New Journals, Free Online, Let Scholars Speak Out
He seems genial, but John Willinsky is a dangerous man.
As a leader in the development and spread of "open access" scholarly journals, which are published online and offered free, the Stanford University education professor is not just helping to transform academic publishing. He is also equipping scholars around the world with a tool to foment revolution.
"This is a strong vehicle for academic freedom," says Mr. Willinsky, whose Public Knowledge Project offers free journal-publishing software to academics. In a world where subscriptions to some medical journals can cost more than $10,000 a year, and many colleges in developing countries cannot afford more than a handful of scholarly publications, publishing enabled by this kind of tool is plugging many academics into research and discourse as never before.
For instance, a new journal based in Uganda recently published an article on a pressing problem in that country: post-traumatic stress disorder in child soldiers. Anyone around the world can conceivably read open-access journals dedicated to such controversial topics as ethnopolitics, international human rights, and queer studies...Read more
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