Archive for August 27, 2012

Open Journal of Astrophysics: Update

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by telescoper

Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Bonkers) may recall that a few weeks ago I posted an item in which I suggested setting up The Open Journal of Astrophysics. The motivation behind this was to demonstrate that it is possible to run an academic journal which is freely available to anyone who wants to read it, as well as at minimal cost to authors. Basically, I want to show that it is possible to “cut out the middle man” in the process of publishing scientific research and that by doing it ourselves we can actually do it better.

I have been unwell for much of the summer, so haven’t been able to carry this project on as much as I would have liked, and  I also received many messages offering help and advice that I have been unable to reply to individually. But I can assure you that I haven’t forgotten about the idea, nor have I quietly withdrawn the financial backing I suggested in my earlier post. Indeed, my interest in, and excitement, about this project has grown significantly over the summer as new possibilities have been suggested and my resentment about how the academic publishing industry hijacked the Finch Report has deepened.

In fact, quite a lot of effort has already been put in by people elsewhere thinking about how to set this journal up in the best way to make maximal use of digital technology to produce something radically different from the stale formats offered by existing journals.  I hope to be able to report back soon with more details of how it will work, when we propose to launch the site, and even what its name will be, Open Journal of Astrophysics being just a working title. I think it’s far better to wait until we have a full prototype going before going further.

In the meantime, however, I have a request to make. The Open Journal of Astrophysics will need an Editorial Board with expertise across all astrophysics, so they can select referees and deal with the associated correspondence.  The success of this venture will largely depend on establishing trust with the research community and one way of doing that will be by having eminent individuals on the Editorial Board. I will be contacting privately various scientists who have already offered their assistance in this, but if any senior astronomers and/or astrophysicists out there are interested in playing a part please contact me. I can’t offer much in the way of remuneration, but I think this is an opportunity to get involved in a venture that in the long run will benefit the astronomical community immensely.

Oh, and please feel free pass this on to folks you think might be interested even if you yourself are not!

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