Want to know more about the steps needed to launch and operate an open access (OA) journal?

As part of Open Access Week 2014, the Scholastica team hosted a recorded panel discussion entitled- Inside the Editors’ Office: Launching a Sustainable Open Access Journal. We were lucky to have three editors at different stages of open access journal development join the discussion: Yale University professor Olav Sorenson, editor of Sociological Science, which launched in September 2013; and University at Buffalo Librarians Amy Vilz and Molly Poremski, editors of The Reading Room: A Journal of Special Collections, which launched in early October.

During the panel the editors shared tales from the field and insights on what it takes to get a publication off the ground. Among topics covered was advice on how journal editors should go about developing: an editorial process, funding model, indexing plan, and approach to impact.

At the panel’s end we asked the editors to speak to lessons they’ve learned along their OA journal publishing journeys. All emphasized the importance of taking your time and pinpointing a viable niche for your publication, whether it be the subject area you accept articles in or your journal’s overall publishing model.

“Finding a niche is really important,” said Poremski. “If we’d just started another academic library journal I don’t know how that would distinguish it from our peers and encourage submissions.”

Sorenson added that having high-quality articles is the primary factor in pushing new journals forward in terms of indexing, impact, and funding.

“The most important thing for us to do is to attract and accept high quality articles,” he said.

We hope this panel video will be helpful to you, and encourage you to share additional questions and ideas in the comments section to continue the conversation!

If you’re thinking about or in the process of launching an OA journal and want more information on how to get started, you should check out The Open Access Journal Starter Kit! It’s a new OA ebook created by the Scholastica team. The Open Access Journal Starter Kit offers a detailed breakdown of steps to take when starting a new journal, with lots of links to additional resources on OA publishing.

Danielle Padula
This post was written by Danielle Padula, Community Development
Tales from the Trenches