Tue Jul 9, 2002

ASR's unavailability on the Internet

I got my copy of ASR in the mail today and wondered why it isn’t available on line. The closest you can get is issues from five years ago, via J-Stor. Same goes for Contemporary Sociology. It’s appalling. In fact, of the ASA journals, I think Sociological Theory is the only one that’s available online, and that’s because it’s published by Blackwell. The American Journal of Sociology, the other major journal, is much better about this. It provides recent issues starting more or less where J-Stor stops. But not ASR. It’s supposed to be the lead journal, for crying out loud! And yet the most recent PDF I can point an interested party towards is from 1997. I’d be surprised if this was true in any other social science field.

Perhaps it’s because ASR rotates its editorship every few years, and the whole journal moves to the University Department of the new editor. At present it’s based at Wisconsin. Before that it was published out of Penn, and before that it was here in Arizona. But many journals (including Sociological Theory) do this and still manage to do much better than just having this month’s table of contents and maybe a single featured article online. I really can’t think of a good reason why current issues aren’t available electronically to subscribers via some service like Ingenta. Plausible explanations, anyone?