At is core, AAA’s publishing program is governed by four values: quality, breadth, accessibility, and sustainability. These core values have enabled a rich and enduring portfolio of more than 20 publications, and continue to provide opportunities for anthropologists to 1) disseminate scholarly knowledge; 2) receive valuable credit for their professional work because they publish in credible outlets; and 3) participate in supporting a community resource—not just look out for their own self-interest.
AAA is a community and the publishing program is a collective effort. This is why AAA established the “portfolio principle,” which means that policy decisions are designed to support all publications regardless if they generate revenue to sustain it. This also means that historically smaller journals across the discipline are supported. Of course, such an endeavor is not “free,” which is itself a capitalist concept designed to turn consumers into products. To date, the subscription financial model is the most fair and viable in ensuring a publishing program that maximizes the four values, including sustainability (i.e., a program that endures into the future and is not dependent upon the good graces of the most wealthy of institutional benefactors). To be a member of the AAA community, the Association offers a sliding scale membership fee based on ability to pay. Among other benefits, members receive the full portfolio of AAA publications—more than 300,000 full-text articles from AAA journals, newsletters, bulletins, and monographs.
As authors who sign the publishing agreement know (also posted in AAA’s FAQ), AAA authors may use their articles in multiple ways as long as the author acknowledges the published original in standard bibliographic citation format (including a link to the article of record). Authors also agree not to sell it or give it away in a manner that conflicts directly with the AAA’s ability to protect the publishing program for all. Authors retain the right:
- To use the article for educational or other scholarly purposes for the author’s own institution or company.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Note that ResearchGate and other sites like it are commercial entities that profit from the metrics and data shared by users. An institutional repository is a server within one’s own college or university or library that allows researchers a venue to post their research for their colleagues to access. Note also that AAA contributed to the development of the Anthropology & Archaeology Research Network (part of SSRN), prior to its acquisition by Elsevier. When the author agreement was drafted, we considered AARN to be within the author agreement; now, however, the conditions have changed and so will our policy.
As anthropologists, we know that everything has a context. The AAA publishing program is no different. We are available to provide detailed information on how our scholarly publishing program works to anyone who would like to know.