“Let Knowledge Serve the City” *Restrictions Apply

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Blog of the American Studies Journal

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In lieu of an abstract, here is an excerpt:

I am currently a professor at a university whose motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City.” In fact, the university library has a fund specifically designated to pay for article processing publication charges for professors who want to publish open access scholarship (meaning available to readers at no cost). Ironically, my recent request for financial support to make my counterstory published as an open access article in a top-tier journal was denied because the university already pays a subscription fee to the journal that accepted my work. “It’s like double dipping,” a university librarian explained to me, unsolicitedly. To put it simply, we, as university affiliated personnel, get access to such journals through the university library database. But not everyone does. In other words, the city doesn’t. My family and friends do not have access. The Youth of Color and Communities of Color who I write my stories for do not have access. The same People of Color who have historically and systematically been excluded from higher education do not have access. This rejection reminded me of one my biggest critiques of academia—the inaccessibility of scholarly work. Such rejection was unsurprising because higher education is designed to not give access to knowledge to communities like my own.


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