Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Library as a mediator for e-publishing.

*** preliminary notes ***

"A case on how a library can become a significant factor in facilitating digital scholarly communication and open access publishing for less web savvy journals"

Presenters: Mikael K. Elbæk - Copenhagen Business School Library
Time: July 12 2007 at 11:00 – 12:00pm
Location: SFU Harbour Centre Earl and Jennie Lohn Floor Policy Room - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Mikael K. Elbæk, initially part of the Copenhagen Business School Library, now works with the Danish National Research Database and with the Technical Knowledge Centre of Denmark, at the Technical University of Denmark.

During the Public Knowledge Project conference 2007, Mikael presented the current situation of journal publishing in Denmark as well as two case studies: a traditional paper-based journal moving towards OA online and one that is already published online.

To understand the journal publishing in Denmark, the following facts were given:

- of 623 journals, 162 of them are available online in some form.
- 70% are published in English, 30% in Danish and other languages (namely French)
- There are more than 500 research societies
- Approximately 7100 people are involved in editorial work, as either editors or reviewers, and almost all based on volunteer work.

Online journal systems (OJS) in Denmark, began in 2004-2005 when the government agency Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (DEFF), similar to our Synergies, funded an electronic journal project. From that, the ejournals@cbs was founded. Since then, several university libraries throughout the country have started to adopt their own forms of online journals.

The ejournals@cbs offers their faculty the following services:

- Assistance in publishing and/or archiving their journal online
- Initial set-up in OJS, each having their own URL, style and design
- Training to make them self-sustainable
- Encouragement to publish OA, though it is not a requirement as the importance lies in having access to journals that were previously unavailable
- Hotline and support service
- Administration help, and daily back ups and updates relating to OJS.

Some of the successes noted was the increase in downloads of available journals. In May and June 2007, there were 19938 and 22919 respectively. Interesting to note is that most of the articles downloaded were Danish. It is possible that this is due to a large interest in available material in the language. Some of the motivation behind this venture is that it is a win-win situation for libraries as they now have access to materials previously unavailable, and that no one else is doing this in Denmark at this time.

Case study 1: Copenhagen journal of Asian Studies

This journal has been paper based since 1987, publishing 2 volumes per year of approximately 150 pages in English with international readers and authors. As it has very limited resources, it is heavily dependent on volunteer work. Breakthroughs with this journal occurred with electronic archiving, with a 1 year embargo. Persuading the editor of the journal was very difficult as there was attachment to the traditional method of publishing. Fears of losing subscribers, for economic reasons, held the journal back from becoming open access. However, they did see the benefits for e-publishing but lacked the means to transform their journal. With the aid of OJS and Mikael, issues from about 1997-2006 are now available online.

Case study 2: Foucault Studies

This journal has been online and has open access since 2004, publishing 2 volumes per year in English with international authors, editorial board, and readers. This initiative is funded by a government research fund and hosted at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia on their own developed html platform by one person. Now, with the new editor-in-chief Dr. Sverre Raffnsoe from CBS, they are moving towards ejournals@cbs. The only difficulty encountered was the changing of platform.

Conclusions from these two studies show that smaller older journals (traditionally in print) were very reluctant to OA, but still open to the idea of going online. The troubles lie in the process of making it OA, as well as maintaining the tradition of the print, all the while not losing subscribers. Ejournals@cbs offered a solution to the methods of transferring their materials online; however, they were only responsive when OA publishing is an option, but not a requirement.

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