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A Special Message from the IASCP Executive Council

SPECIAL Commons Digest- March 2005 Issue on Open Access

“Why should I join IASCP? I can get all the benefits that members get except the Digest, and I can usually get a copy of that, as well!” someone at an international organization recently asked. It is ironic that an organization that studies free riders should have so many. Well, now we're the ones promoting open access—of our Commons Digest! This is the first time that the Digest will be immediately available on the Web to everyone, member or not! So, if we can make the Digest open access, maybe there are other publications out there that could be too.

You would think we would know better. Or maybe we do? Those who study how people manage the commons also know that narrow economic benefits aren’t everything. People contribute to maintaining their local forests, irrigation systems, or other common property resource systems for a whole host of reasons—often related to being part of a community, affirming a common identity, or contributing to a larger good. That’s also why hundreds of people belong to IASCP. We want to be part of this exciting community of scholars and practitioners working on a whole range of commons issues—including, now, the information commons. We want to participate in the meetings, plan or present at sessions at the 2006 biennial meeting in Bali, or one of the regional meetings, we want to even see an open access, peer reviewed electronic journal on the commons become a reality. We want our dues to help expand this community, so that students, scholars and practitioners in developing countries can also participate fully.

So we welcome you to this special issue of the Commons Digest. And while you’re reading it, check out the form on page 15 to join IASCP or renew your membership in this vibrant community.

Click here to access the full listing of electronic copies of the Commons Digest.

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