ACCG: Archaeological Institute of America under fire on Open Access
GAINESVILLE, Mo., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On the point of open access, some archaeologists and independent scholars—including private collectors of ancient coins through the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild—have found common ground. All are calling for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) to retract its stated position and join them in supporting Open Access.
In November of 2011, the AIA sent a letter to the White House opposing free access to government-funded research that is paid for by US taxpayers. In the current issue of Archaeology magazine, AIA president Elizabeth Bartman takes aim at the proposed Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012. "We at the Archaeological Institute of America, along with our colleagues at the American Anthropological Association and other learned societies, have taken a stand against open access…" said Bartman. The bill aims to assure open access to research conducted with taxpayer funding. For details, see the Harvard Open Access Project online.
The AIA position caused a stir within its own community with vocal criticism from archaeologists. In response to the AIA's public stand, the Open Access Archaeology website reported that they will be removing all links to AIA materials and will cease actively promoting AIA resources. An Open Letter from the Open Archaeology Working Group appeals to the AIA leadership to retract their opposition to Open Access. The Ancient World Online blog (AWOL) illustrates that the AIA is in fact engaged in many cases of open access—which raises questions about its opposition to the legislation at hand.
All this led Bartman to review her Archaeology magazine statement, however the AIA has not retracted their letter to the White House opposing free access to research paid for by taxpayers.
Private researchers and collectors complain about the lack of access to archaeological research materials that are typically elusive to the public. Collectors feel that barriers to public access are regressive and serve to repress public knowledge—not unlike the cloistered academia of the Middle Ages. They are quick to point out that the vast majority of published material about ancient coins is due to the work of private collectors, independent scholars, coin dealers, and auction houses. An online petition appeals to the White House for free public access to taxpayer-funded research.
For information about the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, visit:
Contact: Wayne G. Sayles, 417-679-2142, firstname.lastname@example.org
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