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January 15, 2021

Anthropologica is now Open Access!

In our move to open access, the journal Anthropologica becomes an international leader in promoting non-commercial, open source, ethical, sustainable and free access to scholarly research.   

About Anthropologica:

Anthropologica is the official journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), a bilingual organization promoting, supporting, and disseminating anthropological research in Canada [and internationally]. Anthropologica is peer-reviewed and publishes two issues per year (Spring and Fall), with innovative sections for theoretical, experimental, and practitioner-based scholarship in cultural anthropology. 

Why go open access?

Although anthropologists engage with multiple communities and locations, anthropological research, once written up, does not always reach beyond the boundaries of Western academia. Some of the research is locked behind paywalls that keep out those not affiliated with well-founded libraries. Research is also locked into disciplinary languages and national scholarly traditions that set vital standards but can also exclude colleagues and collaborators with whom anthropologists have often worked for years.

In reaction to these barriers, and as a pragmatic reaction to SSHRC funding that supports the move to open access, theCASCA members, the Open Access Working Group, and the Anthropologica editorial team began to explore open access publishing models. After careful consultation, we decided to transition to open access. 

As of January 18, 2021, the journal and its content will be freely available on our webpage

What have we done? “We have just unleashed the best of Canadian Anthropology to the world!” [1]

Ahead of the curve in the open access journal movement – 4 reasons why: 

1. The journal is now hosted on the Open Access Journal (OJS) platform at the University of Victoria libraries. Libraries have long rung alarm bells about exponentially rising costs of journal subscriptions, and small university presses are under pressure from big commercial publishers. Publishing with a non-profit university press that charges moderate subscription fees is one way in which Anthropologica tries to counter this trend.

2. Anthropologica signed a contract with Coalition Publica, in partnership with Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a “game changing” and non-commercial national initiative to disseminate and advance digital scholarly research in humanities and social sciences in Canada.

3. Anthropologica is not taking payments from authors in the form of article processing charges (APCs). Such fees also make publishing harder for those early in their career or precariously employed, when a track-record of peer reviewed articles is most crucial. We opted for an alternative model to APC in adopting a non-commercial platform and joining our efforts with a university library to offer subscriptions to the content while keeping journals "free to submit to and free t o read." [2]

4. How do we make this transition sustainable? We are making it sustainable by re-channeling public funding (SSHCR) and fully managing the publishing production process at the editorial team level. We combine our efforts with non-commercial institutions such as university libraries in working together for the free access to knowledge produced by the university community, but not exclusively. We consult our Society membership to develop a strong relationship in which both the journal and our members benefit from high quality scholarly publications in the field. CASCA members supported the transition and agreed to pay a levy from their annual membership– a temporary increase to cope with the new landscape of open access.  

Contact details: 

Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, University of Victoria, Editor-in-Chief, Editor French Manuscripts,

Dr. Sue Frohlick, The University of British Columbia-Okanagan, Editor, English Manuscripts,

[1] From Brian Thom, member of CASCA, the Open Access Working Group, and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. 

[2] This phrase comes from the open access policy of the journal Imaginations. See "What Is Open Access?" January 13, 2021).

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Contact Info

Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
c/o Karli Whitmore
125 rue Jean de la Londe, #301
Baie d'Urfe (Québec) H9X 3T8