Major Archaeological Journal Goes Open Access

Since a bit more than a year, Fornvännen‘s first 100 years (1906-2005) have been freely available and searchable on-line. It’s a quarterly multi-language research journal mainly about Scandinavian archaeology and Medieval art, and I’m proud to be its managing editor. Now we’ve gone one step further and made the thing into an Open Access journal. The site’s run of the journal is complete up to 6 months ago, and every issue will henceforth appear on-line half a year after it was distributed on paper. Here, for instance, is an excellent paper in English by my buddy Svante Fischer from last summer’s issue, about the implications of two Scandinavian gold pendants of the Migration Period found in Serbia.

Many thanks to my friends Gun Larsson and Kerstin Assarsson-Rizzi of the Library of the Academy of Letters who have been the driving forces behind our on-line move!


Bibliometry and Open Access in the Humanities

From my buddy Jonas Nordin, retiring head editor of Sweden’s main historical journal, a well-argued paper about the problems of applying bibliometric assessments and Open Access practices in the humanities.

Historisk tidskrift, present and future

Reflections on readers’ reactions, bibliometrics and Open Access

In this article the author recounts his experiences as editor of Historisk tidskrift. The starting point is a poll of the journal’s readers presented at the triannual meeting of the Swedish Historical Association in Lund in April 2008. Readers told that they read Historisk tidskrift primarily in order to be up to date on Swedish historical research. The journal reflects fairly well the research interests of Swedish historians. However, concerns for the need to internationalise research and to improve one’s qualifications increasingly govern how Swedish historians publish. This affects the attitude to Historisk tidskrift, which is regarded as too provincial. These and other issues are discussed by the author.

The second part of the article discusses two partly intertwined issues of significance to the journal’s future: Bibliometrics and Open Access. The author is sceptical about bibliometric analyses and points to methodological difficulties in applying such measures to the humanities. Nevertheless, Historisk tidskrift will have to take bibliometrics into account. The author is favourably disposed towards Open Access. However, several problems need to be solved before Historisk tidskrift can become a full Open Access journal. If the journal loses its subscribers, alternative sources of funds has to be found to pay for editorial work. Before this is done, the present form of publication has to be retained.

Full text on-line.

A Century of Fornvännen Free On-Line


Fornvännen is one of Scandinavia’s main scholarly journals about archaeology, Medieval art and adjacent disciplines. Its first volume appeared in 1906, and for the past several decades it’s been issued quarterly. I’ve been an avid reader since 1990 and one of the journal’s editors since 1999.

I’m very proud to announce that the first 100 volumes of Fornvännen are now available freely on the web! Roughly 3000 PDF files including complete scans, illustrations and all, and searchable text! The site has an excellent search & browse engine.

Most papers in the journal are in Scandinavian languages, but for decades each one has had an English abstract, summary and figure captions. Also, papers are increasingly being written entirely in English.

My warmest thanks to Kerstin Assarsson-Rizzi and Gun Larsson of the Library of the Academy of Letters for making this happen, and to the Academy itself for funding the project!

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