Friday, October 16, 2015

A new model for ling journals

Johan Rooryck sent me the following very interesting piece on open access journals for linguistics. It addresses an issue that has been discussed on this blog regarding the practicalities of such a venture. Many of you have weighed in on the topic. This should be useful in assessing the options. Thx Johan.


Open Access publishing is often said to be the future of academic journals, but the actual move from a subscription model to an Open Access model is not easily achieved. Several international linguistics journals are currently transitioning from their traditional publisher to a new Open Access publisher, transferring their entire editorial staff, authors, and peer reviewers from the traditional subscription model to Fair Open Access.
Such a transfer is made possible thanks to a new organization called Linguistics in Open Access (Ling-OA) ( Ling-OA is a non-profit foundation representing linguistics journal editors who wish to publish under the conditions of Fair Open Access outlined below:
•    The editorial board or a learned society owns the title of the journal.
•    The author owns the copyright of his articles, and a CC-BY license applies.
•    All articles are published in Full Open Access (no subscriptions, no ‘double dipping’).
•    Article processing charges (APCs) are low (around 400 euros), transparent, and in proportion to the work carried out by the publisher.
Ling-OA facilitates the move to Fair Open Access by paying for the Article Processing charges of the articles published in these journals for the next five years. Although Ling-OA will consider any publisher subscribing to the principles of Fair Open Access, the journals associated with Ling-OA will in principle be published by Ubiquity Press with the Open Library of Humanities as a long-term sustainability partner. OLH, whose platform is also provided by Ubiquity Press, will guarantee the continued publication of the journals associated with Ling-OA after the first five years through its consortial library funding model. OLH is a charitable organization dedicated to publishing Open Access scholarship with no author-facing APCs ( In short, Ling-OA pays for APCs during the first 5 years, then OLH takes over these payments. This will provide long-term sustainability for Fair Open Access journals, ensuring that no researcher will ever have to pay for APCs out of their own pocket. The idea of this pay model is that university libraries are key:they largely pay for the expensive subscriptions of scientific journals now, and can be convinced to pay for the less expensive APCs financing the journals in the future.
The first journals to be published by Ubiquity Press, from January 2016, as part of this initiative are LabPhon and the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics. The journals Lingua and Journal of Greek Linguistics are currently renegotiating their collaboration with their publishers. We hope several other journals will transition to the new platform shortly.
Ling-OA has obtained considerable financial guarantees to cover Article Processing Charges for the first 5 years, provided by the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). It enjoys further support from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Consortium of Dutch University Libraries (UKB), and in particular the Radboud University Library, which played a major role in initiating LingOA. The impact of the journals in transition will be monitored by CWTS Leiden (

After the successful transition of these journals, Ling-OA hopes to convince the editors of many other linguistics journals to join them. We believe that a successful transition to fair Open Access can be achieved within a relatively small and close-knit discipline such as linguistics. As such, Ling-OA hopes to become a model for the transition to fair Open Access in other disciplines as well.

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