Starting an OA journal

This page provides links to advice on starting an Open Access journal. There are already many OA journals published in Australia. An annotated bibliography of case studies from both a library and editorial perspective is on a separate page.

This page has information about online tools, lists blogs about starting an OA journal, information for societies as OA publishers, and libraries as publishers, finishing with links to index journals.

Online tools

Online tools to assist those looking at starting an OA journal include “OA Publishing links and resources” from SPARC Europe. Information is available on the site of the  Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association. There is a list of ‘Guides for OA journal publishers’ on the OA Directory site.

The document Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing has been jointly

Journals on display

Copyright All rights reserved by Falmer Library, University of Brighton

issued by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) offer online courses in journal publishing – for example their ‘Introduction to Journal Publishing‘ course. They also offer face-to-face training such as  ‘Developing Open Access and Hybrid Journals‘.

There is software that helps practitioners to manage journals. Most are on the list of Free and open source journal management software. One of the most widely used software available is Open Journal Systems.

The Open Access Directory includes the following useful lists: Guides for OA journal publishersOA journal business models and OA journal launch services.

The OASIS (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook) has a page on “Setting up an Open Access journal”  with links to information on: Tools and platforms for Open Access journal publishing, Scholarly societies and Open Access publishing, Open Access journals: business models, Open Access publishing in the humanities and Open Access publishing in the social sciences.

The Budapest Open Access Initiative open access journal business guides offer several titles (note that although published in 2004 the information is still relevant).

Blogs about starting OA journals

How to start an Open Access journal, 4 September 2013, this blog written by La Trobe PhD scholar Karina Quinn provides good links and advice based on her experiences starting up a peer reviewed scholarly open access journal.

Starting an Open Access Journal: a step-by-step guide part 1, written in July 2012 by Dr Martin Paul Eve, a humanities lecturer at Lincoln University, this includes comprehensive advice and templates including one inviting people to become members of the editorial board. The second part Starting an Open Access Journal: a step-by-step guide part 2 looks at the technical aspects of setting up a journal.

Societies as OA publishers

Many scholarly societies are battling with the question of making their journal open access. BioMed Central offers partnerships for people wanting assistance with starting an open access journal.

OA options for a society journal, May 11 2013. This blog by Heather Piwowar lists the results of an investigation into the options for a society currently published through BMJ where articles are loaded into PubMedCentral after 12 months. The options are:

  • Continue with current OA offering
  • Increase openness within current framework
  • Introduce new OA journal possibly to complement the existing journal
  • Transition the existing journal to 100% OA with a publisher
  • Publish the journal within the society as 100% OA
  • Other options

Libraries as publishers

Both public and academic libraries are invested in the creation and distribution of information and digital content. They have morphed from keepers of content into content creators and curators, and seek best practices and efficient workflows with emerging publishing platforms and services.

A new resource for libraries involved in publishing is the Library Publishing Toolkit. There is a free e-book available for download from the site. This resource:

  • looks at the broad and varied landscape of library publishing through discussions, case studies, and shared resources. From supporting writers, authors, and filmmakers in the public library setting to academic libraries hosting open access journals and books, this collection examines opportunities for libraries to leverage their skills and resources to curate, create and provide access to content

In October 2013, the Library Publishing Coalition launched the first edition of the Library Publishing Directory. It has a US focus, there is an OA version available.

The three day course: Scholarly Publishing Certification Course: A Training Program for Library-Led Publishing Initiatives, was first held at the bepress offices in Berkeley, California in October 2013.

A new report Library-led Publishing with bepress Digital Commons: Data and Benchmarks Report, looks at Libraries as publishers. The report presents detailed data from across all journals hosted on Digital Commons, showing  how publishing rates and readership vary within the community and how these trends can be used to derive target activity levels for new journals. It also looks at publishing across various disciplines to see which of those disciplines are well represented and which may be underrepresented. Measuring the success of publishing efforts can be key in proving viability to stakeholders. Using data that reflects the publishing experiences of over 180 institutions, the authors are able to suggest benchmarks of publishing activity and readership that will help publishers set goals and prove effectiveness.

Discussion list
A Google Group exists to develop a community of practice around the open access journal publishing happening at many of our universities.
Tracking project
The Open Access Tracking Project has a tag library for the “oa.libpub” tag (libraries as publishers).

Indexing journals

When starting any journal it is important to ensure they are listed in relevant databases. Here are some places to index work.

Lists specific to open access journals
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Open Access Infrastructure Research for Europe (OpenAire)
Sherpa/RoMEO Publisher copyrights and self archiving

General listings

Here are links to the correct pages in ScopusWeb of Science (Thomson Reuters), Ulrichs web (widely considered the most complete list of journals worldwide) and EBSCOhost.

Academic OneFile are always looking for Australian content. Another Australian list is Informit (RMIT Publishing)