Monday, April 23, 2012

Does LIS need yet another OA journal?

I'll start off with the answer to the question in the title of the post with "Yes, why not."  Now, I'll say why.
  • The journal needs to be Open Access so that authors and scholars have a way to reach all possible readers.  There can always be more OA journals with more publishing options.
  • The journal should use the CC By license so that we "allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in [the] journal, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers."
  • If you clicked on the link above, you can tell that I am thinking of something along the lines of a PLoS ONE format.  The editorial and peer-review process would be similar to PLoS ONE, but it would be modified to suite our discipline.
  • This journal is not intended to compete with PLoS ONE since I imagine that we might publish around 4 to 40 articles in a year.  This isn't even a dent or a door ding in the side of PLoS ONE.
  • I don't think we should worry about prestige of the journal as a whole.  Let the articles stand by themselves.  We will use article level metrics (maybe similar to what PLoS does) to let the authors know how often their articles have been downloaded and cited. 
  • Encourage submissions of all different kinds of research.  If an author has a very small survey sample, then our journal could be the one to publish the minor results. Negative results would also be fine.  If someone wants to provide examples of how not to do something, that could really help others.  Scholarly essays and opinion pieces would be dandy. Turn that poster paper into a real article.  Turn that long blog post into an article. Write up an overview of a conference. ("Every article its reader." Let readers filter articles for relevance.  The journal editors and peer-reviewers can determine if something meets a minimal "technically sound" criteria before publication. )
  • It could be funded by donations to pay for the cost of domain registration (and maybe other things) if needed.
  • I see myself as more of a journal facilitator than as the journal "editor."  I don't plan on editing other people's articles all that much.
  • Publish the articles when they are ready instead of making readers wait for an issue to be completed.
  • What should we call it?  [Whatever the title, I don't think we should co-opt the use of the word "ONE."  Maybe something like the Discussions in Library & Information Science or Findings in Library & Information Science or Journal of Library & Information Science Topics or something that indicates that it accepts manuscripts from a broad range of LIS topics.]
  • How much editing should we do on articles that are written by non-native English writers? [Cross this bridge when we get there.]
  • Let people use any kind of citation format?  [That would be ok with me, as long as people can find the cited references.  We do not need to be citation police.]
  • Where should we host it?  [While it could go into a section of website, it might be better if we purchased a different domain and had it hosted someplace else.]
  • When would we launch?  [I am thinking either fall of 2012, or January of 2013.  Depends on how quickly this all gets put together, and if anybody is interested.]
  • What should the format of the articles look like?  [While most articles could be published in an HTML format within a blog setting, some articles might be better suited to PDF documents.  This could be the case where there are many images in the article, and it is easier for the layout editors to simply tie up the images with the text into a PDF file.]
  • How should the articles be loaded onto the site? [I am thinking we could just load up the articles into a single blog-post like format, and leave comments on the articles for a limited amount of time, maybe a week or a month or a year. TBD.]
  • Should we try to get the journal indexed in some of the LIS indexing databases, or just let Google and/or Google scholar handle the indexing?
  • Should we get an ISSN registered for the journal?
  • Who would like to be on the editorial board? [I'd like to try to get a bunch of people involved from academic to public to special to archives to independents or whatever.]
  • Where should we backup and archive the articles? [Cross this bridge when we get there.]
  • Aren't there enough LIS journals out there?  [While there are plenty of OA LIS journals, but I don't know of any that have a PLoS ONE like system.  If you know of one, let us know in the comments.  Even if there are others, why not another publishing option?]

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