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New journal checklist

Starting a new scholarly journal can be daunting, as there are many decisions and considerations to make before your first issue is published. Below is a checklist for prospective journal managers to consult when planning their new publication.

You can find information about many of these items on our page: Setting up your journal

Journal title: Check that your chosen title is unique and that your journal or journal acronym won’t be confused with another journal with the same or a very similar name in the same field. Does the journal name clearly reflect the scope of your journal?

Editorial board: Usually made up of people who are experts or highly knowledgeable in the field, and may include associate editors, section editors, copy editors, proofreaders, and even graphic designers and web developers. Will staff be made up of volunteers or salaried?

Publication frequency: How often will your journal publish? For example, will you publish 1 or 2 issues per year, or publish articles on a rolling basis as they are ready to be released? How many articles will you aim to publish in each issue? Consider that some indexes may require a minimum amount of published articles.

Journal visibility: Where would you like your journal to be indexed? How will you promote the journal’s launch and issue releases? 

Soliciting content / Calls for papers: How will you go about soliciting content from authors? How will you plan to reach your target audience and let them know about your journal?

Submission guidelines: Is there a preferred citation style, font, margin, or file format that should be used for submissions? 

Policies & ethics: What sort of ethical standards will you establish for your editorial board and peer reviewers? How will you handle potential ethical concerns brought to you by authors or reviewers? 

Peer review: What peer review model will your publication use? How many reviewers will be assigned to a submission? How much time will reviewers be given to complete their reviews?

Author rights: Will authors retain the rights to their submissions after publication? If the copyright will remain with the journal, will authors be able to request the use of a pre- or post-print? Will your journal require first publication rights?

Open access: Will you go with a subscription model, embargo, or full open access? Will you allow articles to be reproduced with a Creative Commons license?

Aim & scope: What niche is this journal looking to fill? How will this journal stand out from similar journals in the field? What topics will be covered, and what types of submissions will be covered (research articles, reviews, responses, etc.)? What is the journal’s mission?

Sustainability: What monetary and time costs will be associated with this journal? Will you be receiving funding or support from any sources? How will editorial board changes and other staff turnaround be managed?

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