Strategic Considerationsfor Launching orRepositioning a JournalMary Rose MuccieDirector, Current Journals ProgramJSTOR
Growth in the number of scholarly journals described invarious forums as “exponential,” “explosive,” “extreme,”“egregious,” etc. Some stats Estimated 50M+ scholarly research articles in existence1 ~1200% increase in number of journals included in the ScienceCitation Index , 1964-20092 ~59% increase in number of journals included in the SocialScience Citation Index , 1998-20092The Landscape1Arif E.Jinha, Article 50 million: an estimate of the number of scholarly articles in existence.Learned Publishing, 23(2010) , pp. 258-263.2Peder Olesen Larsen and Markus von Ins, The rate of growth in scientific publication and thedecline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index. Scientometrics, 84 (2010), pp. 575–603.
Couple this with the decline in institutional libraryacquisitions budgets State-funded institutions particularly hard hit Per the 2012 EBSCO Library Collections and Budgeting TrendsSurvey (Feb 2012) of 395 academic libraries 69% had reduced or flat budgets that year 52% expect flat budgets next year 22% expect reduced budgets next year Cuts will come from print journals (80%), p+e journals(63%), print books (55%)3The Landscape3http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/funding/coping-with-the-terrible-twins-periodicals-price-survey-2012/
Why launch a journal? How might an existing journal be repositioned?Given All That…
New fields are developing constantly Renewable Energy Engineering Sustainability Science Proteomics Social Learning Digital Culture and Communication Food and Energy Security Multi-scale Modeling and SimulationResearch Areas Are Growing
Data on 4200 ScholarOne client journals shows significantincreases in submissions from 2005 to 20104 Overall submissions increased 215+% China: 484% increase India: 443.21% increase Japan: 127.50% increase US: 177.44% increase Relative portion from developing world increasing as well China: 6.1% of 2005 total subs; 11.3% of 2011 total India: 2.9% to 4.9% of total South Korea: 2.5% to 2.8% of total Iran: 0.7% to 2.1% of total Yet acceptance rates decreased by ~3%Submissions Are Increasing4http://scholarone.com/media/pdf/GlobalPublishing_WP.pdf
Access models OA Subscription Hybrid Freemium Format and presentation Multimedia as content, not just as supplement User interaction Commentary, blogging, social features Post-publication peer reviewModels and Options Are Evolving
Mission support Dissemination “This field is increasingly relevant in [Asia] [Africa] [the UK]and we need to get the information out.” Perception of publisher On the cutting edge, experimental, traditional Cost recovery Which costs?Goals Are Expanding
Launching a new journal Charismatic and connected champion essential Build network of supporters at all levels Ensure a submission pipeline Set clear and realistic goals ID the business model No wishful thinking Considerations Is field mature enough to support new title? Is author base/content unique enough/separate enough tosupport new title? Is format/editorial model/publishing flow different enough towarrant new title?Launch or Reposition?
Repositioning an existing journal Modify the editorial policy Change the editorial board Introduce new article types/sections/formats Market, promote, rinse, repeat Expect it to take a while to sink in Considerations Is field undergoing evolution rather than radical change? Will solicitation of papers in key areas of focus achievesustained expansion in new areas? Will changes in article types/sections/formats address newneeds? Is the journal brand strong enough to sustain acontent/format revamp or to support spin-off titles?Launch or Reposition?