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Setting up an Open Access Journal


Forming an Editorial Board and Peer Review

This guide is useful for anyone interested in starting a scholarly journal. This guide aims to cover some of the best practices around forming an editorial board, advertising calls for submission, creating journal policies, and indexing and marketing your

Forming an E-board

In order to manage the content of an e-journal, the formation of an editorial board is required. More than simply managing Peer Review, the Editorial Board is responsible for the overall direction and focus of the journal, and has much to consider in terms of publication, but also in terms of the day to day functioning of the e-journal.

Among other things, the responsibilities of the Editorial Board include:

  • Maintaining an annual publication schedules and planning calls for submissions;
  • Finding and communicating with potential subject matter experts who can assist with peer review;
  • Ensuring that the e-journal is readily accessible for researchers looking for your content; and
  • Clearly communicating timelines and feedback to authors.

Peer Review

Not all e-journals are peer-reviewed, but having a review process for your content is a way to ensure the continued and growing accreditation of your e-journal, and many repositories require Peer Review before inclusion in the repository is otherwise considered.

Open Journal Systems has a built in workflow for conducting Peer Review. The system provides template emails, manages due dates, and organizes blind or double-blind review depending on the needs of the e-journal.

Finding reviewers, however, is up to the editorial board of the e-journal. Managing your editorial decisions in a timely manner and following up with prospective authors and reviewers goes a long way in establishing the professionalism and academic seriousness of your e-journal.

There are a number of ways to find good reviewers for your e-journal;

  • Contact authors in your discipline - subject matter experts are very important to the peer review and editorial process, they can also ensure your content is vetted;

  • Inquire in topical centers and departments on campus;

  • Maintain relationships with previous authors to your e-journal - as it is possible that they have continued to develop themselves in the field.

Digital Publishing and Outreach Specialist

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Gabriel Feldstein
O'Neill Library
140 Commonwealth Avenue,
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
VM: (617) 552-1652 & Cell: (617) 584-0468