Saturday, May 15, 2010

Talking about an open access midwifery journal

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 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.



infomidwife said...

now heres a great idea.... you are a wealth of ideas....well done...will give it some thought and come back with some more constructive...

Sarah Stewart said...

Its all very well having great ideas, infomidwife, it's finding the time and impetuous to do something about them :)

I'm still doing some research so keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks for an overview of whether I think there is a need for another journal.

Dark Daughta said...

Count me in. I'm not a midwife. I'm a homebirther and midwifery supporter. I also believe in decentralizing knowledge and open access to the tools of education. I'd like to be kept informed about the progress of your beautiful idea that is so in keeping with the original spirit of midwifery as something outside institutions in the hands of wimmin wharing information and wisdom with each other without impediment. Beauty. :)

Sarah Stewart said...

I am really sad to say that the ICM is bringing out an international childbirth journal...which is great news...but they are making it subscription only...

A wonderful opportunity for open sharing of midwifery knowledge missed...

Wendy said...

I've just been turned on to your blog and am very intrigued by this idea of an open access midwifery journal. I am a midwife, educator and have recently picked up the role of Research Education Chair for the MANA Division of Research (MANA = Midwives Alliance of North America). While I am still getting my feet on the ground in that role, I might like to contribute to this effort in some way (that I can't quite see yet). Exciting!

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Wendy, I am just exploring the idea of an open access midwifery journal. Not yet sure whether there is a market, or support for am currently doing some market research and really musing out loud.

If a few us decided to put our energies in putting an open access journal together, we'd have to decide what the focus would be etc. I would be keen that it was an academic journal...that would eventually be indexed and cited. So what we'd need is support from some academic "names" . We'd also need people prepared to donate their time to be on the editorial board and review articles. I have looked at software, and it wouldn't cost much to run a journal website.

I am just reviewing a few online journals to see if there is a need for yet another journal. What do you guys think? In view of the ICM putting together another journal, would there be a market for an open access journal?