Outline for the Preliminary Study

This post presents the sections/headlines that will be covered in the preliminary study. Please comment or sign up here to get involved!

Initially, the Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing will serve as a starting point for the formal issues with regard to starting a new journal. The advice and “best practices” in that guide does not, however, inform us on the more experimental approaches to publishing that we want to achieve. Information on this has to be gathered independently.

The sections of this preliminary study are presented alphabetically.

Competitors
Investigate what journals/publications/fora are already out there that touch upon the academic (sub-)fields we would like to address, “collaborative media design”.

  • open-access publications
  • toll-access publications
  • blogs, websites, fora on our topics (non peer-reviewed texts)

Community building
Investigate and make a short-term strategy for how to build a community of users, both contributors but also reviewers and readers. Find people involved in experimental scholarly communication and academic publishing. Of special concern are:

  • what collaborative media platforms should be uses?
  • where, what and how often should we communicate the progress of this journal?
  • how do you make contributors and reviewers interact with each other and the readers after a text has been published?

Editorial & Publisher partnerships
Investigate who would be interested to be on the journal’s editorial board. Investigate what publishers would be interesting for us to collaborate with and who are actually willing to do so. Pinpoint key people in these organizations.

Funding/Economy
Investigate how a journal like this can be funded.

  • Malmö university funding
  • Sponsorships

Journal Content
Investigate what the focus and scope of this publication should be.

Journal Impact
Are we aiming at creating a new academic subfield or to improve an established academic subfield? What role do we want to play in the academic community? Is this a new forum that is assessed according to traditional impact factors or should we aim for something else?

Publishing experiments
Investigate what experiments in publishing that have already been carried out, both academic publishing experiments and fiction publishing experiments. Primarily look at:

  • technologies used
  • graphic design
  • interaction design
  • feedback functions
  • modalities used (text, images, videos, interactive applications etc)
  • submission procedures
  • cultural impact: number of readers/users, user value
  • successes and failures: what experiments did good and why? Learn from their mistakes.

Red Tape
Get acquainted with what the formalities of setting up a journal:

  • ISSN/ISBN
  • DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)
  • Hosting, archiving, continuity of service
  • Inclusion in library catalogs
  • Inclusion in public/commercial databases

Technology
Investigate what Content Management System (CMS) software could be used as it is or as a starting point for development.

Quality assurance process: peer-reviewing etc
Investigate what experiments with regard to the academic quality assurance process that have been carried out.

  • what alternatives/complimentary approaches to peer-review are there?
  • How do those experiments fare in terms of academic reputation and quality – now and in the foreseeable future?

That’s it for now.