Wednesday, January 12, 2005

SBL Forum Latest Contd.

Further on the SBL Forum latest, in The Future of the Society Ehud Ben Zvi comments on the question of the dissemination of knowledge throughout the wider world, and the importance of freely accessible electronic journals as a means of achieving this:
There is, of course, a world beyond paper publication. Journals such as Biblica and the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures communicate knowledge freely all over the world. I appreciate that the Review of Biblical Literature follows the same path. But I find it disconcerting that the flagship journal of the Society, the Journal of Biblical Literature, does not do so. I would like very much to see open access to the electronic version of the JBL.
I am delighted to see Ehud Ben Zvi's commitment to open access scholarship, but I have a query about the premise that the JBL does not "communicate knowledge freely all over the world". As far as I can tell, the recent editions of the JBL are available freely to all. The only one that is not is the latest volume, which can be viewed by members only. That already seems like a pretty generous arrangement to me. If you are in doubt, go to:

Journal of Biblical Literature

and see what you can access without typing in your membership number. You'll find it is at present almost everything from 2003 and 2004. What I would like to see is others committing themselves to the same kind of arrangement, e.g. SNTS and New Testament Studies.

No comments: