Guide for Publishing a New Journal at LiU E-Press

Combined by Peter Berkesand
Translated from Swedish to English by David Lawrence

Introduction

A journal can be published in printed or electronic forms (or both). At LiU E-Press we publish a number of peer reviewed journals online.

Starting a New Journal

In Sweden, all citizens have the right to produce journals and other periodicals. To produce a journal with a printed version, one requires formal approval from the Patent and Registration Authority (PRV). It is the journal’s formal owner who makes the application. Application forms can be obtained from PRV’s web site: http://www.prv.se/tidskrift/blanketter.html . If the journal is to only to be produced electronically, no application to PRV is required, however, it is a good idea to protect the trademark of the journal, which is also done via PRV.
   It is also possible to apply for permission to produce a journal from Radio and TV Department (RTVV). Permission from RTVV ensures that databases (which journals are stored in) are protected by the Freedom of the Press Act. In this way it is possible to publish the names and pictures of people without first obtaining the permission first (which is normally required under the Personal Data Act.
   Under the Royal Library’s definition of a periodical, at least four issues are required per year. However, for many smaller electronic journals, two issues is more common.

Preparations before Publishing

A good start is to read Developing Open Access Journal: A practical guide by David J. Solomon (pdf). The publication is a short version of the original book published in England. The paper brings up the most important subjects about starting a new journal. Launching (and Sustaining) a Scholarly Journal on the Internet: The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies is also recommended.

Costs

The application to PRV requires payment of a small fee. As it currently stands, publishing at LiU E-Press is cost free (under the publishing policy that someone on the main editorial staff is an LiU employee).

Editor-in-Chief

A journal requires an Editor-in-Chief who takes ultimate responsibility for the journal. It is usually best to have a small number of Associate Editors (two or three) who assist with the overall operation of the journal. It is often best if the Editors are senior academics, well known internationally.

Editorial Committee and Administration

An editorial committee is required for a journal. Membership should reflect the full breadth of scientific field in terms of geographic location and subject areas. While administration can be located in one location or shared over several places, it is absolutely crucial that an administrative person (with around 25% of their time allocated to journal work, for a journal that has two or three issues per year) be part of the editorial team, to take care of the daily routine work.

Journal’s Scientific Area

A description of the scientific area covered by the journal is essential for attracting authors and readers. This text should be included on a journal’s home page.

First Issue

In preparation for the first issue, it is important to decide on the details of the format of publication (e.g. heading styles, font type and size, referencing system, table and figure formats, cover page graphics, web page layout and graphics, etc.). All of this information should be available through the journal’s web site. It is often advisable to have theme issues for the first couple of issues, with significant numbers of invited articles. This helps to ensure sufficient quantity and quality at the start of operation.

Journals’ Web Site

As soon as approvals have been received, a web site for a journal should be set up. Initially it serves an advertising role for the upcoming startup, later it is the access point for readers and authors. LiU E-Press offers help with the graphical design of the homepage and we also update the information on the website including the publishing of the articles.

Editorial Support System

It is strongly recommended that a journal make use of an Editorial Support System, an internet-based software system which helps editors to keep track of articles from submission through to publication. One widely used example is Open Journal System. At LiU E-Press we offer an equivalent, JARSS.

Departmental Support

If the journal is university-based, it is important that there is support from the relevant department (support is most likely to be a small allocation of time towards the work, but it could be more if the journal is of significant importance to the department as a whole).

International Support

It is essential that the journal be of interest to and supported by the relevant international scientific community.

The Practical Work

To produce a journal requires a lot of working time. It is important to not underestimate this. If a journal is published by a commercial publisher, the publisher often takes care of such things as proof-reading, layout editing, reference checking. At LiU E-Press we do not have the personnel to offer this level of service. Instead, we require that we receive publication-ready pdf files. LiU E-Press takes care of the technical side of publication but is not involved in the process up to that point.

ISBN

In principle, all printed documents which are produced in Sweden have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). One exception to this is journals, even if they are issued in a printed format: ISBN is not required.

ISSN

Instead, an ISSN (International Standard Series Number) is issued by the Royal Library in Stockholm. LiU E-Press can help with obtaining an ISSN. The purpose with ISSN is to develop reliable register of series. The international ISSN central, which administrate the register The ISSN International Centre, is situated in Paris. In Sweden it is The Royal Library (National Libray) who allot the numbers.
   LiU E-Press helps you with applications of ISSN for the journal.

CrossRef and DOI Links

Since the Autumn of 2007, LiU E-Press has been a member of CrossRef, which is a non-commercial organization where members (university publishers, commercial publishers) set up cross-linking between their publications.
   Membership in CrosRef means also that all articles are assigned a DOI (digital object identifier). A DOI provides a system that ensures a permanent link to an article (i.e. the www address for the article remains the same irrespective of changes to computer servers etc.). DOIs also play an important role in tracking citations.

Legal Deposit

Under the Statutory Deposit of Copies Act (in Swedish) in Sweden, seven copies of any printed publication must be sent to the Royal Library in Stockholm, Lund University Library, Stockholm University Library, Uppsala University Library, Linköping University Library, Gotheberg University Library and Umeå University Library. Generally, it is the printer who sends the copies.

Electronic Archive Copies

At present, there is no legal requirement in Sweden for archiving of electronic publications. To simply print out something available on the web and keeping that as an archive copy, is not a good solution. Generally the objective with archiving is to maintain the publication form of the original publication. LiU E-Press’ policy for now is to print out two copies of each issue of a journal and send them to LiU Library and the University Archive.

Copyright

In Sweden, copyright rules are the same for electronically published material as they are for printed documents. Authors who publish at LiU E-Press retain the copyright to their articles. More information about copyright can be obtained from our page about Copyright

Publishing Agreement

Every author of an article published at LiU E-Press is required to fill in and sign a publishing agreement which gives LiU E-Press permission to publish the article. The publication agreement is available in either English or Swedish. The collection of publication agreements is something that LiU E-Press takes care of.

Publishing at www.ep.liu.se

All journals that are published at LiU E-Press are found under the address http://www.ep.liu.se/ej/. The articles for each issue of a journal are published as full text in pdf format. On a journal’s home page, there is a table of contents for each issue with links to the full text. This link page also includes full bibliographical information about the article. Even if the journal is to be published only electronically, it is still a good idea to have a cover and back page so that those who wish to create their own printed copy, have a complete document.
   All published pdf files are given a checksum and a PGP key which guarantees that the article available on the web is identical to the one originally published.

Statistics

All visits to web pages and pdf files at www.ep.liu.se are logged by our statistics program. Through this, information can be obtained about how many times an article has been downloaded.

Business Plan

Because of the amount of work involved in running an international, peer-reviewed journal, it is important that the operation be guided by a business plan dealing with the number of issues per year that are to be published, the number of personnel together with how their time is to be compensated, administrative activities and costs, travel costs for editorial meetings, proof-reading, etc.
    It is possible to get some financing from Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) and Forskningsrådör Arbetsliv och Socialvetenskap (Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research), as two examples for some of the costs of running a journal. Few of these agencies, however will provide on-going support over a long period of time.