Thursday, July 12, 2007

Liberation and Struggle: An Editor/Publisher's Experience with Open Access

Presented at

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference

11-13 July, 2007

Vancouver, BC



Mark Mattaini

Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago

Fact about the journal:

The initial publishing of the journal Behavior and Social Issues was in 1978. Since that time, the journal has changed its name many times:

(until 1990): Behavior Analysis and Social Action.

(until 1986): Behaviorists for Social Action Journal.

The journal is managed by volunteers.

Published two times a year.

In 2000, the editorial board decided to go online.

In 2005, partnership with University of Illinois at Chicago Library.


Number of visits and downloads gone up 125% from last year.

Enhanced interface.

Plan to go online only (publishing both versions takes more time than hard copy alone).

Provides quality online presence.


Philosophical struggles with editorial boards: debate to go open access.

Practical: financial advantages of commercial publishers vs. public knowledge and justice considerations.

Sustainability: heavily dependent on individuals (e.g. editor)

The commitment required for the volunteers who generally produce such journals

Increased load of faculty and tech staff.


The journal is a good experience for the editor but keeping the journal running is difficult task. Volunteers do most of the work and sustaining the journal is an important element.

Useful links:

University of Illinois at Chicago

Journal website:


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