JASO Revived On-line

The [_Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford_][jaso] was not necessarily a ready reference or me, but its evolution — it lived from 1970 to 2005 in print and is now being brought back as an on-line publication — is interesting:

> The Journal of the Anthropological society of Oxford (JASO) was originally launched in 1970 as a hard copy journal; it ceased publication in that form in 2005. It has now been re-launched to coincide with the Centenary of the Oxford Anthropological Society in 2009. The new online journal, called JASO-Online, will be a joint collaborative project between JASO, the Society, and the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, which is hosting the website. Thus we hope it will appeal to all branches of the School, staff and students alike, and that it will be an active forum open to all for the discussion of anthropology and issues of interest to anthropologists. For the time being, at least, JASO-Online will be available as a free download, though we reserve the right to levy a charge at any time in the future. Contributors will not be paid for their contributions.

What I’ve been thinking about is how easy it is to publish a journal on-line. As numerous commentators have pointed out over the past decade: the costs of printing and distribution acted, at the very least, as a kind of test of resolve. Now, one only needs a connection — numerous publishing platforms are free. And so, the real problem is to have a readership, an audience. I think this will be the strength of learned and professional societies going forward. In creativity studies, this is described as the *field*, and within those studies the field is test bed for ideas introduced into the *domain* by an *individual*. (This is the DIFI model.) The conventional understanding is that the field in some way is the test for innovation, that an innovation is that which is not already in the domain but is still recognizable by the field as being a relevant extension or revision of the domain.

But, clearly, you have to have a field. I just wonder about the number of journals popping up that don’t have a field, an audience. They may describe a new domain, and it may be better than the extant domains, but without a field, one is perhaps talking quite loudly with no one around really to hear.

[jaso]: http://www.isca.ox.ac.uk/publications/journal-of-the-anthropological-society-of-oxford/

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