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CSeARCH, the Cultural Studies e-Archive

Open access publishing has been operating successfully within the sciences for over 15 years now. Yet whereas other online movements and practices, such as creative commons, free software, open source and peer-to-peer, have been regarded as providing models for new regimes of culture, new kinds of networked institutions, even for the future organisation of society, the open access movement has had comparatively little impact on the humanities to date.

By making the research literature freely available to researchers, teachers, students, investigative journalists, policy makers, union organisers, NGOs, political activists, protest groups and the general public alike, on a worldwide basis, open access is seen as having the potential to break down some of the barriers between the university and the rest of society, as well as between countries in the so-called ‘developed' and ‘undeveloped' worlds. It is also held as helping to overcome the ‘Westernization' of the research literature through the creation of a far more decentralised and distributed research community.

So why, given the often radical nature of the content of their work, have those in the humanities, and to a lesser extent the social sciences, been so reluctant to challenge what John Willinsky in The Access Principle refers to as the ‘complacent and comfortable habits of scholarly publishing'? Why have those in the sciences apparently proved the more institutionally, socially and politically progressive in this respect?

In an attempt to go at least some way toward addressing this situation, contributions are sought to the CSeARCH open access archive for research and publications in cultural studies and related fields: communication and media studies, continental philosophy, literary, critical and cultural theory, new media, visual culture, psychoanalysis, post-colonial theory and so forth.

You can find CSeARCH, the Cultural Studies e-Archive, at www.culturemachine.net/csearch. It is not-for-profit and free to download from and upload to.

Contact information: Dr Gary Hall, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, Middlesex University, www.garyhall.info; Co-editor of Culture Machine, www.culturemachine.net; Director of the Cultural Studies Open Access Archive, www.culturemachine.net/csearch.