Starting in May, the Libraries Publishing Program will widen access to our journal publishing services by expanding our eligibility criteria for publishing partnerships. We will now work with journals that do not have an editor based at OSU, as long as they are affiliated with a scholarly society and their application is sponsored by an OSU faculty member.  We are excited to make open access digital publishing a possibility for more journals, and to support the efforts of scholarly societies to nurture and provide access to research in their disciplines.

Rationale

Like many library-based publishing programs, our primary mission is to provide publishing services and education to our university community, so our policy to date has been to form new publishing partnerships only with journals that have an OSU-based editor. Unlike many library publishers, however, it has also been our practice to continue established publishing relationships, even when the original editor leaves OSU or passes the role on to a new editor. As a result, many of the journals we publish are currently edited by faculty at other universities.

At first glance, this seems like a mismatch between mission and practice, but it serves another facet of our mission: we provide open access scholarly publishing for research that would otherwise be hidden behind a paywall, and a home for quality scholarship that lacks the commercial potential to be of interest to other publishers. There is a need for this kind of service for many types of publications, but we see a particular need in the realm of journals published by scholarly societies. Many societies have traditionally relied on journal revenue to fund other activities (administration, annual conferences, etc.), but this has become increasingly difficult over the last couple of decades, as journal revenues have decreased and demand for openness has increased. They are often caught between their mission to promote scholarship in their field, and expensive legacy publishing processes. Many societies feel they have no option but to sell the rights to their journals to large commercial publishers. Library publishing operations like ours can offer an alternative by providing free or low-cost, digital-only, open access publishing.

How will it work?

To continue to grow our support in this area, while also maintaining our primary focus on serving the OSU community, we will begin accepting new publishing partnerships in the absence of an OSU-based editor, under the following circumstances:

Partnerships formed under our expanded criteria will be considered full Journal Publishing Partnerships, and will be eligible for the same support given to our other journals. Like all of our publishing services, there will be no fees charged to the journal or the society.

We are rolling out these expanded criteria immediately as a pilot program. We welcome referrals from other libraries, universities, and publishers. Please contact Sharon Sadvari (sadvari.2@osu.edu) with questions.