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Re: platforms that work and cost little

I have no knowledge of the specific area of content management and editorial systems for journal publishing, but this is an area in which an Open Source solution is likely to prosper. The logistical problems involved in running (refereeing and editing articles through several drafts) an electronic journal are not after all so complex. A technically more demanding set of requirements is for campus-wide, e-learning environments. And although, again, I have no detailed knowledge of this area, it seems as though Open Source solutions such as Moodle are giving the proprietary incumbents (such as Blackboard) a good run for their money.

Since Open Source experts are likely to be interested in and involved in Open Access journals (and vice versa) it is highly likely that an Open Source solution will evolve in this space (and it sounds as though it may have already done so). When such a solution gains traction, it will surely be with the newer, more innovative journals -- rather than those which may have a rather 'died-in-the-wool' approach.

Commercial services can of course be built with Open Source software - Google being only the biggest example. Exact Editions -- for whom I work -- is entirely built with Open Source components, but is a commercial service distributing/providing access to consumer magazines. The advantages in using Open Source components (search engine, database, as well as the standard web tools) are completely overwhelming, on grounds of quality and reliability as much as on grounds of cost. That is our experience.


On 3/19/07, Anthony Watkinson <anthony.watkinson@btopenworld.com> wrote:
I think as a publisher, Bernd-Christoph. I am told that Open
Source software is going to save my community a lot of money and
that it works as well if not better than commercial software. I
want to see which journals regarded as serious by author and
readers are using this software and how large they are. I am not
a technical person but that will give me an idea of whether these
claims are worth considering or not.


----- Original Message -----
From: <bernd-christoph.kaemper@ub.uni-stuttgart.de>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: platforms that work and cost little

Dear Anthony,

frankly, I do not understand why you insist on arguing (or giving the perception) that PKP OJS has something to conceal ("Why is there this secrecy about all these 800 journals"). It should be pretty obvious why HighWire, Allen Press and PKP OJS are different. The reason is simple and has been stated many times in forums and on the website itself. The software is open source and freely downloaded, so no one is forced to tell PKP what they have done with it. Also, only a minority of journals is hosted by PKP. So 900 journals (current estimate as of March 2007) can only be a rough estimate. Also, not everyone using it or giving it a try will necessarily want PKP to publicize it - although many want. For them there is the list at the PKP OJS website, and everyone is free to register their own journals there.

Currently, 134 journals are listed there. Some or the entries are collections of journals, the largest being RACO with 122 journals, and AJOL (African Journals online) with 271 journals, this brings the count of registered journals already up to 525+ To this you can add the 141 brazilian journals (-8 already included above) at ibict, <http://www.ibict.br/secao.php?cat=3DSEER> plus half of the 100 other journals listed there (the rest again being already included in the list at PKP), this brings it up to 715. Vietnam Journals Online, linked to from the PKP OJS FAQ, adds another 14 journals, Nepal Journals online another 23, and 12 journals are hosted on the Scholarly Exchange platform (there may be others not hosted by them and not included in any of the above lists), now we have already 764+. From this you can already infer that this is indeed an empowerment tool. And if you are inclined to look who is just tapping into muddy water, starting to use OJS, or having trouble with it, have a look at the PKP support forum, <http://pkp.sfu.ca/support/forum/index.php>. OJS Discussion and OJS Support each have about 500 topics and 2000 posts now, so this is a lively community. If you'd like to see the bug reports, they maintain it with Bugzilla, open for everyone to see.

I hope this finally settles the discussion "Where are those 800+ (or now 900+) journals" ... And which journals are well-established? - judge for yourself. It's not up to PKP to decide that.

Further links:
Review of some peer-review management packages
Kam Shapiro, Bibliography and Summary: Electronic Peer Review Management,
University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office. Undated.

Peter Suber, in his blog Open Access News
adds here two comments (with links):

1. This review doesn't cover any of the open-source
packages. To add them to your own review of the available
tools, start with Open Journal Systems (the leader in this
niche), but also take a look at DPubS, GAPworks, Hyperjournal,
ePublishing Toolkit, OpenACS, SOPS, and TOPAZ.

2. From an OA perspective, the chief benefit of peer-review
management software is the way it automates the clerical tasks
of conducting peer review, the primary cost of runnning a
peer-reviewed OA journal. Of course it doesn't touch editorial
judgment, but that is typically performed by editors and
referees who (like authors) donate their labor.

Best regards,
Bernd-Christoph Kaemper, Stuttgart University Library