This week the website Academia.edu wrote an article about my research on Uzbekistan and my thoughts on academic publishing. I have been using Academia.edu to post pdfs of my articles for years, so I was happy to talk to them. An excerpt:
By posting her papers on Academia.edu, Kendzior has afforded those stuck in the “grey zone”— such as attorneys, NGOs, policy groups, educators, and journalists who lack access to subscription-based journals and databases— with contemporary scholarship needed to do their jobs.
Kendzior strongly believes that academics and their research can hugely impact the world, but the path to doing so is blocked by both paywalls and a “careerist” mindset focused on publishing infrequently in prestigious (and expensive) journals.
“We need to start thinking, why are we doing this? Why are we bothering with this research? Is it to advance our own careers or is it to possibly influence the world and change it for the better? I think if we look at it that way, then it becomes clear that works should be open because if nobody can read them, then we don’t have a chance to make any kind of impact.”