I have been thinking more about the possibility of starting up an online open access midwifery journal and as a result have started a little research into the notion. This has resulted in a really useful chat with Dr Eric Repphun of the University of Otago. Eric is one of the editors of a new open access journal called Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception. Several things came out of this conversation that no doubt will lead to further discussion.
1. Open access journals is the way to go - people just cannot afford to subscribe to print journals any more.
2. Online journals can have a much quicker turn around of review and publication than paper journals, which is a good selling point for authors.
3. I need to do my homework. There's no point in setting up an OA midwifery journal if the need is already being met by other online journals.
4. Need to think about how to show credibility right from the start ie how would I attract a quality editorial board?
5. Need to be patient - it takes time to build up a solid readership and reputation.
6. Can be done very cheaply. There is a free open access journal software that I could use called "Open Journal Systems" - I would only have to pay for a domain name and local hosting.
7. Would I want to be aligned with an institution or be completely independent? How would that impact on perceptions of quality and credibility?
8. Need nine to 12 months lead up time to call for papers. This could work out really well and tie in nicely with the Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2011. We could ask midwives to submit conference papers (this would be voluntary) which could become the first issue.
There are a lot of other things to think about so I'll continue my research and see where things take us.
What do you think of the idea of an online open access midwifery journal? If this something you'd read...submit articles to...be involved with as an editor or reviewer?
If you are interested in the idea of an open access midwifery journal, please let me know. I'd also be really interested in hearing from people who are involved with open access publication and authoring.
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