The academic journal is obsolete

The academic journal is obsolete and we don’t need to build its replacement. We have it already. We just need to recognize its value and to start recognizing its output. We simply don’t need journals and presses anymore. We have better right now. The traditional journal system restricts both the diversity of inputs and the…

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Access to academic journals cannot, by definition, be illicit

The Journal Nature just reported on a US court judgement that grants publisher Elsevier monetary damages from “websites that provide illicit access” to academic papers. To quote Bernie Sanders, “let me be very clear”: access to academic papers and academic journals cannot, by definition and under any circumstance, be illicit. I am sure it can…

Canada 150 or Canada 15 000?

This week, I gave a talk at the Bodo Archaeological Society on the earliest human occupations in the Americas. As I was driving across Alberta, working on my talk, seeing all those stunning landscapes, thinking about how they had evolved since the Last Glacial Maximum, and imagining how people had lived in them and adapted…

What kind of culture do you want?

In a senior administration meeting, a colleague recently asked: “What kind of culture do we want in the institution?” That got me thinking about the fairly substantial intersection between my academic work and my administrative duties. The short answer to my colleague’s question is that we don’t get the culture we want. We get the…