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Case Study -- Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology

The need:

Anthropology professor Kathleen Hull regularly assigns articles from the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology as reading in her classes. The journal was not available electronically, and yet it was an important resource for research and teaching that deserved broader access.

What the Library did:

The Library approached the publisher of the journal, the Malki Museum, and negotiated rights to digitize and make the complete run of the journal and its predecessor, the Journal of California Anthropology available online. The publisher stipulated an embargo on the five most recent volumes of the journal. Library Digital Assets worked with the California Digital Library to set up a publication site for both journals in the University of California’s eScholarship repository. We tracked down and borrowed copies of all of the back issues and a team of trained student assistants scanned and applied OCR to the volumes and created PDFs of all the individual articles. We created metadata for all of the items, including abstracts for articles, and deposited all of the content in the eScholarship repository.

The impact:

The Journal of California Anthropology (1974-1978) and back issues of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology (1979-) are now available to the public on the UC eScholarship site. Since they were made available in 2009, there have been 500,000 views or downloads, and there are consistently anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 views or downloads of the journal’s articles every month. After ongoing conversations over the years, the journal’s editorial staff is now transitioning the publication to the eScholarship platform as its journal management system and its board decided to reduce the embargo to 3 volumes. They are excited about the ability to manage their editorial and review processes online and about journal indexing and other features that will further professionalize the publication. This transition will be another step in advancing the publication into the digital age and realizing the potential of full open access.

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