Foreign Affairs for free?

By Daniel Gilbert

Foreign Affairs, a prominent international relations and foreign policy publication, has given students, faculty, and University staff full, free access to its online journal.

While most publications charge for a site license, Foreign Affairs is offering a free-of-charge “site license” to 50 American universities—both large and small, state and private—for a period of one year. The new policy, which began this past summer, will run through August 31, 2005.

By visiting the URL, students can view the most current issue of Foreign Affairs, as well as the full text of archives dating back to 1973. The site also features thousands of book essays and critiques from the Foreign Affairs panel of reviewers.

“Foreign Affairs is committed to reaching out to the academic community, and full access is the best way to fulfill that commitment,” said Lynda Hammes, the manager of academic publishing. “We are eager to see if electronic usage and usage of our academic products increases in an increasingly digital age,” she added.

Hammes said that Foreign Affairs has noticed an increasing number of visits to its website since implementing the full access policy, though she could not provide any figures. There is a possibility that full access for students will continue indefinitely. According to Hammes, extending free access will depend on the feedback and enthusiasm of participants.