Brock scholars invited to host journals online through Brock Library

The Brock University Library is inviting Brock scholars to make their journals more accessible to the world through its online services.

The Brock University Open Journal System allows anyone to access contents of Brock journals without having to pay the often exorbitant fees associated with journal subscriptions, says Digital Scholarship Librarian Tim Ribaric.

“Open access alleviates the concern of rising costs,” he says. “Your readership increases exponentially as well because there’s no barriers to getting to the full text of the journal.”

Ribaric says he’s heard many “feel-good stories” of researchers and other users, particularly in the Global South — the largest users of open access content — who could not otherwise read academic studies because of high costs and other barriers in traditional publishing.

Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies David Butz edits Studies in Social Justice, an online, open-access academic journal that has been hosted by the Brock Library since 2014. The journal has published more than 240 contributions in 17 issues.

Besides saving money for journal subscribers and institutions that order journals, Brock’s system is a huge support for Butz and other journal-producing scholars, he says.

“The option of publishing digitally through the Brock Library without cost to the journal enables us to make content available free of charge to authors and readers,” says Butz. “It also absolves the editorial team from dealing with many of the technical issues associated with hosting an online journal and ensuring that it is indexed appropriately.”

The Brock Library uses the Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform, an open-source software application for managing and publishing scholarly journals. Scholars who publish journals are free to download, use and modify the platform at no charge.

Connected to this platform is a service called ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), a global, not-for-profit organization sustained by fees from member organizations such as Brock University.

The ORCID ID is a unique, persistent identifier that is free of charge to researchers and used to keep a record of their research and scholarly publication so that attribution of authors and contributors is reliable and consistent.

Currently, the Brock Library hosts 13 journals produced at Brock University:

Those wishing to post their journals on the Brock University Open Journal System need to meet two requirements.

First, studies in the journal must be double blind peer reviewed, meaning the study’s authors don’t know the identities of those reviewing the study, typically experts in the same field not involved in the original research who evaluate the work.

Likewise, those who are reviewing the study don’t know the names or identities of those who wrote the study and carried out the research.

“Peer reviewed research is the gold standard in publishing as it allows for the highest amount of rigour in the evaluation process,” says Ribaric.

Second, the system doesn’t process any payments associated with the journal, he says. In practice, this mean that journals are made available without any subscription charges and authors are not charged author processing charges to publish.

For Taylor McKee, bringing his Journal of Emerging Sports Studies into the Brock Library was a “seamless transition” to a system that makes “high quality, open-access scholarship available to a wide audience.”

“I would emphatically recommend any scholars at Brock reach out and engage with the Library’s digital publishing resources not only because of the robust functionality offered by the tools, but also because of the patience and expertise provided by staff members like Tim (Ribaric) who can cater the tools to your journal’s specific requirements,” says the Assistant Professor of Sport Management.

Faculty members associated with journals that wish to use the Brock University Open Journal System are encouraged to contact Ribaric at to learn more.

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