For the past few days, I have been contemplating what it takes to launch an academic journal. The reason is that although there are loads of academic journals out there on the World Wide Web, there are only a very few in our part of the world i.e. the Orient. Institutions like IEEE, ACM, Springer, Elsevier and PLOS each offer a large number of journals covering a wide spectrum of academic journals. However, they are all offshore. Most of these institutions are now adopting Open access and author pays kind of business models. In such models, the author has to pay a substantial amount of money to get their work published. Journals and transactions of IEEE charge a flat publication fee of USD 1750 to the authors. This is a lot of money that the author has to pay.
So I was wondering that what would it take to launch a journal. After thinking about it enough, I have come up with the following necessary steps to launch a successful journal.
- Develop a website. And this should not be difficult at all. You can easily launch a beautiful and stunning website these days using WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
- Raising a WordPress website would require you to subscribe to a web hosting service. There is a plethora of nice web hosting services that also allow you to raise websites for free. HourB and Hostinger are nice options. Hostinger is particularly nice, but it may not work if you are operating from Pakistan.
- Use a journal management software to manage your journal online. There exist a handful of brilliant solutions online for this purpose.
- Define the scope of your journal and populate its website with relevant content that addresses this and related issues.
- Maintain and mention a program committee and an editorial board. This is probably the most important part. You will have to talk to many people for this and ask them to join your journal as members of its editorial board.
Of course, you will have to do a lot of additional work in order to get your journal and running. The above mentioned steps are just the tip of the iceberg. But they are nonetheless necessary. Moreover, they will help you kick-start your work and develop a momentum that will keep you rolling for the following stages to launch and maintain a high quality journal. By the way, I considered it worthwhile to publish a few links for your kind perusal that reflect on the WordPress and a famous open source software known as open journal systems. I am particularly interesting in seeing how they both work together.
The official home of OJS, the most widely used researcher-to-reader software to run scholarly journals and publish research articles.
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Prefatory note (2016) Please note that I receive several email requests per week from individuals asking for help or detailed guidance in how to setup an OA journal. With my deepest regrets, I am afraid my time is simply insufficient to provide such guidance beyond what is here on these pages.
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