Today I officially launch No Mud Huts: an open anthropological journal about Kenya’s tech industry! Through this site I intend to contribute to the open science research movement as a part of my broader support for an open access approach to scientific publishing.
I am about to complete my comprehensive exams and will soon be moving to Kenya to undergo a year-long data collection period, during which time I will be writing about my research on this site. Because of limitations regarding participant confidentiality, I will not be publishing all of my field notes and collected data, as would normally be expected of a scientist contributing to the open science movement. Instead, I will be working to write preliminary analyses of those notes and data, in order to strike a balance the ethics of conducting anthropological research with the ethics of ensuring one’s scientific production is accessible to as large an audience as possible.
I intend for this site to shine a light on the processes involved in “doing anthropology” for those who are interested. It is my hope that this site is viewed favorably and intently by those professionals with whom I am honored to conduct research in Kenya, but others who may be interested in what exactly it is anthropologists do and how at least one of us thinks.
The site’s layout is rather straightforward, with a landing page, About page, and the hosted blog. Adding new posts is as simple as creating a new Markdown file with the proper opening material, which prompts its inclusion in the blog post list. Despite being a static website hosted by GitHub Pages, No Mud Huts integrates several other open-source tools to allow for quick design changes and an automated comments section complete with Gravatar profile image integration. Comments can be easily disabled for individual posts as well. As the blog grows, the theme I’ve used for setting the website’s aesthetic design has an option to quickly implement post categorizations for blog post lists, as well as the ability to generate suggested links at the bottom of each post.