The world through the editor eyes

i had a journal dreamI have a dream that one day I will set up a journal on finance and risks, as I had a dream of writing a blog, and it happened, so the journal will arrive… though I am not sure where it will bring me as an academic.

I wonder if in the open access world that awaits us, we authors will be able to publish articles without the need of journals. In the meantime, the tasks involved to manage a journal are not little thing:
• Management and editorial issues: indexations, manage the team, print publication logistics.
• Promote the journal, search subscribers.
• Search for editors, peer reviewers, copy editors, content and board members.
• Seek more funds: grants, sponsors.
• Maintain the web page, platform and processes.
• Review submissions if they fit the journal editorial line, quality, scope and readers.
• Send papers for peer review, follow reviewers, collect answers and share feedback.
• Communicate with authors.
• Control plagiarism and copyright guidelines.
• Etc.

But with our own journals, we will be ‘Free at last!’(M.Luther King, 1963):
• You and your department will earn prestige and visibility disseminating knowledge and helping others to publish.
• You will strengthen your academic network, finding board members, editors, reviewers and content.
• You will improve your curriculum, though I am not sure to what extent.
• You can make some cash for your department research and publications, but I am not sure how much.

And you, professor, have you ever had that dream? Will it make you a better academic? Do you see any advantages or disadvantages? Alone or with co-editors? Think about it as you prepare your draft paper and choose the journal where you wish to publish.

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Journals that ask for money: poll conclusions

will you publish in journals with fees?

will you publish in journals with fees?

This poll was posted in January 2013 in different academic forums, 250 answers were collected and approximately 75 comments. The question was: will you publish in an indexed journal that charges you fees? And the results are: 39,60% Yes, 60,40% No.
poll results

Regarding the question in itself, it was a closed one, with no option to answer ‘it depends on’, because it would have been the preferred one.

My summary on the issue and your comments are:

1. Journals have no access to funds; they have a lot of expenses to make the journal attractive to authors, and that is why they ask for a fee.
2. Journal editors feel uncomfortable and somehow ashamed about this issue.
3. If the fee is reasonable, not higher than around 300 dollars, it is worthwhile the investment for the author, but only if the journal is well indexed and open access.
4. Authors are able to pay this amount if they share the fees with co-authors and they get some help from their university.

But…
1. Some authors from developing countries find 300 dollars out of their reach, even with co-authorship and university refund, if any. And this upset scholars in general because is pretty unfair and incompatible with open opportunities, and that this system is closing the doors to some knowledge to be disseminated.
2. Moreover, academics feel uneasy with all this issue, they do not understand that some journals owners earn a profit and they do not pay for content or peer review. It is like they were taking advantage of the necessity of scholars to publish in indexed journals, and again, is unfair.
3. May be the ethics of some journals/publishers are questionable but I think that the model itself is beneficial for the industry. The challenge is about the knowledge (innovative, reliable, reputable, biased, ethical, etc.) not about who pays for it or its dissemination.

Charging fees to authors is an uncomfortable necessity for journals, which work because is based on the obligation for scholars to publish in journals. Well, it makes sense as a business but, was it not all about knowledge and its dissemination? Who can improve this system? Governments? Market itself? Technology?…

Journals that ask for money. Is it so dishonest?

taxidriverWell…, let’s shake this publishing martini a little bit.

Let’s see the publishing industry as if authors/professors were the clients: we scholars/clients place our papers in journals to be recognized, to improve our CVs and to have our research disseminated.

Would you like to send a paper to a journal and have a response by the Editor within a couple of weeks?
Would you like to have your peer reviews 3 or 4 weeks later? (Is it too demanding?)
What about having an estimate of the publication date if you answer your review comments within a determined period of time?
What else would you ask for?
Wouldn’t you pay for all this? … No? … Come off it!

But, do you know any journal with a service like that?

  • I do, or at least a couple of them which comply with most of the above: journals (indexed in acceptable and recognized databases) where you pay.
  • The rest strive with their success (or themselves), their processes and reviewers. For example, I sent in a paper to low quartile JCR journal (WoK) that is still in the process a year after!

We all know that the client is the reader, or shouldn’t they be? Subscriptions are decreasing… and internet uprising…

  • Is the reader of scientific journals someone who reads every issue of them? Or is the real reader an academic who looks just for the articles of their interest? In any journal available?
  • How many journals university libraries (or we) have to subscribe to?

Another issue is the academic questions and quality this new system may arise: you pay-you publish? Which are usually resolved via citation indexing.

What do you think about paying for a (publishing) service? Or the problem is what others think of you doing it? Have you asked them?

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