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Learn about opportunities for SFU faculty, students, and staff to work with SFU Library Digital Publishing to publish open access journals using Open Journal Systems.
Creating a new open access journal
The Digital Publishing team at SFU Library can help faculty and students who are interested in creating an open access journal. Open access, and knowledge mobilization, are represented in both the SFU and SFU Library strategic visions.
Anyone with a current SFU affiliation can publish a journal with SFU Library. This includes students (both undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and student groups/associations.
- Step 1: Review our new journal checklist for considerations and important decisions about your new journal.
- Step 2: Complete the SFU Library Digital Publishing Terms and Conditions form
- Step 3: Contact us with some details about your journal, based on the checklist from Step 1, and your signed Terms and Conditions form from Step 2
- Step 4: A librarian from the Digital Publishing team will contact you with any questions we have before getting started. Once we agree that we are ready to launch the journal, the Digital Publishing librarian will set up the journal in OJS and email you a link to your new journal. At this point you can begin setting up your new journal and website with support from the Digital Publishing librarian.
Getting started with OJS
Simon Fraser University Library uses Open Journal Systems (OJS), open source journal management platform developed by the Public Knowledge Project, to host your open access journal. OJS assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing.
A librarian from the Digital Publishing team can meet with you to help you set-up your journal in OJS.
The following resources may also be useful in becoming familiar with the OJS software:
- OJS Documentation: A visual guide to learning Open Journal Systems
- PKP School: Self-paced online courses on setting up a journal in OJS, the OJS editorial workflow, becoming an editor or reviewer, etc.
Creating a course journal
Course journals are online, open access academic journals published as part of a for-credit academic class.
The Digital Publishing team has worked with course instructors in English Literature, Publishing, World Literature, and Gender Sexuality and Women's Studies to showcase student work and involve students in the publishing process using Open Journal Systems.
We are always looking for new opportunities to work with SFU instructors to publish journals as part of our course in any discipline. If you're interested in trying this in your class, please get in touch!
Why publish a journal in your course?
Course journals are an example of Open Pedagogy, in that they engage students as creators of information by involving them in contributing, editing, and publishing content. Course journals move away from a "disposable essay" that will be read by the professor and/or TA only. This provides learning opportunities for critical thinking, communication, information literacy, and citation/intellectual property - skills that will help students in other classes and throughout their lives.
As an assignment, course journals provide an opportunity to develop and/or strengthen skills such as writing, critical thinking, research, editing, and giving and responding to feedback. Depending on the model (see below) students may publish their own work in the journal, where it can be widely read. Students may also work together to decide aspects of the journal such as author rights, Creative Commons licensing, and what type of content will be published.
The electronic nature of the journal means that students can submit work beyond the traditional text based assignment, though supplementary material may be required with items like art, podcasts, videos, music, etc.
Librarians are available to speak to your class about scholarly publishing and writing for publication, as well as topics such as:
- Open access and subscription based publishing
- Intellectual property and author rights
- Privacy and concerns around openness
- The different forms of scholarly content
- Participating in peer review and the different peer review models
Creating a student journal
Student journals are academic journals run primarily by a student body. They may publish content produced by faculty, students, or the general public, and they may be run in collaboration with faculty, library staff, associations, or university administration.
Working on a student journal is a great way to build writing and editing skills, while becoming familiar with the scholarly publishing process.
For student authors, having something published is a way to have your voice heard and represented. Additionally, having an article published in a peer reviewed, open access journal is great on your resume or CV -- especially if you plan on continuing your studies through graduate school.
Who can start a student journal?
Any group of undergraduate or graduate students at SFU can start a student run journal. These journals can be published within a faculty/discipline (e.g. SFU Educational Review), as interdisciplinary (e.g. Intersectional Apocalypse), or by a student association/group (e.g. Confluence).
Check out some sample student journals published through SFU Digital Publishing.
Student journal toolkit
PKP has created a Student Journal Toolkit with everything you need to know about getting started with publishing a student journal.
Flipping an existing journal to open access
Publishing your journal open access will help you reach a wider audience and will facilitate the spread of knowledge around the world. All journals and monographs published by Digital Publishing at SFU Library are made fully open access.
If you are currently managing a subscription journal, the Digital Publishing team can work with you to flip your journal to open access and host your content with the Library. Contact us to learn more!
Check out these additional resources on flipping a journal to open access:
- Tips for journal editors transitioning to open access and the role of mega-journals in the publishing landscape, an interview with Duncan MacRae (senior publisher for Medicine)
- Flipping, not Flopping: Converting Subscription Journals to Open Access, a Scholarly Kitchen article by Alice Meadows
Bringing a journal to SFU Library
If you are taking over editorial responsibilities for a journal, and want to talk about the possibility of hosting with SFU Library, our Digital Publishing team is happy to talk about the process. Contact us to get started.