Free E-Journal Publishing Services with ULS

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Free E-Journal Publishing Services with ULS

Postby vgabler » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:13 am

PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s University Library System (ULS) is now offering free e-journal publishing services to help academic journals make their content available to a global audience while eliminating the cost of print production.

The E-journal Publishing Program—part of ULS’ D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program, which partners with the University of Pittsburgh Press—“is in keeping with the ULS’ commitment to free and immediate access to scholarly information and its mission to support researchers in the production and sharing of knowledge in a rapidly changing publishing industry,” said Rush G. Miller, Hillman University Librarian and director of the ULS.

The ULS trains a journal’s editorial staff in the use of Open Journal Systems (OJS) software, which channels the flow of scholarly content from initial author submissions through peer review and final online publication and indexing. OJS provides the tools necessary for the layout, design, copy editing, proofreading, and archiving of journal articles. The platform provides a vast set of reading tools to extend the use of scholarly content through RSS feeds and postings to Facebook and Twitter. E-journal articles can be discovered via blogs, databases, search engines, library collections, and other means.

“For more than a decade, the ULS has been at the forefront of applying emerging digital technologies to the publishing and distribution of scholarly content,” said Miller. “In addition to publishing e-journals, we provide platforms to mount on the Internet conference proceedings, pre- and post-prints of journal articles, and audio and video and other born-digital content, as well as the University’s theses and dissertations and materials from our collections. We are pleased that the response to these services has been so widespread.”

“We’re delighted to offer electronic publishing services free of charge to partners who share our support for Open Access to research information and use a robust peer-review process for their content,” added Timothy Deliyannides, head of ULS Information Systems. “We can help clients new to electronic publishing at every step. We will give them the tools they need to set up an efficient workflow and help them produce a scholarly e-journal of the highest quality.”

The ULS currently publishes the following e-journals: Bolivian Studies Journal; Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture; Ethnology: An International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology; Études Ricœuriennes/Ricœur Studies; International Journal of Telerehabilitation; Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy; and Revista Iberoamericana.

Coming in the next few months are Timely Interventions: A Translational Journal of Public Policy and Debate; University of Pittsburgh Law Review; Journal of Law and Commerce; Pittsburgh Tax Review; Journal of Technology, Law and Policy; Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law; Motivational Interviewing: Training, Research, Implementation Practice; and the Pitt Political Review.

For more information about the E-journal Publishing Program, visit

The ULS is the 23rd-largest academic library system within the United States. Under the administration of the Hillman University Librarian and ULS director, it includes 21 libraries and holds more than 6.2 million volumes and world-class specialized collections, among them the Archive of Scientific Philosophy and the Archives of Industrial Society, as well as major foreign-language materials from around the world totaling 1.4 million volumes. The ULS offers state-of-the-art facilities and services, with innovative digital library collections and capabilities.

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Re: Free E-Journal Publishing Services with ULS

Postby newone » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:08 pm

I have a question for you to consider.

Are you willing to offer the services of The E-journal Publishing Program to those journals that choose not to be Open Access (OA)? In general, I do believe we need different sustainable models for long-term publishing and preservation. Your university and its press may be subsidizing aspects of that journal (such as OJS hosting or consultation with the editor), but isn’t it better if journal editors can choose which model works best for them, and still get free support. Is this possible? Not everything can be open-access, and not everyone can afford open-access even if you are giving it away for "free."

I remember reading something a while back where Peter Suber mentioned something to the effect that running an open access journal does not cost much. I disagree with him and that sentiment seems out of touch with reality given the cost of running a website, technical support, security, hosting, administrative support, editorial support, and all the support you can think of. Yeap!

"OJS provides the tools necessary for the layout, design, copy editing, proofreading, and archiving of journal articles."

This is not factual. OJS is merely a system for administering and managing a journal. It does not have the mechanism nor does it provide the tools to do editorial work. The last time I checked, people are still doing layout, copy-editing, proofreading, etc. All these are done offline. What OJS does is simply allow you to upload and track copy-edited document (done outside of the system) for each submission, which it keeps a log of. OJS does not even have CMS capabilities, so the assumption that it provides the tools is misguided. On a different note, OJS can connect to third-party services, and some require a key before you can use.

This brings me to my final point. I see a lot of archive initiatives that are designed to preserve open access journal, hard to reach journals, as well as journals that have ceased publishing. There is something strange going on with all these archives and their altruism. Some of these archives are funded by big foundations such as Mellon, Rockefeller, Ford foundation, and more. The archives are almost never free. Institutions have to pay to participate to help subsidize the cost of the archive which the funding did not cover.

What does it mean when big foundations invest a lot of resources in creating archives? They are actually creating a market that ultimately drives a journal out of business. The foundations do not invest in those journals, but they invest in archives and preservation efforts to archive the journals. This is good for libraries as it allows them to acquire content and build their collection. What incentives would institutions have to subscribe to journals if they are already archived?

Big corporate publishers can compete because they have the resources, but what happens to the smaller publisher house? When institutions do not support a journal with a subscription, the editor has to find a way to keep the journal going. After a while, the journal may be strained that it stops publishing. The archive creators know this. So, what do they do? They archive like crazy. What if the archives paid to archive the journals? If they do, editors would have a new source of revenue, which will enable them to continue publishing, which is ultimately the point.

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