[INDOLOGY] Starting a new academic journal

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Thu Aug 24 04:05:54 UTC 2017

Copyright. No, that's wrong, Tim.  Owning copyright is one thing, but the
JAOS and other journals will routinely give each author a license form to
sign, and the terms of that license typically take away the author's right
to disseminate their work freely.  Owning copyright only "works" if you
don't sign away your rights.   I retained copyright of my *Roots of
Ayurveda* book with Penguin Delhi, but the contract I signed with them
basically took away all my rights, leaving my copyright ownership
meaningless.  And I've seen many licensing agreements from journal
publishers that do exactly this too.

The fees structure of the AOS membership is enlightened indeed, ... for
people like you and me.  But for almost all classical scholars in India
even the minimum fee, Rs 3000, is a very large sum indeed, and remember
that most of them will only be professionally interested in one or two
articles per issue and will never be able to attend AOS meetings.  So it's
Rs3000 for, say three or four articles in a year.  That puts the journal
completely out of reach.  And they can't read it on JSTOR either.

But none of this meets the fundamental objection about why a reader should
pay to read the results of research funded by publicly-funded institutions.

It's regrettable that OLH has not attracted the attention it deserves, and
I warmly applaud your involvement.  But as a project, it is well-conceived,
I believe, and the model it is emulating, PLOS, has been a roaring success
in the sciences.  So it may be a matter of time and publicity.  Did I say


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:


On 23 August 2017 at 19:47, Lubin, Tim <LubinT at wlu.edu> wrote:

> True enough.  But JAOS authors do hold copyright, which facilitates legal
> dissemination beyond the paywall.  Besides which, AOS membership is within
> reach of almost anyone motivated to join, because of its progressive dues
> structure: https://www.americanorientalsociety.org/membership/dues-payment/
> Any category of membership includes full digital access to the journal
> (and an extra $20 will add the print version to the discounted
> categories).  Some new magazines cost more than a year of JAOS.  In any
> case, the AOS (and other venues that Arlo mentioned) are not profit-driven,
> and are not part of the scholarly-publication problem.  They are just
> covering their costs.
> I say this not to discourage the development fully open-access
> publications, which I in fact encourage — I myself am a section editor for
> religious studies at OLH.  But the fact is, submissions are few and my
> efforts to drum up participation have not borne fruit.  Several more
> established journals have come under OLH’s wing, but their home-grown
> “megajournal" format remains underused.  Only six “special collections”
> (thematic issues) have appeared since it was introduced.
> Best,
> Tim
> From: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 4:52 PM
> To: Tim Lubin <lubint at wlu.edu>
> Cc: Arlo Griffiths <arlogriffiths at hotmail.com>, INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Starting a new academic journal
> Since it takes a couple of years for an article to go from submission to
> publication in JAOS, the three-year paywall means that JSTOR readers are
> reading five-year-old research.  Older, if you factor-in the writing and
> research period before submission.
> Plus, JSTOR membership itself isn't free.   Many of us don't notice this,
> but a pandit in Thanjavur, for example, can't read the JAOS on JSTOR.
> Best,
>> --
> 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:
> ​sas.ualberta.ca​
> ​​
> On 23 August 2017 at 06:33, Lubin, Tim via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> Colleagues,
>> 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.
>> Best,
>> Tim Lubin
>> From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of
>> INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
>> Reply-To: Arlo Griffiths <arlogriffiths at hotmail.com>
>> Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 3:14 AM
>> To: INDOLOGY <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> on behalf of
>> Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <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,
>> Dominik
>> --
>> 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:
>> sas.ualberta.ca
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