TWC: Taking a stand for open access

Did you know that the OTW’s journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), is more than just academics writing about fandom? TWC actually has all kinds of content that’s written by and for fans, such as its just-released ninth issue, which focuses on fan/remix video. The best part about TWC, at least if you ask its editors, is that its articles get discussed, debated, and even argued about within fan culture, while still serving as a resource to acafen, other academics, and the media.

For example, the most recent issue was repeatedly referenced at the yearly conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. The upcoming tenth issue, co-edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, concentrates on fan activism and has already been referenced in the New York Times even before publication. Since the journal’s founding five years ago, the editors of TWC have received numerous reprint requests for print anthologies.

OTW founded TWC with the intention of providing a space for academic research on fandom and fan works in order to showcase the breadth and importance of such studies to other academics, other fans, and the outside public. As part of its commitment to creative freedom, all of TWC’s articles are licensed through Creative Commons, which means anyone can republish the essays as soon as they are published, so long as the republishing party provides a link to the original source.

Lately, more and more academics are calling for a boycott on long-established publishers who use academic—often publicly funded—labor for the research, writing, peer review, and even editing of their articles, but nevertheless prevent the public from having access to the final products. Such traditional models of publishing keep valuable information behind pay walls at increasingly prohibitive costs. Due to its status as an online-only, Open Source, peer-reviewed academic journal, TWC exists not only on the cutting edge of current academic movements, but also at the forefront of the fight for intellectual freedom and continued informational access.

Be sure to check out essays on mashups, remixes, fan trailers, and more in the latest issue of TWC, and donate to help OTW continue this vital, ground-breaking project!

Thank you to Kristina Busse, editor, for providing the overwhelming amount of information for this post.