[INDOLOGY] Starting a new academic journal

Lubin, Tim LubinT at wlu.edu
Wed Aug 23 12:33:38 UTC 2017


I very nearly wrote in with a similar suggestion about journals produced by scholarly institutions and societies.  I will only add that the JAOS has the added virtue that it assigns copyright to authors.  Many of these journals are openly available on the internet (via JSTOR or Persée, etc.) with only the last 3 or 5 years protected to encourage subscription.  For JAOS, the “look back” is only 3 years.


Tim Lubin

From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> on behalf of INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Reply-To: Arlo Griffiths <arlogriffiths at hotmail.com<mailto:arlogriffiths at hotmail.com>>
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 3:14 AM
To: INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Starting a new academic journal

Dear Dominik,

There is of course an another 'old model' (perhaps older than the one involving for-profit enterprises against which you protest): that of an academic institution or learned society running its own scholarly journal and publishing it wholly independently or with only marginal involvement of any for-profit enterprise.

Some of our best and most venerable journals belong to this category. To name but five, from five different countries:

Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute

Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient

Journal of the American Oriental Society

Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens

Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft

I personally prefer to support and publish in these kinds of journals, and have wondered why colleagues feel the need to create new journals if excellent old ones already exist, outside of the for-profit publishing framework.

Best wishes,

Arlo Griffiths

From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> on behalf of Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 8:23 PM
To: Indology
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Starting a new academic journal

Dear colleagues,

New academic journals spring up with surprising frequency.  Indeed, I launched one<http://hssa-journal.org> myself.  I am surprised, however, to see how many of the journals relevant to Indology still function on what I think of as the "old model," and are run as for-profit enterprises by commercial companies like Springer, Elsevier, Brill and others, whose first duty is not to the growth of knowledge, but to their shareholders.

This problem of forked loyalty was starkly demonstrated this last week, when Cambridge University Press bowed to pressure from the Chinese Government, and voluntarily censored the content of its journal China Quarterly, withdrawing 300 articles that touched on topics sensitive to the PRC's communist government including the Tienanmen Square massacre and Tibet.  The reason given by the press was (in my words) that it was willing to sacrifice intellectual integrity for the purpose of continuing to sell the broad range of its products in the Chinese market.  The press has since changed its mind<http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/cambridge-university-press-posts-censored-articles-170822075543589.html> as a result of widespread incredulity and outrage from the academic establishment.  It might be uncharitable to view it this way, but one can't help thinking that CUP continues make decisions based on the bottom line, and has simply decided that it stands to lose more by alienating its domestic academic market than the Chinese one.

There are now robust alternatives to the old model.  For many years, the Public Knowledge Project<https://pkp.sfu.ca/> at Canada's Simon Fraser University has been distributing excellent free software for running academic journals.  From the technical point of view, it is really quite easy to set up and run an online, Open Access journal.  If one needs technical help, the PKP can provide advice.

There are also important initiatives such as the Open Library of the Humanities<https://www.openlibhums.org/> that provide support<https://www.openlibhums.org/site/academics/journal-applications-to-join-the-olh/> for new or existing Open Access journals.  The OLH is important for two reasons.  First, it has a robust business model.  Second, it is alive to new and emerging forms of academic publishing, including the very interesting systems like archivX, PLOS, PeerJ, and JSTOR that have developed in scientific publishing. OLH is particularly inspired by PLOS<https://www.plos.org/>, and can partly be seen as a project to give humanistic scholars the kinds of benefit already enjoyed by scientists.

If you are thinking of  launching a new journal, please look at projects like OLH.  They might provide everything you need, including adherence to the OA principles and the business models of the future.

If you want to publish an article, think first of the Open Access journals might give you the peer-review, impact and quality that you are looking for.  The DOAJ<http://doaj.org> is an index of OA journals, and offers a lot of discussion and documentation about all the issues I raise here.

Best wishes,

Professor Dominik Wujastyk<http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics<http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


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