A New Player Joins the Scholarly Publishing World

Challenges in the publishing world along with the increase in popularity of the open access model has led to growth in the scholarly publishing marketplace. New ways to publish may also bring new approaches to how assess the quality of scholarly publications.
For example, in Europe, a new model has been announced called University Journals. Although University Journals has not yet launched, 14 institutions have already signed on. Information on the website suggests that this model will give authors and their research the opportunity to share the prestige of the affiliated university. This model seems to make a jump from a subscription publishing focus to a content marketing focus, using respected university names as a foundation to build a quality brand. This initiative by 14 European universities may suggest a movement toward rethinking how institutions gauge the quality of journals and a possible reassessment of the weight impact factors have in measuring the value of an article.
When discussing the potential for this new model’s success, Joseph Esposito, a management consultant for the publishing and digital services industries, notes that it’s important to “consider what would constitute success.” He suggested considering factors such as “accesses and downloads, a long-term preservation plan, the ability to bring in publications from around the globe, or the number of references in social media.”
The University Journals website describes the platform as “an alternative to the current journal system that requires authors to transfer their copyright or charges article processing charges.”
Instead of charging article processing fees as most open access journals do, University Journals with charge the individual institutions affiliated with the project. Additionally, authors will maintain their copyrights, allowing them to post preprints, share with other researchers, and contribute to repositories.
Again, this new platform has only been announced, not launched, and it will be interesting to see if it will be successful, and further, how its success will be measured. At Ochsner Journal – an open access journal that does not change any fees for publication – we are always open to rethinking and challenging the narrative to stay relevant in the scholarly publishing world.