OJS is not for sale
With the recent acquisition of bepress by multinational publishing giant Elsevier, we’ve been asked by a number of people, some in jest, others less so, if OJS is next, given its substantial share of the journal platform market. As the title of this piece indicates, OJS is most definitely not for sale.
OJS (Open Journal Systems) is a free, open source software application created in 2001 by John Willinsky, then at the University of British Columbia and today at Stanford and Simon Fraser University (SFU). Simon Fraser University, the parent institution of the Public Knowledge Project, has intellectual property rights to OJS, with its open source software standing guaranteed by it use of General Public License (GPL) version 2.
OJS was created to empower academic societies, universities, and individual scholars and scientists by enabling them to retain control of the journals that publish research relevant to their interests, activities, and regional needs, independently and autonomously, at no cost to the reader. We made it open source so that anyone, anywhere could use it freely and continue to benefit from it over the long-term. We made it open source so that research libraries and small publishers could use it to build services for their users and customers, as well as reach the wider public, the press, policymakers and others with relevant research. We made it open source so that communities could shape its development, modify it for their unique local needs, and to build our independent publishing capacity together.
Even though OJS has been continuously upgraded, extended, and integrated with other academic services over the last two decades, what has not changed are the original decisions and principles that guided its formation. That earlier stance has taken on a new urgency, as increasing commercial publisher concentration, accompanied by publishing infrastructure acquisitions, threatens the independence of the academic community.
The long-term sustainability of OJS and PKP are assured through our diversified revenue strategy, which includes community sustainers and development partners, research grants, and our fee-based PKP Publishing Services. Further details are available in our PKP Annual Reports to the Community.
In addition, Simon Fraser University and the SFU Library, in their efforts to be Canada’s most community-engaged university, understand the benefits that OJS provides to journals around the world and continue to actively support our work and stand behind our long-term sustainability as a public resource.
You can bank on the fact that OJS is not, and never will be, for sale.