Those of you steeped deeply in Web 2.0 know danah boyd. She's a brilliant academic who studies social networks. A couple of days ago, she made a call on her blog for academics to stop publishing articles in closed journals.
On one hand, I'm excited to announce that my article "Facebook's Privacy Trainwreck: Exposure, Invasion, and Social Convergence" has been published in Convergence 14(1) (special issue edited by Henry Jenkins and Mark Deuze). On the other hand, I'm deeply depressed because I know that most of you will never read it. It is not because you aren't interested (although many of you might not be), but because Sage is one of those archaic academic publishers who had decided to lock down its authors and their content behind heavy iron walls. Even if you read an early draft of my article in essay form, you'll probably never get to read the cleaned up version. Nor will you get to see the cool articles on alternate reality gaming, crowd-sourcing, convergent mobile media, and video game modding that are also in this issue. That's super depressing. I agreed to publish my piece at Sage for complicated reasons, but... I vow that this is the last article that I will publish to which the public cannot get access. I am boycotting locked-down journals and I'd like to ask other academics to do the same.It's really worth a read. If I were still an academic, I'd totally take her up on it. She is also realistic - she describes in detail in the post what people can do, whether they are tenured or not. I agree with her that open journals are the future. She says, at the end of her long entry:
Making systemic change like this is hard and it will require every invested party to stand up for what they know is right and chip away at the old system. I don't have tenure (and at this rate, no one will ever let me). I am a young punk scholar and I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to stand up for what's right. Open-access is right. Heavy metal gates and expensive gatekeepers isn't. It's time for change to happen! To all of the academics out there, I beg you to help me make this change reality. Let's stop being silenced by academic publishers.