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American Anthropological Association reverses position on OA, almost opposes RWA

Less than one month ago, the AAA strongly opposed federal OA policies in its response <http://goo.gl/L8hPB> to the White House RFI. But on Friday it largely reversed itself <http://goo.gl/SYHRo>: "[T]he AAA opposes any Congressional legislation which, if it were enacted, imposes a blanket prohibition against open access publishing policies by all federal agencies."

This squishy statement doesn't exactly oppose RWA, since RWA isn't a "blanket prohibition against open access publishing policies by all federal agencies." RWA is merely a blanket prohibition on OA mandates, like the NIH policy, under which grantees must retain the right to make the mandated OA lawful.

For other signs of an AAA thaw on OA, see Daniel Lende on the PLoS Blog <http://goo.gl/TT7k9>: "In an equally welcome move, the AAA’s Committee for the Future of Electronic and Print Publishing (CFPEP), the executive committee in charge of making recommendations on how the AAA publishing program should move forward, issued an invitation for commentary...."

#oa #openaccess #anthropology #aaa #societies #rwa
American Anthropological Association Position on Dissemination of Research
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What happened between January 12 (date of AAA submission to the White House RFI) and February 3 (date of the new AAA public statement on OA) to explain the reversal? It looks like a tsunami of member pushback. For example Daniel Lende links (above) to many AAA member blog posts. Does anyone have information on how AAA executives regarded this pushback? I ask because the association has a history of disregarding its members' views on OA, and even disbanding official committees that recommend support for OA <http://goo.gl/ffYmD>.
 
Many people interpret the RWA as a "blanket prohibition against open access publishing policies by all federal agencies." Is it possible that the AAA thought so too, and actually intended its recent statement to oppose the RWA? I can't rule it out. The AAA response to the White House RFI was full of misinformation about the NIH policy. Perhaps the top people at the AAA read the RWA as carelessly as they read the NIH policy. I've added the AAA policy to my list <http://goo.gl/9wTFh> of RWA position statements needing confirmation.
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