October 09, 2008

Oral Tradition Journal Opens Its Doors: It's All Available, Free, Online.

Since 1986, The Center for Studies in the Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri has been an interdisciplinary center for research on oral traditions. Its flagship journal, Oral Tradition, has been a treasure trove of papers in anthropology, archaelogy, linguistic, religious studies, performance studies, literature, folklore, and various languages.

It has just opened up its archives (dubbed eOT) via the Web for everyone to access (Previously, you had to have a subscription, or hope your local university library subscribed or could grant you electronic access to the issues since 2003). Every article it has every published, available, now, online, for free.

With the advent of eOT, the free, open-access electronic version of the journal based here, we aspire to remove many of the natural barriers created by print-based and subscription media. Since we believe that academic contributions should be as democratically available as possible, we are from this point onward offering the journal as a pro bono, gratis contribution to the field. Anyone with a connection to the internet will be able to read and redistribute its contents – not only the current issue, but also the entire 22 years and 10,000 pages of back issues.

In addition to reaching a much larger and more diverse readership, we hope that eOT will encourage submissions from scholars whose voices are not customarily heard in western print media because of the difficulties involved with currency exchange and distribution networks.

The archives are searchable by keyword, there's a master index, and all articles are available as PDF files.

Even if you're not an academic, the site is a fascinating treasure trove of papers on a variety of subjects: from Homer to Beowulf, from Coyote stories to The Canterbury Tales, from Japanese theatre to French covers of Bob Dylan songs to the epics of India. Do a little digging and find a story to tell.

And if there are any academic journals out there focused on other specific aspects of oral tradition, ahem, might I suggest (again) considering open access as a publishing model?

Learn more about Open Access at Wikipedia or at the Public Library of Science.


La, Storyteller/Storysinger said...

Running over there right now.
Thanks for the heads up!

Professional Storyteller Rachel Hedman said...

Dear Tim:

I love how you are never subtle.

As of now, the "Storytelling, Self, and Society" is a membership perk for those of the Storytelling in Higher Education.

Perhaps the best way to approach this is for any issues over a year old are archived and then are available online.

Just a thought.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman

Tim said...

I save my subtlety for the stage.

Professional Storyteller Rachel Hedman said...

Dear Tim:

I mentioned your idea for more publications to be available online on my October 15, 2008 blog entry "National Storytelling Network as Matchmaker" on "Voice--A Storyteller's Lifestyle".

Some ideas shared on the post go back to the Brain Trust Sessions at the 2008 National Storytelling Conference. I mention this because you were curious as to other topics discussed as you were unable to attend.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman