Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Organization for OA journal editors and publishers

Dave Solomon and Gunther Eysenbach are calling for an organization of OA journal editors and publishers.  From Solomon's proposal:

...[I]t is time to start thinking about forming a professional organization of OA journal editors, publishers and those people interesting in supporting OA publishing.

Such an organization could serve a number of needed functions.

1. Education and mentoring -­ Many new OA journals fail. I believe this is largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of how to get a successful OA journal established and the resources and commitment it takes to sustain a successful journal. This gives gold OA a bad name and does a real disservice to the authors who had published their manuscripts in the journal. I believe a professional organization that could provide education and mentoring for individuals and groups that are considering forming an OA journal. In doing such could help alleviate this problem.

2. Setting standards and certifying journals as meeting these standards - There is still a pervasive belief that OA journals lack the quality and prestige of traditional fee for access journals. I believe gold OA has reached a point where it makes sense to develop some ethical standards and best practices as a community of OA publishers and a system for certifying that journals have met these standards and practices....

3. Coordinating the purchase of services to achieve economies of scale....

4. Advocacy - There are many organizations promoting OA. Most promote both green and gold OA. While in both are valuable mechanisms for achieving open access to research and scholarship, the issues related to green and gold OA are quite different. I feel it would be useful to have an organization that specifically focuses on promoting and educating the public and elected officials about gold OA. The intention would not be promote gold OA over green but to enlighten researchers and scholars, the public and elected officials about the value and potential of OA journals.

5. Provide a mechanism for small grant funding, research dissemination and other means of facilitating the development of electronic open access publishing....

These are just some ideas to get the discussion going. To help facilitate the process, I set up a web site with a forum and some draft documents to serve as a starting point for discussion.

Nothing is written in stone....If there is sufficient interest in forming such an organization perhaps it would make sense to try to set up a face-to-face meeting. One possibility would be at ELPub 2008 in Toronto this summer.