Jul 22, 2005

Review of the Sarmatian Review

It is always a nice suprise to find an academic publication that is easily accessible through the web, and doesn't hide its publications behind some expensive scheme, usually out of reach of a normal student's budget. This is the case of the Sarmatian Review, a small (quaterly) but good quality publication dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe.

The web design is very simple, one can say 'primitive' (the covers are terrible), but it is functional. No javascript, no flash, no large graphics - just access to the articles, with a simple but functional search tool. One thing I'd like to see is some kind of comment/forum for discussion of various articles, but I am not suprised an academic publication is slow to adapt such 'public discussion' tools, but I hope it will happen soon. After all, the strenght of the Internet is not only that it allows such specialised sites to adress worldwide public, but that it allows easy two-way communication.

All things considered, I am pleasantly suprised whith quality free content of this site, especially considering how much troubles (and/or money/time) one has to go through to access most academic journals. Even with my economic MA I have much trouble understanding why they are so expensive. Sure, there is litte demand for them, but by putting such prohibitive prices in place, they are off-limits to most studends and casual readers. Perhaps its my wiki/open source POV, but I think it would be much more useful for everybody if all academic publications were free and easy to access, just ike the Sarmatian Review.

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