January 19, 2013 7 Comments
To understand a journal and have an opportunity to be published, besides knowing it well (its editors, the editorial line, what kind of articles it publishes or if it charges fees to authors), I find also very important to know its objectives as an institution, or in other words, who owns it, and there aren’t much written about it.
So I have classified journal owners according to their ultimate goals as a company / organization:
1. Businesses with primarily financial targets:
- Publishing companies. They usually produce several journals, and their editors / managers are professionals who are in charge of a small group of them, though they use content and peer-reviewers for free (well, the standard in the industry). Therefore they are generally well-managed and agile in their processes, they understand this as a business. Its revenues come mainly from subscriptions and some of them charge also a fee to authors.
- Other companies (consultancies, research centers, etc.), focused on a specific field of knowledge. Similar to the above type in terms of management, but the number of journals published are generally much lower. Revenue via subscription and fees to authors.
2. Owners with academic and informative main goals:
- Faculty departments. They could have the temptation to give some publishing priority to the professors of their associated / partner departments. They tend to be financed via university funds and subscriptions. The editors / managers are academics, therefore busy people, for them this is not a priority, so you better have a very good paper perfectly tailored to the journal to be noticed.
- Professional associations. In principle they are objectives and open to any kind of contribution, though usually advised by academics from a faculty department, which leads us to the former type of owner. The funds usually come from the association itself.
- Independent professors. My favourites. Idealists. Always in search for funds and content.
And all of them with the common goal of increasing readers, content and citations. So they desperately need to be indexed in databases, which at the same requires more funds for its management, and so on…
In any case, how much does ownership influence on the quality and prestige of journals?