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Publish and Prosper: Scholarly Publishing in Anthropology at the University of Arizona Raymond Harris Thompson The academic world receives a certain amount of well deserved-derision because of the idea of “publish or perish,” meaning that a scholar who does not publish will not advance professionally. It is true, of course, that publishing something gives pleasure to an author. However, the real purpose of publishing is to present and share knowledge, not to feed the egos of authors. Therefore, publishing is an important, indeed essential, activity for institutions like universities that generate new knowledge and better understanding of existing knowledge. Universities that share their knowledge widely through scholarly publishing serve the public that supports them and thereby grow and prosper. Such publishing at the University of Arizona is closely linked to its School of Anthropology. The story of the development of anthropological scholarly publishing at Arizona begins, as do so many developments there, with the interests and activities of one of its most distinguished alumni and faculty members, Emil Walter Haury (1904–1992; see Reid 1986, 1993; Thompson 1995; Thompson, Haynes, and Reid 1997; Willey 1994). After being awarded one of the first three master’s degrees in archaeology at Arizona in 1928 (BA, 1927), Haury taught at the university for one year under his mentor Byron Cummings (1880–1962; Bostwick 2006), spent another year there in pioneer tree-ring research with Andrew Ellicott Douglass (1867–1962; Webb 1983), and then joined Harold Sterling Gladwin (1883–1983; Haury and Reid 1985) at the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation (Haury 1988) in Globe, Arizona, where he spent seven highly productive years before returning to the university in 1937 as a member of the faculty. He chose Gila Pueblo over three other employment possibilities because Gladwin offered funded field research, prompt publication, and support for doctoral studies. Raymond Harris Thompson retired in 1997 as Director of the Arizona State Museum and Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is an editorial advisor for Journal of the Southwest. Journal of the Southwest 51, 3 (Autumn 2009) : 423–444 424  ✜  Journal of the Southwest Haury (1995) gives us an idea of what Gladwin meant by prompt publication in his delightful account of graduate life at Harvard University (PhD, 1934). In the summer of 1932, between the two academic years Haury spent at Harvard, he was sent by Gladwin to the Sierra Ancha to excavate the Canyon Creek Ruin. Gladwin then required Haury to write the report on that work before he returned to Cambridge in September. That report was published as Medallion Papers 14 a little more than a year later (Haury 1934). Haury’s stay at Harvard, where the Peabody Museum had been publishing anthropological and especially archaeological reports since 1888, reinforced his strong belief in the importance of publishing in the research enterprise. Therefore, when Haury returned to his alma mater in 1937 to replace Cummings as head of the Department of Archaeology (and director of the Arizona State Museum the following year), he was appalled to discover that the University of Arizona had what could only be described as an antiquated though common approach to publication. It had a program that was typical for the nation’s land-grant institutions of that time: the production of practical and technical reports designed to be helpful to the rural population. Before long these publications were formalized in so-called bulletin series that were issued quarterly and thereby qualified for the economies of second-class mailing permits. At the University of Arizona a series entitled Bulletin of the Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1890. In 1903, the Bulletin of the University of Arizona was created, but only the first two issues appeared. In 1905 the Engineering Experiment Station issued one bulletin, and in 1915 the Arizona Bureau of Mines started its series. Most of the early bulletins provided advice and assistance for farmers and ranchers from the Agricultural Experiment Station. For example, in 1911 John James Thornber (1872–1962) of the Biology Department provided some Arizona-specific information on “Native Cacti as Emergency Forage Plants” (Thornber 1911). The following year Thornber assumed interim responsibility for the Arizona State Museum...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1371
Print ISSN
0894-8410
Pages
pp. 423-444
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-02
Open Access
No
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