Issues & News

AAA Gives Back: AnthroSource Reaches New Audiences

With a view to enabling teachers and their students at resource-poor institutions of higher learning around the world to access a vast online archive of anthropological research, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) offers its digital publications portal, AnthroSource, free of charge to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges, and qualifying institutions from less developed countries.

The principal motivation behind the AnthroSource Philanthropic Initiative is justice. Prior to the launch of the initiative in January 2007, more than 90% of the roughly 145 HBCUs and Tribal Colleges in the United States and Canada were not AnthroSource subscribers, a circumstance that deprived thousands of students in marginalized areas of North America access to 100 years of anthropological content, including the most recent issues of 15 peer-reviewed journals.

"A core goal of the AAA is to increase the access of all communities to anthropological scholarship via AnthroSource," said Alan Goodman, ex-officio president of the AAA and a chief promoter of the initiative. "The philanthropic initiative will help to significantly lower the financial barriers that have denied many communities access to this valuable resource in years past."

Qualifying institutions include the 105 HBCUs recognized by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 38 federally recognized Tribal Colleges in the U.S., the First Nations University of Canada (at the University of Regina) and the Canadian Arctic College network that includes Nunavut Arctic College in the Canadian province/territory of Nunavut.

Free or low-cost access is also available to eligible institutions more than 150 under-resourced countries participating in the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), managed by the World Health Organization in partnership with more than 60 publishers. HINARI ― together with a sister online information delivery service known as AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) ― provides free or low-cost online access to 3,300 major journals in biomedical and related social sciences to local, educational non-profit institutions in developing nations. AnthroSource content is available by HINARI/AGORA/OARE either free of charge or at a significant discount to the 2,000 registered organizations in these countries.

The AnthroSource Philanthropic Initiative supports the association’s mission to "give back" to those who have given anthropology so much. Leith Mullings, a member of the AAA Executive Board, observed that "Anthropologists have been studying subordinated communities for years. The people in these communities have given our discipline its voice, its beauty and its richness. They took us into their homes, trusted us and supported our work. While these are gifts that can perhaps never be repaid, sharing the fruits of our collaboration with them through AnthroSource may help nurture future scholars in these communities."

The ongoing success of the AnthroSource initiative is made possible by Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc and official host of AnthroSource - the premier online portal serving the research, teaching, and professional needs of anthropologists through electronic content. Since beginning its partnership with the AAA in January 2008, Wiley-Blackwell has maintained a strong commitment to the AAA Philanthropic Initiative, helping make AnthroSource free or deeply discounted to under-resourced institutions in the US and around the world.

Inquiries regarding the AnthroSource Philanthropic Initiative are welcomed and should be directed to Shannon Canney at