsibly reuse the materials in a way that does not infringe on copyright.

An author may use his or her article in the following ways, as long as the author acknowledges the published original in standard bibliographic citation form and does not sell it or give it away in a manner which would conflict directly with the business interests of the American Anthropological Association:

  1. To use the article for educational or other scholarly purposes for the author's own institution or company 
  2. To post the article on Author's personal or institutional website (Note: this does not include a page on Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or any other commercial site)
  3. To post the postprint manuscript draft (i.e., manuscript draft post peer-review) or uncorrected page proofs of article on free (i.e., non-commercial), discipline-specific public servers of preprints and/or postprints
  4. To publish the article or permit it to be published by other publishers, as part of any book or anthology, of which he or she is the author or editor, subject only to his or her giving proper credit to the original publication by the American Anthropological Association.

 

What’s the difference between a site like ResearchGate and my institution’s repository?

ResearchGate and other sites like it are for-profit entities that profit from the metrics and data shared by users. An institutional repository is a server within your own college or university or library that allows researchers a venue to post their research for their colleagues to access.

 

Why is it better to post a link to my article rather than a PDF?

Article downloads are counted towards each publishing section's credit; when you download an article and freely distribute it, instead of the link to the article, you are reducing that section's download credits. Also, the number of downloads can help in tenure and promotion cases.

 

I’ve posted citation information on Academia.edu, but not the article itself. Is that okay?

Absolutely. Also, consider providing the abstract, DOI, and a link to the article to increase discoverability.

 

My article was published more than 35 years ago and is open on AnthroSource; can I post the PDF online on a site like Academia.edu?

No, the article is still under copyright. A link to the article of record is better for authors because downloads/usage can help with tenure and promotion. Additionally, for section-owned journals, the downloads an article receives count toward the credits each publishing section gets as part of its portion of the publishing revenue.

 

Can I post my Anthropology News Section News column on our section website?

Yes. Section News columns may be posted on the section website after publication on the Anthropology News website. A copyright notice and a link to the Anthropology News website for recent columns or AnthroSource for archived columns should be included.

AAA owns the name of the journals, the cover and interior designs, the PDFs and digital tagging, the trademark and name of AnthroSource, and (by terms of its author agreement), AAA retains the copyright of all content therein. For instance, this means AAA will be able to ensure ongoing hosting and integrity of AnthroSource, regardless of the publishing partnership.

While still in the process of examining optimal scenarios for ensuring the broadest possible access to publications and the sustainability of a diverse range of publications, the AAA has already taken the following steps:

  • Sliding scale membership: Access to AnthroSource, AAA’s digital, online literature, is available to individuals on a fair and reasonable sliding scale annual fee structure.
  • Free Access: Access to AnthroSource is available free of charge to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges, and qualifying institutions from less developed countries.  In addition, AAA participates in the HINARI/AGORA  philanthropic programs to provide free access to our content in under-resourced countries. These programs are administered by agencies with presence on the ground in these areas, such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Council for Science.
  • Open Access: AAA is experimenting with Open Access publications. In 2014, Cultural Anthropology converted to an open access journal. The Association also launched Open Anthropology to open up anthropology to policy and public audiences.
  • “Ungating” back issues of journals: Access to back issues of AAA’s journal American Anthropologist is available free of charge 35 years and longer after publication. That means that in 2017, all back issues of the journal were available free of charge from 1888 to 1982. Sections are encouraged to follow the same plan. Anthropology News online is open access for four months before content is gated and archived within AnthroSource.
  • Author Rights and Permissions: In the author agreement for AAA journals, the author reserves the right (among other rights) to post the postprint manuscript draft or uncorrected page proofs of article on free, discipline-specific public servers. Because of these clauses, AAA's author agreement is rated green by SHERPA/RoMEO, a project designed to help facilitate green open access.

The AAA is particularly concerned by any proposed legislation that aims to limit dissemination of research, and that may disproportionately protect private over public interests. At the same time, its role is to be vigilant about the specific needs and interests of our publications program, anthropology as a whole, and individual anthropologist-authors.  Acknowledging the Association's commitment to "a publications program that disseminates the most current anthropological research, expertise, and interpretation to its members, the discipline, and the broader society," but also the need for a sustainable publication strategy, and building on the Association's support for a variety of publishing models, the AAA opposes any Congressional legislation which, if it were enacted, would impose a blanket prohibition against open access publishing policies by all federal agencies.

AnthroSource is a digital searchable database for AAA members and subscribing libraries; it contains more than 300,000 full-text articles from AAA journals, newsletters, bulletins and monographs in a single place.

On July 22, 2015, Wiley and AAA relaunched AnthroSource with new functionality, including the following:

  • Great new look and feel, including on smart phones and tablets.
  • Enhanced discoverability of content with full-text searching.
  • Easy navigation that gets researchers to full-text content within two clicks.
  • Altmetric scores and social media sharing.

The www.anthrosource.net domain will continue and redirect to our new URL. Just as before, all content and journal titles remain the property of the AAA. Member logins remain the same and members must login first to access full-text content.

For more detailed information, read an article by Wiley Associate Editor, Mike O'Riordan, "AnthroSource 2.0" (2014), Association Business. Anthropology News, 55: e24–e30. doi:10.1111/j.1556-3502.2014.55903.x.

In November 2013, the AAA Executive Board adopted a policy about how content generated outside of AAA could be included in AnthroSource.

In keeping with best practices, AAA will continue to archive in print and online. AAA will purchase a print copy of our journals for the AAA office. In addition, AnthroSource will continue to be digitally archived by Portico and CLOCKSS. Eight AAA titles are also covered by JSTOR.

No, it will continue to be AAA's print member magazine. In 2012, www.anthropology-news.org launched and new content appears on a near-daily basis. To help pay for the site, AAA reduced this title's print frequency from 9 print issues a year to 6 print issues a year. We will continue with this frequency for the indefinite future.

Anthropology News (AN) encourages lively conversation and debates, and at the same time expects civil and professional discourse. Opinions expressed in AN belong to the author(s) and publication does not signify endorsements by AN or the AAA. More information is available at http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/policies/.

The AAA Executive Board, in conjunction with the AAA President and Executive Director, is charged with ensuring the overall publishing program goals are met, its fiscal health maintained, and its future viable. The AAA achieves these goals largely through the work of two committees, the Anthropological Communication Committee (ACC) and the Publishing Futures Committee (PFC; formerly CFPEP). Both act in consultation with the elected Executive Board, AAA sections, AAA membership, and AAA staff. ACC is a subcommittee of the member-elected Executive Board responsible for reviewing matters concerning publications and intradisciplinary communications through AAA’s major vehicles, including publications and the AAA Annual Meeting. PFC is composed of nine presidentially appointed members responsible for recommending policies to ACC and the Finance Committee with regard to the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and AAA current and future print and electronic publishing program and related programs and initiatives.

AAA does not require written consent of identifiable individuals in photographs published in AAA journals. This policy is based on the assumption that the use of photographs is for publication in scholarly journals and not, for instance, being used for advertising, greeting cards, or other expressly commercial enterprises. However, caution should be used if the photograph involves private conduct of a highly personal or offensive nature or the disclosure of which would prove to be embarrassing to the subject (e.g., photographs of injured patients in a hospital and photographs of children in private settings). A written consent may be appropriate in those situations.

U.S. claims for replacement copies of missed issues must be made within three months of the mail date of the original publication. Non-U.S. claims must be made within six months of the mail date. Issues claimed after these time periods must be purchased at the single copy rate for the publication.