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2012 American Anthropological Association Elections and Open Access

Update 16 April 2012:I’ve sent this question to candidates for the Executive Board and see American Anthropological Association 2012 Elections – Candidates on Open Access for the responses.

Thank you for volunteering to hold an elected position on the American Anthropological Association Executive Board. I am grateful for your commitment to serve the AAA in this way.

In the time since candidates were approved, anthropologists have become concerned about AAA statements on Open Access legislation–for an analysis, see Daniel Lende’s AAA Takes Public Stand Against Open Access, for a round-up of reactions see Anthropology Blogs Respond to AAA on Open Access and for a later reaction from the AAA see the AAA Publishing Program FAQs.

We hoped you could find time to write a short statement regarding your position on questions of Open Access as well as promoting the relevance and accessibility of AAA publications. I’ll append your statement to what you have already written for the AAA and post it online. The hope is to encourage greater electoral participation and discussion of these issues.

Many thanks again for your willingness to serve, and with gratitude for your time…


The American Anthropological Association blog has just announced the list of candidates for the 2012 elections. The candidate list is available for preview and voting will be through 31 May 2012.

In a comment shortly after the AAA statement on open access, Matt Thompson summarized the risks and opportunities of adopting an electoral approach: “If we could get a sympathetic ear on the Executive Board (the student seat, even) then we could start to plant the seed of the idea, a seed which could, over the course of years, take root and start to grow.”

Would people be interested in asking candidates to write a short statement about their position on open access? Would this be directed only to Executive Board candidates or are there other positions which merit consideration? What might be the suggested wording for asking this question?

Please let me know in the comments what you think about this. I would be happy to use the site to host candidate statements on open access positions.

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  • Chad Nilep

    Although I don’t have suggestions for wording, I do think that the simple act of asking, even if few responses are forthcoming, will put the idea of open access in the minds of candidates. There is much to be discussed, and that discussion can only begin once a critical mass are thinking about the issues.

    • JasonAntrosio

      Thanks Chad, grateful for the support. I’ve just drafted some language above–let me know if you have any comments!

  • Daniel Lende

    Language looks good, Jason. I think Chad is right, the act of asking matters, particularly since publishing by AAA is one of the major cross-cutting issues for the entire association.

    • JasonAntrosio

      Thanks, Daniel–I’ve sent the question to the eight candidates for AAA Executive Board. As of now I’ve had three replies, so will hope to post things up when the elections start. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  • Matt Thompson

    I had hoped that there would be more than 3/8 responding. How do you feel about resending the request to non-respondents, maybe after the semester is finished?

    • JasonAntrosio

      Hi Matt, thank you for the comment. I actually have three written responses in already and two promises to respond, so we’re at 5/8. Once I post those, it may prompt others to respond and I’ll send a final reminder after a week or so.

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