There are lots of different things to think about when starting as a scholarly publisher. Here are some links to help you find out more.
1. General overview of scholarly publishing
- This article in the Journal of Electronic Publishing gives a good overview of how to get started
- The following videos from the ALPSP Careers Hub cover:
- Advice for starting a new journal in Africa from Public Knowledge Project
- The Journal Publishing Practices and Standard Framework from INASP
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides these recommendations for medical journals
2. Why do you want to start a journal? What gap are you trying to fill?
Make sure you are clear on the purpose of your new journal.
3. How will you sustain your organization? Author fees and other revenues
You need to think about how you will sustain your new publishing organization. There are different ways to pay for the work that’s required, and you need to think about this carefully. Even if your organization will be run by volunteers, you will likely have other costs. There are different ways to finance this - for example:
- Author fees
- Sponsorships and subsidies
- Reprints, supplements, and special issues
4. Editorial Boards
Your editorial board is a key part of the success of your journal, so it’s important to choose them carefully.
5. Journal name / Publishing schedule
Once you have decided on your journal name, don’t forget to apply for an ISSN.
6. Copyright & licencing
Who owns the copyright and what licence your content will be distributed under are key decisions. Find out more about copyright and licencing on this forum.
7. Ethics & best practice
It’s important to follow best practice. Read more in our ethics and best practice section.
8. Peer review
Peer review is a key part of scholarly publishing. It means that any content you publish has been rigorously reviewed by scholars with relevant knowledge and experience before publication. Find out more about peer review on this forum.
9. Technology choices - platforms, websites and access
How will your readers be able to access your published content - will it be openly available? Will they need to sign in?
What to think about when choosing a platform.
- Crossref’s new platform checklist
- Review of OA Techology options from Delta Think
- This article offers some strong opinions about publishing (which you don’t necessarily need to follow) but it also includes useful steps for getting started
10. Launch and discoverability
How will you make sure that researchers will be able to find your published content?
Find out more:
- Advice on which indexes to focus on from Scholastica
- From the ALPSP Careers Hub
- Launching new journals (video)
11. Versions: From preprints to retractions/withdrawals
An article may go through many different stages before it’s published, and it’s important to track this carefully. You can find out more about versions and version control on our forum.
Preprints are one of the stages that an article may go through before it’s published It’s an early draft or manuscript shared by a researcher in a preprint repository or dedicated channel outside of a specific journal. It’s becoming more popular for authors to share their articles in this way before submitting to a journal. You can find out more about preprints on our forum.
Research doesn’t stand still, and sometimes more information will come to light after an article has been published. There may be an update, a correction or even a retraction or withdrawal. It’s important to be transparent about this. You can find out more about corrections and retractions on our forum.
If your organization is unable to continue publishing and hosting your published content online in the future, it’s important that scholars are still able to access the content. You need to have a plan for how your content will remain a part of the scholarly record. An archive will help - archives will commit to hosting your content for the long term.
There’s a useful list of archive providers on the Keepers Registry. If your publications are affiliated with a university, check to see if your institution already has archiving in place.