Publishing partnership models

The diagnostic section references a number of viable alternative publishing options for journal editors seeking to move away from their current status quo. Fortunately, there are a range of organizations that may be both philosophically aligned with your interests and in a position to offer operational assistance:

Partner Description Resources Who to Contact
Learned Societies Many scholarly societies have publishing programs that aim to contribute to the development of knowledge. Societies typically seek the broadest possible dissemination of research information as a prime directive for their programs. By evaluating a society’s scope, size, and publishing success, scholars exploring publishing options can determine whether there is a good fit with a society publisher. Societies can offer editorial support and manage the business side of publishing a print or electronic journal. They also offer a very special attraction - direct contact with a sizeable portion of practitioners and researchers through their memberships. The Directory of Open Access Journals can be used to identify society publishers that publish open access journals in a given field or discipline. Head of Publications or Vice President of Publishing
University Libraries and Departments Many universities, often led by their libraries or individual departments, offer services to assist affiliated researchers in launching and operating journals. While there is often an editors affiliated with the institution, these journals can draw from outside the university for board members and authors. The Library Publishing Coalition publishes a directory describing the publishing activities of academic and research libraries, including information about disciplinary specialties and the types of services they offer. Department Chair, University Librarian, Scholarly Communications Librarian, or Subject Liaison
University Presses Approximately 40 university presses publish journals. Like learned societies, their aims typically place service to the scholarly community ahead of profit maximization. Like university library- and department-led initiatives, university presses may seek some affiliation between the journal and the faculty at the institution. The Directory of the Association of American University Presses includes information on which presses public open access journals, along with information on disciplinary focus by press.The Association of European University Presses provides links to member presses, many of which offer open access publishing channels. Many Australian university presses also offer OA publishing programs. Head of University Press Journals Division
Commercial Ventures Several researcher-friendly commercial ventures have entered the marketplace during the past few years in an effort to serve the academic community. Some are founded and/or run by academics who have themselves had direct experience with publisher inefficiencies. The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association maintains a list of member organizations that consider outside proposals for starting open access journals or converting existing subscription journals. CEO, Head of Business Development

It is important to note that any of these publishing partnerships should be viewed through the lens of finding the best long-term fit for your journal. Get to know how any prospective partners interact with their editors, how compatible their interests are with yours, and what level of operational support they can provide your journal.

A central component of this information-gathering phase is understanding what business model your prospective publishing partner envisions for the journal. While this may appear to be a binary decision - subscription or open access - each major option offers a number of common variations. The core concern should be identifying a model that offers financial sustainability as well as philosophical fit for your journal.