Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More on libraries as OA journal publishers

DSA has blogged some notes on the panel discussion, Trying the Gold Road on a Shoestring Budget: Open Access Publishing with PKP's Open Journal System, at CNI's Spring 2007 Task Force Meeting (Phoenix, April 16-17, 2007).  Excerpt:

Speakers: Nancy John (UI [University of Illinois] Chicago), Edward Valauskas (First Monday)....

Needless to say, I was drawn to this session not only because I am quite familiar with PKP/OJS from attending Access in Canada, but because we in K-State [Kansas State University] Libraries have discussed moving into the role of publisher, and this desire recently found expression in our strategic plan. While Cornell and other partners (including the U of Utah as I learned at dinner last night) are busy at work on DPubs, it has yet to become a full-fledged publishing platform, as opposed to OJS, which can handle the full lifecycle of journal publishing, from submission to archiving.

UIC's goal was to highlight the work of UIC faculty, support the emergence of OA journals, educate the campus about intellectual property, and demonstrate the library's leadership role in this arena. In addition to journal publishing, they also have a DSpace-backed repository administered by the library.

All of this came about after a 2005 program on scholarly communication, where faculty were able to discuss the various issues related to journal publishing: quality, quantity, academic freedom, promotion/tenure concerns, need for campus support to do editing, archiving, etc. Faculty engaged in the work were "going under," i.e.- being overwhelmed by the work, so the library went on a search to manage the process. They found a faculty member who edited a journal (Behavior and Social Issues). The journal hadn't actually published an issue in some time, since they were woefully behind in their work. The library offered to 'rescue' the journal and opted to use the PKP/OJS. She said the install time was 15 minutes and that the software requires little customization. The documentation taught the editor how to use it in under an hour (as promised by the name of the document: OJS in Under an Hour).

Their second partner was First Monday, previously published by Munksgaard online only. Started in 1995, first issue in May 1996. Munksgaard did it for three years as an open journal, then decided to charge, so the editors pulled it out and moved it to UIC (Jan 1999). The journal is very successful: 795 papers, 132 issues, 951 authors, 30-40 countries represented, 6.4 million downloads in 2006. Check out the Web page for this journal; right there on the bottom of the page is the name University of Illinois Chicago Library! ...