Burgess, T. and Heap, J. (2016), "Editorial", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 65 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-02-2016-0034Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Volume 65, Issue 4.
The world of academic journal publishing is changing – so as your editors we felt it might be useful to take time in this editorial to outline the nature of some of these changes and what they mean for the IJPPM and its authors and readers. In particular, we refer to the move to open access publishing; but we also say something about the arrangements in the UK for the next Research Excellence Framework. First we sketch out the idea of open access publishing and its implications. Along the way we describe the precursor of open access which could be referred to as closed access.
In the conventional academic publishing system, access to the content of journals is paid for by journal subscriptions or by charging the reader for individual articles. That is, access to journal content is closed – except to subscribers. In modern parlance we might refer to the content being behind a “pay wall”. It is worth noting that in this conventional system it is usual that an author does not pay the publishing company a fee to cover the cost of publishing the article – it is also the case that the author does not receive any payment for authoring the article.
In many countries the time that academics spend on authoring journal articles is paid for by the public funds that are allocated to universities and to research projects. A powerful argument can be made that the published results of publicly-funded research should be freely available and not hidden behind private publisher's pay walls.
In practice there are different varieties of open access. Two types that are often referred to are Gold access and Green access. Gold is the more extensive version (see www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/openaccess.htm for Emerald's approach to these two open access types, and to open access in general).
In full open access (Gold) the idea is that journal content is freely available as soon as it is published; thus removing the need for subscription access. Without subscription income the publisher looks to the author to contribute to the cost of publishing, typically an article processing charge of 500-1,000 dollars per paper is charged. However such reliance on the individual having to pay could be a considerable hindrance to authorship and therefore many believe the employing institution has a responsibility to cover such charges.
A number of issues attach to the idea of access to published work. One issue is the ability of the author to make their article openly available on a server/website of their own choosing; typically this might be their employing institution's server (usually referred to as a repository). With Green access, to avoid infringing the publisher's copyright the form of the article in the repository may have to be different from the actual pdf of the published article; e.g. the version submitted prior to publication may be an acceptable substitute. Publishers may allow the actual published version of the article to be available on an institution's repository after a specified embargo period, e.g. 24 months after publication.
In line with Emerald's policy, IJPPM's approach is to offer two routes to publication which the author has to select from when submitting the paper. The first option is the traditional journal approach that can be combined with publication of a preprint of an article in an institutional repository to form Green open access. The second option is publication under the full Gold open access approach. The author has to decide when submitting the article which route they wish to follow.
The UK government is looking to encourage academics down the route of open access by steps such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) making it a condition for entry of an article to the next Research Excellence Framework that the authoring academic has placed the article in their employing organisation's repository shortly after its acceptance for publication. (For more information on the UK arrangements see HEFCE's post-2017 open access policy at the following link: www.hefce.ac.uk/media/hefce/content/pubs/2014/201407/HEFCE2014_07.pdf).
Emerald, and the IJPPM, are supporting these requirements by providing services to authors to assist them in meeting such conditions (for further details see mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is clear that the move to open access is growing, in tandem with other supporting trends such as the growth of the internet and on-line journals. It is the intention of Emerald and IJPPM editors that our journal is in the vanguard of such change.
Thomas F. Burgess and John Heap