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Open Access News

April 24, 2009

For those who are interested in open access news, an important post written by Nisha discussing open access archaeology entitled Open Access Archaeology and PLoS.

Nisha Doshi, who is Publications Assistant, Public Library of Science, states that

…many of my colleagues in archaeology insisted that open access had no place in our discipline, arguing that authors would be unable to fund publication fees and traditional subscription-based journals were too central to assessment of academic merit. A quick search of PLoS journal archives reveals, however, that some archaeological scientists have already embraced the open-access model for dissemination of their research…

Nisha gives an example of “a recent open accessed paper by Houyuan Lu and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, published by PLoS ONE in February 2009” which you can find here

Giving an example and analysis of Guido Barbujani and colleagues A 28,000 Years Old Cro-Magnon mtDNA Sequence Differs from All Potentially Contaminating Modern Sequences, Nishe states that research in archaeogenetics among PLoS papers is well represented. In addition, the author of the post gives some good analysis of other two open accessed papers at PLoS one of which is Detection and Molecular Characterization of 9000-Year-Old Mycobacterium tuberculosis from a Neolithic Settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the other one is Y-Chromosome Based Evidence for Pre-Neolithic Origin of the Genetically Homogeneous but Diverse Sardinian Population: Inference for Association Scans. The rest of this interesting post discusses and analyzes further open accessed papers at PLoS in relationship to the previously mentioned articles, such as Y-SNPs Do Not Indicate Hybridisation between European Aurochs and Domestic Cattle, Sequences From First Settlers Reveal Rapid Evolution in Icelandic mtDNA Pool, Mitochondrial DNA Evidence for a Diversified Origin of Workers Building Mausoleum for First Emperor of China and Cryptic Contamination and Phylogenetic Nonsense

Nisha concludes the post by stating that

Far from representing a dead end, this range of research hints that the open-access model has an important role to play in archaeology. Already, one major field unit (Oxford Archaeology) has committed to “making archaeological knowledge free to access” as part of its Open Archaeology programme and the Alexandria Archive Institute has developed an international facility for open access archiving of primary data from archaeology and related disciplines. Hopefully, the coming months and years will see increasing publication of archaeology in open-access journals such as PLoS ONE, to enable widespread dissemination of research and facilitate international and interdisciplinary access, dialogue and debate.

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