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Resource Development Committee Launches the Anthropology Document Portal

Today’s guest blog post is by AAA member, Robert Hahn. Hahn is a committee member of the Resource Development Committee and chair of the Gray Literature subcommittee.

Thanks to generous donations of AAA members to the Resource Development Committee, the AAA has launch an Anthropology Document Portal that will allow anthropologists to archive published and unpublished writings on the electronic storage facilities of the Social Science Research Network, a well-established digital warehouse.  Further notice of how this archive will work has been published in this month’s Anthropology News.  The anthropology section of SSRN, Anthropology and Archaeology Research Network will allow anthropologists to access difficult-to-find publications of colleagues and will provide non anthropologists new access to indexed, searchable anthropological writings.

The SSRN anthropology portal is the first of two projects of the RDC “Gray Literature” subcommittee that has focused on expanding access to hard-to-know-about-and-find anthropological and related literature.  The second project, currently in development, is a set of anthropology-related web links on the AAA resource page that will facilitate member use of the “gray literature” not published or indexed in usual book and journal sources, but available on government and NGO websites, e.g., the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the World Bank.  These projects should build awareness and access to anthropological research and knowledge within and beyond the discipline.

The RDC is chaired by Louise Lamphere, the Gray Literature subcommittee by Robert Hahn; other subcommittee members are TJ Ferguson, Shirley Fiske, and Oona Schmid (AAA Liaison).

Gray Is The New Black in Scholarly Literature

The Resource Development Committee raised funds to support AAA members and anthropologists in sharing their research faster and more efficiently. With donations for the Gray Literature Portal, AAA has partnered with the Social Science Resource Network (SSRN) to create a new tool – the Anthropology and Archaeology Resource Network (AARN).

What will the Anthropology and Archaeology Resource Network do?

The AARN will give anthropology scholars access to distribute their technical reports, gray literature, preprints, and other scholarly contributions that might not have other outlets to become widely accessible and distributed across disciplines. The goals of the network are to help anthropological ideas and data be widely distributed.

How will it help me?

With AARN, you can create your own account and author page to publish your work – making it free and accessible to everybody. While the research is not peer-reviewed in the traditional sense, at SSRN each work goes through three layers of review to ensure the quality of scholarly discourse, the appropriate classification and the objectives of the specific network are met. Once your work is uploaded and reviewed it receives a digital object identifier (DOI) and a permanent URL for easy reference.

You can also utilize AARN to conduct tailored searches to find what you are looking for swiftly without wading through hundreds of unrelated resources that traditional search tools provide. The cross-discipline tags permit work to be shared in non-traditional; however, relevant fields.

Why Social Science Resource Network to do this?

AAA partnered with SSRN in part because it is the leading digital repository of scholarly work and ranked in the top 10 publications by Google Scholar. As scholars evolve in the digital era, the Resource Development Committee is ensuring that AAA members have the needed tools to successfully share their grey literature in a reputable, open and freely accessible network.

The contract has just been signed this week and AAA members will be able to utilize AARN by this fall. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting open access opportunity in the coming months.

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