Wednesday, September 18, 2013

6 Questions About Your Open Access Journal

This is a series of six question we would like those of you who have some responsibility for the production of an open access journal to try to answer. Please respond in the comments below. Thanks!
  1. How Open Access is your journal? 100%? Backfile only? Occasional free issues? Online only, or can readers download and share files?
  2. What kind of Open Access is your journal (green or gold)?
  3. How do you pay for making your journal Open Access? Do you charge authors an Open Access fee upon publication of their work? Do you receive support from your sponsoring organization/institution? Is it covered by membership fees? Do you have an endowment? Something else?
  4. Has your journal always been Open Access? If not, did your journal/institution take a financial hit when making your content (some or all of it) Open Access?
  5. Once your journal became Open Access, has its availability in libraries grown, decreased, or remained about the same?
  6. Now that your journal is Open Access, do you still produce a print edition? If so, is that also free to readers, or do they pay for a subscription for print?
See the full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies


  1. I publish the journal Hesperia on behalf of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA, via our Princeton office). I'll do my best to answer these questions as we consider if, how, and when to make the journal 100% Open Access.

    1. Hesperia has its backfile of 1,500+ PDF articles available for free download and use on the ASCSA's website. We will occasionally post a current article as Open Access.

    2. Hesperia is archived by Portico (ITHAKA), and we are also considering archiving in CLOCKSS (which I believe makes us "gold"). I have pledged not to charge an author for making their article Open Access. Hesperia places no embargo on its authors for posting digital offprints on university websites and/or vel sim.

    3. See my answer to #2 above. We currently charge subscription rates that cover the costs of production (editing, proofing, printing, shipping). Staff salaries (editor and production manager, plus designer) come out of the endowment. Ideally we will find an endowment to cover all of Hesperia so that we could afford to give this content away and to not be behind JSTOR CSP's 3-year moving wall.

    4. No, not always. Subscribers used to get access to the backfile when subscribing to current issues, but now anyone can find and read articles for free on the ASCSA's website. This went into effect in 2012. There has been no decline is revenue for us after placing our backfile online for free. To be fair, JSTOR also hosts our backfile, selling access to it to libraries. Our intent on the School's side is to make this content available to scholars who cannot access JSTOR for whatever reason. Plus it seems to be good manners.

    5. We have not seen a downturn regarding the backfile. The current issues are NOT Open Access, so I can't answer that part of the question.

    6. Our current issues are produced in print and in digital editions, and I don't see print going away anytime soon, namely because 1/3 of our subscribers are gratis exchange partners with other institutions primarily in Europe who continue to require print copies. Our individual readership is split between wanting print and being satisfied with digital. Many want both editions.

  2. UTS ePress is managed by the Library of the University of Technology, Sydney and currently publishes 15 open access journal titles across a number of disciplines, including history, law, governance, literacy, society, social justice and international studies.
    1. Each UTS ePRESS journal title is published in open access for free download of all articles from all issues.
    2. We do not charge any money from authors or readers but technically we are classified as Gold OA (journal publishing is generally gold while repositories are classified as green).
    3. We do not charge authors or readers any fees. UTS ePress is managed by the UTS Library. Costs associated with supporting the work of the UTS ePress are absorbed into Library (and academic) roles. We do not attempt to recover costs for the services we provide. We do however require that our authors and journal editors are fairly autonomous in producing journal issues using Open Journals System (OJS) software.
    4. Our journals have always been open access although some transferred from other traditional print publishers to the open access environment.
    5. This is difficult to measure since UTS ePRESS titles have only been published by us in open access.
    6. We do not produce print versions of our journals. They are only available online in open access.

  3. The Young African Research Journal is a partly student-content law journal published by the Young African Research Arena. We publish academic papers written by law students in African institutions

    1. We are 100% open access with Creative Commons licensing that allows readers to use and adapt our content

    2. Gold

    3. We currently have very limited costs as we work through volunteers (reviewers, editors, etc), so our organisation is able to cover whatever little costs we bear.

    4. Yes, we've always been open access (although we started using the Creative Commons licence on our second issue). This was one of our core motivations for starting the journal, was to make African academic content more openly accessible online

    5. We're still pretty new, so we're still trying to make our presence known in academic institutions, particularly in Africa.

    6. Yes, we still have print copies of the journal, which we're hoping will take more people to the website, especially since many African institutions are still very much paper-based.