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Creating and Running an Open Access Journal


The questions below will help you to start your journal, manage your journal, and develop policies. You do not need to have all the answers to all questions when you are getting started, but the more you do know, the less work you will have to do when you start the first issue.

If you are not sure where to start, the questions will help guide you. You may also want to look at existing journals. What information do they provide? What policies do you want to borrow for your journal?


General Information

  • What do you want the journal to achieve? What is it about?
  • In which discipline(s) does your journal fall? Who is your target audience?
  • What will the title be? (Note: the title or acronym will be in the URL of the journal)
  • Is the journal going to have only one issue, or will it be ongoing?
  • If it will be ongoing, how will you ensure sustainability for the future? For example, will you have a rotating editor board, schedule the issues around the editors’ busy periods, etc.
  • Will authors retain copyright of their articles? [link out to info about this]
  • Is your journal sponsored by or associated with an existing organization? Who owns copyright of the journal?

Editors and Editorial Board

  • What will be the structure of your editorial board?
  • How long will editors' terms be?
  • What will be the process for regular replacement or ongoing reappointment of members?
  • How many members will you need on your editorial board?
  • How will you solicit reviewers if your journal will be peer-reviewed?
  • How will you solicit content for articles? From whom?
    • Undergraduate students?
    • Graduate students?
    • Faculty researchers?
  • Who will be the primary contact person for the journal?

Structure and formatting

  • How will the journal be structured?
    • Annual, quarterly, monthly?
    • Set number of issues per volume?
    • How many articles per issue?
  • What kind of content will there be?
    • Book reviews? Case studies? Interviews? Original research? Creative pieces?
  • Will you accept supplemental materials such as artwork? Videos?
  • What file formats will you accept?
  • What will the final paper look like?
    • Font, font size, headings, etc.

Peer Review

  • What is the peer review process? Will all content be peer-reviewed?
  • What criteria will be used to evaluate submissions?
  • Who does the initial review of a paper?
  • How many peer-reviewers per article?
  • Will reviews be double-blind, blind, or open?
  • What is the process if two peer-reviewers provide opposing opinions?