From production to publishing at CJC online
First Monday

From production to publishing at CJC online: Experiences, insights, and considerations for adoption by Michael Felczak, Rowland Lorimer, and Richard Smith

We describe and analyze the dynamics of online publishing and technological development at the Canadian Journal of Communication with a focus on issues of ownership and control, financial stability, technological expertise, editorial outlook, and readership demand. Based on over ten years of experience with online publishing, the authors provide suggestions on how more widespread adoption of online publishing might be achieved in Canadian social science and humanities journals given the current and quickly evolving publishing environment.


Motivation: The political economy of academic publishing
The early days: Static content
Building on experience: Moving towards dynamic content
Challenges and alternatives to do–it–yourself
Migrating to Open Journal Systems and back issue digitization
Extending and contributing to Open Journal Systems
Technical representation and participation in an open source software community
From production to publishing
Not–for–profit online publishing: Seek and ye shall find the scholarly record
A professional publishing model
The challenges of online publishing
From open access to not–for–profit aggregations
Two outstanding issues
Concluding remarks




In 1994 the Canadian Journal of Communication (CJC) initiated an online publishing program. Initially this program took the form of a self–developed system for the online display of journal articles. Based on this foundation, improvements were made as new functionality was added based on input from the journal’s editorial and publishing team. In 2004 the CJC took a major step forward by adopting the Open Journal Systems (OJS) online publishing platform developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Utilizing the manuscript handling capacity of CJC and combining it with already developed functionality enabled the CJC to not only draw on and contribute to existing OJS efforts, but also to locate itself in an advantageous position vis–à–vis online and print publishing.

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon these developments and to consider some of the key challenges and opportunities that have arisen over the past ten years at the Canadian Journal of Communication. The paper begins with a brief overview of the CJC’s early attempts with online publishing. This overview is intended to not only situate historically online publishing at the CJC and online journal publishing more broadly, but also to highlight some of the early challenges that these efforts entailed. The paper then moves to describe in detail the transition from the CJC’s custom–developed online publishing system to OJS. It is hoped that this discussion may be of benefit to journal managers and editors who may be considering either moving to OJS from an existing online system or simply considering OJS as a platform to begin online publishing. The discussion includes both a practical and theoretical examination of the benefits of using free and open source software and participating in the PKP development community.

In addition to an examination of production–oriented issues, key publishing variables, including publishing vision, editorial identity, marketing, and graphical design are discussed with the intent of broadening the horizon of existing conceptualizations of online publishing. The paper concludes with a consideration of the broader journal community and the future of scholarly online publishing. Specific issues, potential problem areas, and recommendations are provided within the context of the PKP and Synergies.

It is our hope that a detailed overview of the experiences at the CJC may be of benefit to other journal publishers. By maintaining control of the use and development of online publishing technology, the CJC has had an opportunity to ensure that its values and priorities have been materialized in the design and workings of this technology. The development of journal publishing software such as OJS has to some extent obsolesced the need for individual journals to re–invent the online publishing wheel and to develop custom–built online systems. As an open source system, OJS provides a platform that supports common publishing tasks while still providing the opportunity for journals to customize the system for their own needs and to contribute to serving the needs of the community of journals. Given the visible growth of the PKP journal and development communities, today journal publishers have the opportunity to not only make use of a highly advanced online publishing platform, but also to contribute to its design and workings in such a way that their needs and requirements are reflected by the software.



Motivation: The political economy of academic publishing

The CJC’s initial experimentation with online publishing began in 1994 and was motivated by the increasing concentration of ownership in the commercial publishing industry and the desire to explore alternatives to the publishing models and technologies being developed by scholarly commercial publishers (Borwein and Smith, 1997; Lorimer, et al., 2000). Generally speaking, the scholarly publishing industry defined readers as consumers and content as a commodity and, in turn, sought to materialize these conceptions through online publishing technologies and the control and management of copyright. In this arrangement, the academic community, which actually provided the content, was relatively powerless and had few means to define the terms and conditions of the publication and distribution of publicly–funded knowledge.

It was our belief that these developments placed an unacceptable burden on post–secondary research institutions – through steadily increasing subscription rates – and created unnecessary barriers – through restricted access and copyright control – to the circulation of knowledge and the availability of publicly funded knowledge to scholars and the public. We sought to explore the development of online technology that could serve as an alternative to that put forth by commercial publishers and which would enable the journal community to control online publication and would reflect the community’s priorities and interests (Lorimer, et al., 2000). We proceeded with the understanding that an initiative of this sort was not beyond the technical reach and expertise of faculty and students in our discipline.



The early days: Static content

The Canadian Journal of Communication was published by Wilfred Laurier University Press until the mid–1990s. The press created the printed journal using a computer–driven typesetter, that produced the pages using a text processing language based on Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Although none of us in Vancouver had any familiarity with SGML, when we first acquired the output from WLU Press — on floppy disks — we found that the files bore a striking resemblance to HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which we were just learning about because of its role as the basis of the World Wide Web.

Based on this similarity, and perhaps our naiveté, we decided to convert the back issues of the journal into HTML format and put them on the Web on an experimental basis. The first articles that we converted we did by hand, with search and replace and macros used extensively to reduce the repetitive aspects. It was tedious and error–prone work, however, and we gradually evolved that system into a process of programming scripts, using text manipulation tools such as grep and awk, to create HTML files that were almost ready for the Web, requiring only a little bit of handwork at the end.

The scripts proved difficult to maintain, as the SGML files changed in subtle ways over the years. WLU Press was also interested in Web publishing and started doing their own conversions, which we also used for a period of time before reverting to our own system. We eventually moved the entire publishing operation to Vancouver, and at that time had to do all of our text processing — which relied on Framemaker software — in house. We worked out a system of custom, embedded “tags” in the HTML files — in the form of HTML comments, at first — that would help make the files searchable by author or title or keyword.



Building on experience: Moving towards dynamic content

The conversion of documents into HTML was tedious but not an intractable problem. What was more challenging was to maintain a Web site with changing content and to somehow automate the process of moving back issues into an archive and putting new issues at the front. We also wanted to provide a table of contents, and a search function, and generally move to a database–driven Web site.

We picked open source tools (MySQL and PHP) for our Web site, as many Web developers were doing at the time. This worked well and inspired us to take on some of the administrative tasks of publishing a journal and move those onto the Web as well. Publishing, of course, does not just mean presenting the final result to the public but it also includes recruiting writers and reviewers, accepting manuscripts, sending those manuscripts out for review, receiving those reviews back, sending files out for copy editing, translation, formatting, and author proofing, and accepting them back from all of those functions. All of these functions –  when done by hand – are slow, tedious, and often prone to errors. We endeavored to create a system that would use the capabilities of the computer to help mitigate these costs.



Challenges and alternatives to do—it—yourself

Although such a system was within our capabilities to imagine, executing that vision proved extremely challenging, especially in the context of academic publishing and our need to rely on student programmers who necessarily worked only part–time and had a high rate of turnover. We completed much of the public side of the site but as we were starting in on the editorial management side of things we realized that we should be looking further afield for software that already existed to help us manage the process. Student designers, too, meant that the “look and feel” of our site was never quite up to world–class standards, and the rapid evolution of the Web meant that we were falling behind rather than keeping ahead of developments like blogs and interactivity.

It was in this context that we discovered Open Journal Systems, created by the Public Knowledge Project. One of us was an early adopter of the Open Conference Systems (OCS) software for managing academic conferences, and we happened upon OJS while looking at the OCS software. It appeared to meet many of our requirements: it was free, open source, and, most importantly, it was developed by a community that we could join and contribute to.

Interestingly, we had a non–trivial challenge moving to the Web–based system for managing the “back end” of the publishing process. The challenge was not technical, but social, as we had to familiarize and train the staff and our many volunteers on the new system. The transition was completed in early 2004, however, and the publishing team has found the system relatively easy to use for everyday publishing management tasks.

We have also discovered recently that our early reliance on converted SGML and the vagaries of these conversions — which withstood the tolerance of early HTML standards — became a liability when we tried to migrate the CJC from OJS1 to OJS2, which makes use of more recent Web standards and conventions. As a result, we have had to perform a comprehensive review and conversion of all of our legacy HTML files to bring them up to date to the more recent HTML standards. This process is now complete and not only do our HTML pages display in a consistent manner within OJS, but all of our HTML files are now Web standard compliant.



Migrating to Open Journal Systems and back issue digitization

At the time of the OJS migration, CJC Online included twelve volumes from 1991 to 2003. Each volume included either three or four issues. Thus, over 30 issues in total needed to be imported, including all of the article and author information associated with each published article.

The OJS import facility takes as input an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file based on the OJS import Document Type Definition (DTD). In short, the import XML file includes all of the information required for import, organized hierarchically around each issue that needs to be imported. Each issue is described in terms of its volume, issue, year, table of contents sections, and individual articles. In turn, each article is described in terms of its constituent parts: title, authors, abstract, and the location of the HTML and/or PDF galleys that should be imported. It is important to note that many of the descriptors are optional and only a minimal base of information is required for the import. For example, author affiliation and biographical details are optional and not required in order to complete the import.

Since all of the information required by the OJS import facility was already stored in our database, we created a custom script to systematically retrieve this information from the database and output it to an XML file that conformed to the OJS import DTD. The previous time and effort that had been devoted to entering publication information into a database proved to be extremely beneficial. Rather than create the XML file by hand, it was possible to greatly speed up the process via a script that was not only much faster but also not prone to manual–entry errors.

Although it was possible to create a custom script for the initial import of articles into OJS, this option was not available to us for the import of older back issues. With the help of the Simon Fraser University Library, which performed the actual scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) of articles, the CJC was able to digitize its remaining print–only back issues from 1974 to 1990, spanning volumes 1 through 15. Since these issues had never been published online, there was no database to draw from for the generation of the XML file needed for import. Instead, a part–time undergraduate student was hired to create the XML file by hand using both the print copies of the scanned articles as well as the PDFs that were produced as part of the scanning and OCR.

This task is both time–consuming and requires great attention to detail since the XML file is processed by the OJS import facility and must be completely free of errors. It is also worthwhile to note that the process requires some degree of coordination between the person responsible for the creation of the XML file and the technical staff. The XML file needs to be tested against the OJS import facility and any errors should be reported and corrected as soon as they arise. In this way, early mistakes may be identified and not propagated to all issues described in the import XML file.



Extending and contributing to Open Journal Systems

Although OJS includes many features that our previous online publishing platform did not provide, including online manuscript submission, peer review, and editing, it was also the case that OJS did not include some key capabilities that were provided by our previous online publishing software. To begin with, OJS did not include any support for the management of subscriptions. This capability was important for the CJC, since although all back issues are available to all readers free of charge, the most recent volume is typically only made available to subscribers. This delayed open access model has enabled the CJC to collect enough revenue from institutions and individuals to offset some of the costs of publishing in print and online.

In order to support this delayed open access model, it was necessary for the CJC to extend the OJS software by writing the necessary code to enable a subscription manager to not only be able to define a variety of subscription types – institutional vs. individual; print and online vs. online–only; Canadian vs. non–Canadian – but to also enable the management of both institutional and individual subscriptions. In general, an institution such as a library will have many PCs that should be granted access if the institution has a subscription. In this usage scenario, the institution can provide the subscription manager all of the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or address ranges that correspond to these PCs such that institutional users are then able to access journal content without needing to login to the journal Web site to authenticate themselves. In contrast, individual subscribers are required to login to the journal Web site in order to be able to access subscriber–only content.

It was also necessary that the subscription management features enable journal editors to specify access at all levels of granularity, including at the level of issue, issue section, and article. This requirement ensures that journal editors have complete flexibility and control over the publication process and are able to designate individual articles, sections, or issues as open access as the need arises. For example, within the delayed open access model of the CJC the editorial and all of the book reviews are always open access even if articles of the most recent volume are limited to subscribers. Similarly, special issues or timely articles are sometimes made available open access immediately upon publication.

In addition to the management of subscriptions, the CJC also needed a facility within OJS whereby student thesis abstracts could be submitted and published online, a practice that had been ongoing prior to the CJC’s migration to OJS. It was important that students in the discipline have an opportunity to announce the completion of their theses and to inform the community of their publication. To this end, the CJC had setup an online form that students could fill out with the details of their thesis and degree. Upon completion, an e–mail was generated by the online system using the submitted information and sent to the student’s senior supervisor, who was asked to confirm the accuracy of the information via an e–mail to the thesis abstract manager. In turn, the thesis abstract manager would then be able to approve the submitted thesis abstract and publish it on the journal Web site.

Thirdly, OJS did not include a facility that would enable journal editors to post announcements to the journal’s front page. In our experience, such a facility was invaluable to the communication between the editorial staff and the journal’s readers. For example, it can be used to announce the details of a recently published issue or to solicit submissions for an upcoming issue or special topic. In the past, this facility had also been used to announce funding opportunities within the discipline as well as job postings for faculty positions. The logic and layout is relatively simple: a small online form that will enable editors to add new announcements, a publicly visible page where these announcements can be published, and some kind of integration with the front page where the most recently added announcements can be readily visible.

Rather than simply make local changes to the CJC’s installation of OJS to support the features that we needed, the CJC maintained regular communication with the PKP development team and ensured that source code additions were made in such a way that the resulting code could be contributed back to the OJS community. In this way, other journal publishers with similar needs and requirements could make use of the new features. The CJC initially contributed the subscription management code in such a way that it was directly integrated as part of OJS1. The code to support the publishing of announcements was also contributed as a third–party contribution to OJS1. With the release of OJS2, the CJC migrated both the subscription management and announcement code to the new software framework such that today both features are integral to the system. In addition, it was also possible to utilize the OJS2 plug–in architecture to migrate the OJS1 thesis abstracts code to a plug–in that may now be optionally enabled by any journal that wishes to publish thesis abstracts.

Lastly, although the OJS user interface can and has been translated into multiple languages, to date including Croatian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese, at the time of the CJC’s migration to OJS the journal publishers in the OJS community who had performed the original French translation indicated that they would no longer be able support this translation work as new releases of OJS became available. Since OJS2 provided full support for localization, it was important for the CJC to be able to make use of this feature in order to provide readers with the choice of either an English or French user interface. To this end, the CJC volunteered to take on the responsibility for the maintenance and update of the French locale. In essence, the work involves translating new and modified user interface text each time a new version of OJS is released. As with source code contributions, the maintenance of a French locale will be of benefit not only to the CJC but also to all journal managers that wish to provide their readers with the choice of a French user interface for their journals.



Technical representation and participation in an open source software community

OJS is free in two senses of the word: it is made available free of charge via the Internet and it is distributed with the GNU General Public License (GPL), which grants users the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the source code that comprises the system. Because anyone is free to make changes to the system source code, it is always possible to customize the software according to one’s needs and priorities. This freedom is often accompanied by a question that naturally arises when modifications are considered: should the modifications remain local and isolated to the installed instance of the system or should they be incorporated in such a way that they can then be contributed back to the system developers and included in future versions of the software. In general, the latter option is often superior for at least two reasons.

First, contributing software additions or extensions will likely benefit other users of the system. In the case of OJS, the addition of a subscription management facility would obviously be of use to other journal publishers considering or already adhering to some form of delayed open access model. By contributing the source code back to the community, all journals with similar publishing needs are able to benefit from the resources that were devoted to extending the system. Other journal publishers are then able to use the newly added capabilities without needing to devote their own resources to the completion of a similar task. In fact, these resources can now be allocated to other priorities, some of which may be other forms of additions or modifications that may also be of benefit to the community. In short, re–invention of the wheel is avoided, the community benefits from the contributions, and the resources that are available may be stretched to a greater extent and used more wisely.

Secondly, contributing software additions or modifications will also often benefit the contributor in several ways, including the potential for reduced maintenance costs and the potential for improved source code. In the first case, it is important to consider the costs associated with the maintenance of custom code in the long–term. As new releases of the software are made available, any custom code will need to be continually integrated with each new release. Depending on the complexity of the modifications and the nature of the interface between the custom code and the rest of the system, this maintenance can either be a trivial task or quite time consuming for technical staff. In contrast, custom code that can be integrated and contributed back to the system developers becomes part of the system such that re–integration is not necessary beyond the initial integration and contribution.

Contributed source code, in contrast to non–contributed code, will also benefit from increased scrutiny from the system developers and testing by other users. This additional scrutiny and testing may reveal security flaws or other software bugs that may otherwise lay dormant and not be discovered. Contributing source code exposes the code to the expertise and knowledge of the entire community, which may not only find bugs but also offer other suggestions for improving the code or usefully extending the provided functionality. This is one of the key benefits of participating in an open source software community.

Contributing source code is but one way to participate in an open source project. As OJS development to date demonstrates, journal publishers and editors can also perform translations of the user interface and documentation, file bugs in the bug tracking system, and make requests and suggestions for new or improved features. To some extent, the nature of the participation will depend on one’s technical expertise and available resources, but it is worthwhile to remember that the contribution of source code is but one means of participation.

In each case, whether contributing source code, localizing user interfaces or making feature requests, we can understand these processes as different methods for achieving technical representation (Feenberg, 1999) in the software. Drawing on the sociology of science and technology, Andrew Feenberg suggests that representation in the technical domain needs to be understood in terms of the ability of individuals and collectivities to translate their needs into particular sociotechnical arrangements and configurations that address these interests. That is, the history of any technology always includes the individuals and groups that attempt to define the technology according to their needs, values, and interests. The interactions, conflicts, and agreements that characterize these attempts result in a particular sociotechnical configuration that addresses these needs and interests to varying degrees. Typically, this social process is invisible to us since we most often experience technology in a stable state, where functions and features have been decided and codified in designs and configurations that appear to us as obvious and asocial.

Understood in terms of technical representation, activities such as requesting new features, translating user interfaces, and contributing source code represent different ways in which journal communities are able to ensure that OJS is representative of their local needs, which may include unique economic, social, and cultural circumstances. To the extent that journal communities are able to translate these needs into the constituent elements of the system – source code, user interfaces, documentation – the system over time increasingly represents their needs.



From production to publishing

It is useful to note that our first online efforts were aimed at serving the interests of our actual and potential readership. We aimed to do so by increasing the visibility and usability of the CJC through, what was then (1994) not even a recognized term, open access. We reasoned that creating a searchable archive of current and back issues available online, and hence to users’ desktops, far outstripped visiting a library, searching abstracts, identifying articles, locating the articles, photocopying, and returning to one’s office to study them. Online convenience would recommend the use of the journal to students and researchers. Add to that the ability to cut and paste material, including citations, and the ease of use issue made the initiative an obvious one.

There were also financial realities that made this decision possible. CJC’s annual revenues from the sale of back issues were less than $500, about one percent of the journal’s income. We reasoned that, although back issues were valuable to researchers and students, given open access to back issues through their presence in libraries and through personal subscriptions, they would be unlikely to generate revenue in the short term. On the other hand, our costs of going online were insignificant as a result of start–up and research grants we were able to obtain. Our estimate of ongoing costs was that they would be minimal.

We also believed that a Web presence via CJC Online would give us a competitive advantage over other journals. In addition, once we had developed online capabilities, we would be in a good position to accept a wide variety of digital files, the sophistication and use of which, we were sure, would develop over time. Images, sound, moving images, increased use of colour – we believed that digital and network technology could be utilized to make the circulation of all such files easily feasible.

As a result of our desire to address the interests of our subscribers, the financiers of the journal, we quickly realized that to maintain subscriptions, we needed a way to give subscribers something online for their money. The most obvious service we could provide was to make the most recent content available to them so that they could take immediate advantage of online digital files. Thus we set out building a subscriptions module that would allow for delayed open access, even though, again, the term was relatively unknown at the time.

We were also well aware that the next obvious step in using the online environment was digital management – receiving files electronically, passing them along in the production process from person to person in digital, rather than paper form, tracking files electronically, sending files electronically to the printer, and so forth. We did not pursue this possibility aggressively mainly because our operation was small enough that tracking and revising papers was not a great burden. That said, we were quick to ask authors to submit manuscripts on floppies and to use e–mail whenever possible.

Once OJS became available, we realized that its file management system could be easily married with our subscription management and other custom modules. It was our belief that such a marriage would place the CJC in an excellent position for the future with respect to potential expansion in the number of submissions, users, and subscribers as well as in terms of the management of manuscripts and peer reviews.



Not–for–profit online publishing: Seek and ye shall find the scholarly record

For the most part, the above considerations are production considerations, that is to say, decisions about what form content should be made available to readers – in print or digital form; open, delayed–open, or restricted access; produced with a minimum of the passing of paper and duplication of work; and so forth. The CJC’s consideration of publishing variables, for example, the manner in which we would position the journal in the market was a secondary consideration. Such elements as the relation of our plans to our field of research, the interests of our subscribers, and the position of the CJC in comparison to other journals, are all publishing rather than production considerations and they were definitely in the background in comparison to production considerations and programming tasks.

A production orientation is typical of not–for–profit journals (Lorimer, et al., 2006). Moreover, its dominance is easier to understand when it is described somewhat differently. As researchers, hence both producers and users of content, our primary concern was with the creation of the scholarly record. Consider the elements that were foremost in our minds. First was the reception and confidential handling of files – double blind peer review. Not only is a journal entrusted with confidentiality in its file handling but also it has the obligation to select reviewers who will provide a fair assessment of every submitted article that is relevant to the journal’s mandate. The phrase, to act without fear or favour comes to mind.

With a positive peer review in place, accompanied by inevitable revisions, the vast majority of scholarly journals achieve their mandate by obtaining the services of a set of professionals, editors, proofreaders, and layout artists to give the journal and the article a professionalism that otherwise would be lacking. With professional pre–press tasks complete, journals see to disseminate either through printing and binding numerous copies and thereafter packaging and mailing them to subscribers, or by uploading files to an advertised Web site. These dissemination processes are supported by a continuous low level marketing effort based on promoting awareness through information provision and subscriptions management – cajoling subscribers to pay their subscription fees in a timely fashion and reminding members of the primary target population of readers of the existence and value of the journal.

Much rarer are attempts to have that community buy into the existence of the journal. For example, the CJC enacted a policy of asking all authors it published to subscribe to the journal for at least one year to support its continued existence. While some authors were surprised and felt that this might be seen as after–the–fact vanity publishing, within a few years of the policy being in existence and explained as an investment in opportunity for others provided by a not–for–profit entity, objections to the policy diminished.

Described as above, it is easy to understand how the production process can seem complete to academics and journal managers. Production is an end point of sorts. The scholarly record has been created with appropriate rigour. Moreover, this set of activities complement the tacit model of the researcher many of us carry in our preconceptions – a person who has acquired the needed skills and understandings to search out the universe of information relevant to his or her topic, and to interpret that information in an insightful manner. But this end might be best conceived of as an end of a beginning.

Understood as an information–producing enterprise, in other words, a provider of information products in an information marketplace, the production model might equally be termed a “seek and ye shall find” model of marketing, or, to adopt a phrase of Canadian novelist, William Kinsella, which became common parlance following a Hollywood adaptation of his novel Shoeless Joe Jackson, a “build it and they will come” model of serving the academic community.

The point is that while a seek–and–ye–shall–find model is perfectly suited to the publication of academic research, once some producers, in particular the commercial publishers of journals and specifically scientific, technical and medical journals, adopt a more aggressive marketing model, the seek–and–ye–shall–find model becomes inadequate since it fails to engage in certain publishing considerations and practices.



A professional publishing model

An alternative way of looking at journals that provides useful insight is to consider them not as repositories of information or knowledge but as centres of creative intellectual energy. To illustrate, the nature of Nature is not that it is a weekly compilation of interesting research in its field but that it has, as a beginning, a publishing vision, an editorial identity, a design sensibility, and a marketing orientation. This is not just the case with Nature but it is the case with many successful commercial titles. Equally importantly, when a title has yet to evolve to a publicly recognizable existence, it is presented to the world as a member of a family of respected journals published by a respected publisher.

Publishing vision

Whether commercial or not–for–profit, taking such journals as Nature as an example, a journal should have at least a publishing mandate if not a publishing vision. Such visions can range widely. They can be expressed in terms of knowledge areas and knowledge production, for example, providing opportunities to members of a certain discipline, or a subsection thereof; or, publishing original research in a particular area of inquiry; or, publishing inquiry that reflects a particular theoretical perspective. Equally, journals can supplement a producer and knowledge mandate with a market or reader orientation. Statements along the lines of, “a or the leading journal in a county or the world in this or that discipline,” or “serving the needs of researchers or practitioners in this or that area,” or “providing research, opinion and news relevant to a community of researchers in this or that area.” All of these examples speak to the community that the journal is intended to serve. They also define, explicitly or implicitly, the nature of the categories of content that the journal will include.

With a publishing mandate in place, policies and practices can be developed and defined to underscore that mandate. The choice of an editor and an editorial board and the nature of their engagement with journal activities is a primary element that reflects the mandate of the journal. Global journals require global editorial boards, as well as language policies. Leading journals require outstanding researchers as editorial board members.

Extending from these fairly obvious elements are others such as advertising policy and the nature of public engagement. If advertising is used, only certain categories of advertising may be accepted. Certain journals may decide to circulate issues to the media. Others may send out press releases to draw attention to notable content. Items as simple as providing email addresses of authors distinguish one journal from the next in terms of engagement of its readership. As well, journals may begin to develop other categories of content that they know or feel would be well received by their target audience. For example, news items, job postings, political issues, corrections and/or developments from previously published articles, or discussion of published articles may enhance the value of a journal and give it a distinct identity.

Journal governance is important to consider within the perspective of the vision or mandate of the journal. For example, governance by a subcommittee of an association that meets once a year may introduce long delays that may hinder innovation and experimentation. Similarly, the treatment of the position of editor as an honorific appointment may deprive a journal of needed leadership. The hierarchy of decision–making can similarly benefit or challenge a journal’s pursuit of its mandate. A consideration of the balance of professionals and their backgrounds with researchers in governance is also salient.

Financial management is also a key strategic publishing variable. With a healthy bank balance and a projected positive cash flow in place, a journal is far freer not only to pay for innovative initiatives but also to experiment without fear of jeopardizing the journal’s ability to operate. Should initiatives not bear fruit, or even if they have negative unanticipated consequences, the journal has the flexibility to recover. In addition, there is nothing like a healthy financial balance sheet and income statement to give all those associated with the journal a sense of confidence and success.

A final set of two publishing variables has considerable significance. For many years, authors submitted manuscripts to journals with an understanding that, if accepted, their article would be printed and circulated to subscribing libraries and individuals plus, in many cases, members of the owning association of the journal. Authors also received a set number of offprints that they were free to circulate. Formal contracts were not often signed. By the 1980s, journals were beginning to issue standard contracts requiring authors to sign over all rights to an article. The journal came to own these literary works and many held onto all revenues they earned from each and every article, both from the sale of the journal and from reprint or subsidiary rights. Some, but not all journals, wrote into their contracts a division of revenues between authors and themselves from subsidiary rights sales.

The serial pricing crisis, which was taken outside the library community and brought to the attention of Canadian scholars in 1997 (Lorimer, et al., 1997) brought the assignation of copyright to journals by authors to a head. The assignation of full copyright to commercial journals, which were already overcharging for access to publicly funded research undertaken in public institutions by publicly salaried professors, represented further abuse of the position of trust that had been tacitly placed with them by the scholarly community. Some institutions, notably the University of California, mandated that their employees were forbidden to assign copyright to journals. Other researchers demanded the right to self–archive before and/or after the publication of their work. In the context of this copyright issue, the treatment of copyright by a journal is an increasingly significant element in the publishing equation and sends a message to the author and sometimes to the user community of the journal’s vision of its position with respect to the scholarly community that it serves.

Complementing the structuring of ownership of intellectual property are pricing and structuring access. How much a publisher charges for access, and increasingly when those charges are lifted and material made openly accessible, gives the scholarly and general community a sense of the journal’s publishing vision. High prices mean restricted access. Long delayed open access can also restrict access. For journals that are unlikely to be considered essential for many subscribers, prices must be kept fairly low.

The nature in which libraries and aggregators represent their holdings also influences the structure of pricing and access. In the same way that music producers and distributors must consider fan behaviour and file swapping, journals must also consider the behaviour of subscribers in both pricing and access. If libraries and aggregators advertise the availability of journals in their collections and neglect to point out that their collections do not include all volumes and only include volumes that are openly accessible, then journals are almost forced to restrict access sufficiently long to encourage libraries to obtain an institutional subscription and to support the journal. The more libraries that opt for providing access only to back issues that are openly accessible to all, or that choose to acquire access through secondary aggregators – which give journals only a small percentage of the collected revenues – the more journals are forced either to raise prices or restrict access. Of course, a universal open access model would dispense with all of these difficulties.

Editorial identity

Publishing variables lay the groundwork for a journal to establish an editorial identity. The selection of an editor and editorial board is both a reflection of the publishing vision and mandate and a significant step in establishing the academic editorial identity of the journal. Yet it is just a first step. Other steps follow of a more professional editorial nature that convey the journal’s commitment to its vision as well as contributing to the journal’s success in its market. In addition to the substantive value of peer review, the management of the peer review process signifies other meaning mainly to authors. The tone and timeliness of reviews indicate the respect the journal has for the work authors submit to it. Further delays in publication – as a result of backlogs of peer reviewed and accepted articles – is also an indication of respect of a different sort.

Clarity of editorial boundaries is also important. Many journals accept articles that utilize only certain types of methodologies. The use of abbreviations can signal to readers that the journal sees itself as having a very restrictive readership. Standard section divisions such as literature review, hypothesis, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions have a value in themselves and convey implicit meanings to readers in the way that they are handled. Perhaps the most underdeveloped element of the journal article, and one that is increasing in importance for the role it serves in searchability, is the abstract. Few journals attempt to standardize their abstracts and to ensure that the abstracts are maximized for searchability of all salient elements in the full text. The abstract, along with the title, deserves professional editorial attention and clear policies.

On the professional editorial side of the equation, editorial treatment conveys an identity and helps assemble a readership. Take, as an example, Scientific American. In years gone by, an average reader required almost a PhD in the subject of the article to understand and appreciate the significance of each article. Currently, an intelligent high school graduate can read and understand Scientific American. Like the Economist, it provides useful information in an easy–to–read fashion. At a first level, after choice of article, article and sentence length contribute to readability and, hence, accessibility. Journals may also choose to use pull–out quotes to assist in drawing readers to an article or reinforcing points.

In addition, journals like Scientific American make a point of referencing previous articles they have published within newer articles. This practice has the quadruple–barreled effect of perhaps jogging the memory of the reader; knowing that if only he or she had kept previous issues, he or she could look it up; making the reader wonder if Scientific American believes that many of its readers read only Scientific American for their scientific information; and wondering if the publication is self–referential to the point of insularity. ISI, which calculates impact factors for journals, frowns on unneeded citations of journal articles within the same journal. The World Journal of Gastroenterology was expelled from evaluation for over–engaging in this practice (Monastersky, 2005).

At a more detailed level, editors can move from correcting sentences to make them readable, to giving them a common voice, or adding considerably to the elegance with which they are written. The degree of editorial work depends on the income and, hence, the readership of the journal and the administration of earned revenues in the context of the publishing vision.


In their functionality, graphics are an extension of the editorial process. In their aesthetics, they are a separate element that contributes to the overall identity of the journal. As an editorial element they contribute to improved understanding of the meaning of the words. The use of tables and figures, designed to provide critical or illustrative information in a succinct or memorable manner, adds considerable value and heft to the journal. It also allows the author greater opportunity to convey ideas.

The aesthetics of a journal can convey, for example, an edginess through a multicolumn grid with text wrapping around figures; a conservative element via traditional design and blockiness; a relaxed sense by the use of white space; an elegance or a concern for the reader, through the scanability of lines and choice of fonts; and so forth. In the print version, inside pages can also be complemented by the graphic treatment of the cover. Many covers are little more than protection of the pages within them. Yet they can provide information – an attractively laid out table of contents invites a look inside; back issue titles and/or contents give a sense of the journal’s pedigree; reproductions of pieces of art can give a sense of breadth and intellectual curiosity complementary to the subject matter an issue contains. In an online version, the format and contents of the home page give an immediate sense of what elements the journal deems of first importance as well as those it believes will encourage potential readers to explore further or return to the site. The provision of both HTML and PDF files provides users with flexibility, the former being more readily accessible by those with limited access to bandwidth. Bandwidth is also a consideration in the use of images and sound and video files, although file compression and conversion can be used to improve access for those with bandwidth limitations.

Similarly, file conversion from proprietary sound and video file formats (e.g., MP3, AVI, WMV, MOV, etc.) to open file formats such as OGG Vorbis and Theora [1] will not only ensure that readers who use free and open source operating systems and applications are able to access sound and video files, but also will ensure that these sound and video files will be accessible in the future. Currently, there are many widely available commercial and free software tools that enable file conversion of this sort [2]. Since open file formats are based upon open standards, multiple software vendors are able to provide applications to read and write these formats. In contrast, proprietary file formats often times include a single application or application suite that must be used in order to access the files. The extent to which the application software vendor is committed to backward file compatibility will largely dictate the extent to which files saved using proprietary file formats will be accessible in the future. For archival purposes, open file formats are clearly superior to proprietary formats, since there is less dependency on a single software vendor to continue to provide support for legacy file formats. To ensure wide accessibility and easy of use to all users, sound and video files may be provided using both proprietary and open file formats.

In short, design speaks nonverbally to both the author and user and can have considerable impact on the accessibility of content and journal success.


In a world of plenty, and of aggressive competitors, as we have noted, a seek–and–ye–shall–find marketing orientation is inadequate. With sales representatives in the marketplace whose annual income, and whose bosses’ annual incomes are directly related to the sales of the intellectual property it controls temporarily, it is unheard of for commercially published journals to assess the value of the research in their journal and price it relative to the price of not–for–profit competitors. If such were the case, the various studies of impact factors as related to price would not show that commercial journals are more expensive than not–for–profit journals [3]. Even with projects in place such as the Ontario Scholars Portal, which attempts to ensure that students and researchers are exposed to the largest possible universe of relevant information, the seek–and–ye–shall–find model is inadequate. The reason is that the job of the marketers and the sales force of the commercial journal producers is to persuade acquisitions librarians that their journals, and more so now their packages of journals, are a valuable addition to any university library. As part of their bag of tricks, many commercial journal publishers not only assemble packages of journals, but also price them differentially according to the size of the institutional customer, as well as the relevance of the collection to the customer. Hence, small colleges can offer surprisingly wide access to their faculty and students. At the same time, close inspection of some 500–title aggregations show that much of the content is of little value in a research context.

The marketing strategy seems to be to offer such a great deal and such a great amount of information that buyers become sloppy in undertaking a cost analysis of the relevant elements in the market offering. Another trick commercial aggregators use is to ask not–for–profit journals to provide tables of contents freely to them to be indexed as part of the collection they sell. The conundrum for many journals is their first commitment to dissemination of information. No doubt each exposure has the possibility of increasing the dissemination of the research reported in the journal. Yet, the benefits of that exposure strengthen other producers in comparison with the journal itself.

From a marketing perspective, it is important for any journal to know who constitutes its target market, what the nature of that target market is, where the market exists, and how the market can be reached. Many not–for–profit journals do not ask themselves these questions.

In overview, the amalgam of publishing, editorial, design and marketing considerations builds on the scholarly research all journals contain to bring into existence a creative intellectual entity that, ideally, takes a relatively prominent place in the minds of researchers. The journal represents an opportunity, a source of information and ideas, an archive of knowledge, a representation of a field, and a record of scholarship accessible to professionals and the public (one cannot say “alike”).



The challenges of online publishing

If journal publishing cries out for attention to the strategies and tactics for maximizing the exposure and use of its published content, how best can the Internet be put to work in the service of that goal?

The Canadian Journal of Communication has been lucky to have had a range of human resources at its disposal that have made early adoption of technology both easy and rewarding. Like many other journals, it has benefited from a series of energetic editors devoted to publishing the best research that scholars offer to the journal. Editors have been prepared also to work with authors to bring their articles into a form in which they can be readily understood by readers. Each editor in succession has brought creative ideas forward that have stimulated inquiry and resulted in notable theme and other special issues.

Supporting and enhancing the various editors over 14 years have been a number of freelance professional editors, designers and layout professionals, managing editors, and a subscription manager able to give the journal her personal attention.

But most unusual for a single, not–for–profit title has been the three–part publishing team. That team was composed first, of one person with academic expertise and professional consulting experience in book, magazine and journal publishing who also had a clear interest in technical innovation and financial management in publishing. He was also active in undertaking research into journal publishing over the last 15 years. While that person was able to bring forward publishing expertise, it became doubly valuable in the context of the presence of a second person, whose teaching and research interests included the social dynamics of technology and engaging in technological innovation. The manner in which he taught his courses attracted a steady stream of seemingly ever more talented student programmers interesting in applying their technical skills in an environment where they were encouraged to contribute ideas as well as programming acumen. These programmers were the third essential component of the publishing team. Said differently, to bolster the work of the editor, we had the technicians to do the job, someone who completely understood the technical possibilities, and someone who appreciated how those technical realities could best be implemented in a journal publishing context. This range of expertise allowed the CJC to chart its own course of development.

Out of the closet and on to the server farms

Today, online journal publishing has passed beyond skunkworks experimentation of the type that the CJC undertook in its early years. With its adoption by science journals and commercial publishers, online journal publishing is a proven medium with great future potential for the reference literature contained in journals. Online journal publishing software such as OJS facilitates manuscript management. It combines well with not–for–profit hosting services such as Synergies to ensure secure and reliable services to researchers in all time zones. This level of service is a clear requirement to make sales to such buyer consortia as the Canadian Research Knowledge Network [4], an agency that has been granted $20 million by the Canada Foundation for Innovation to acquire online social science and humanities content on behalf of 72 Canadian libraries. Online journal publishing now requires more than a server in a professor’s closet or even one serving a department or faculty. Providing secure and reliable services in competition with the private sector demands service standards beyond those most university computing services are accustomed to providing. In short, infrastructure is now available and journals can greatly benefit from those providing needed services.

Not enriched production but enhanced publishing: Beyond open access

The central focus of innovation currently is not the technical capacity to add media other than print, or to create live links or add reading tools and data sets to online articles, even though these elements are still in flux and new ones will arise. Rather, it is to design such enrichments for maximum benefit of authors in the presentation of the results of their research and to create still other techniques for maximum advantage to readers in accessing, understanding and evaluating that research. In the end, it is not the inventions themselves that matter but their application. For, in the end, these publishing enhancements are nothing less than innovation in the representation of and, therefore, ultimately the nature and boundaries of knowledge. The full embrace of all elements in the publishing proposition requires that we go beyond unimpeded access. In a full publishing context, open access in and of itself is simply a return to a seek–and–ye–shall–find production model. It abandons a significant part of research dissemination to commerce, the members of which will develop methods of enhanced publishing of already available information and benefiting handsomely. After all, this is exactly what the commercial STM journal publishers did in the years following World War II. They saw that the opportunities for reporting research were too small and too highly constrained and sought out outstanding researchers, put them in charge of new journals, and sold these journals at an increasingly high price around the world.



From open access to not–for–profit aggregations

Our interpretation of open access as a limited model with certain inadequacies extends to the design of not–for–profit aggregations. Over the past several years, the notion of public/not–for–profit aggregations has been proposed and instituted. Indeed, one of the authors proposed such a model prior to the first meetings of what became the Synergies project (Lorimer and Smith, 2002). The inspiration of that proposal, and subsequent versions of it was to redirect already existing expertise and technical capacity within the academy to the production and dissemination of knowledge rather than allow the commercial sector to hold researchers and post–secondary institutions to ransom for the exchange of knowledge within their membership. The idea still has merit. It amounts to a strategic cooperative project based on an elaboration and rationalization of current roles.

From researchers comes the creation of content. From association–owned and not–for–profit journals comes the production process and the administration of rigorous scholarly peer review, including an examination of the relationship between the funding source, the design of the study, control over the analytical process, and the results. Add to peer review the professional production functions such as editing and design and there exists both a credible scholarly record and a marketable product in either print or online form. From the systems divisions of research libraries can come the design and provision of secure and reliable hosting. Moreover, if the experience of Synergies is any indication, many libraries are more than willing to extend their technical services to journal hosting. The situating of hosting services in a number of research institutions in itself begins a process of aggregation and hence a presence in the minds of target audiences of the collections of journals hosted by those institutions. With the emergence of an aggregation of those aggregations in the form of a decentralized or federated national social scientific and humanities database, an even greater presence, one might even say a significant market presence, is created. Similarly, publisher (e.g., university press) and/or discipline–based aggregations can contribute to the creation of a record. As well, through interoperability, one or more superordinate databases can be created to serve the research and derivative communities. Finally, given the continuing predominance of the subscriptions model, from the serials acquisitions of libraries comes a major portion of the market.

Described thus, it appears that the academy will be able to reclaim the ownership and distribution of the knowledge it produces. Moreover, the growing interest by research funding agencies in insisting on open access to the research results derived from projects they fund will strengthen this effort. However, there are two outstanding issues.



Two outstanding issues

To some degree, valuable as they are, aggregations are just larger versions of a seek–and–ye–shall–find marketing model. True, in being larger, they command more presence in the minds of researchers and hence “in the marketplace.” But with commercial publishers ramping up their own aggregations, in the medium to long term, not–for–profit aggregations will be reduced, in comparison to commercial aggregations, to seek–and–ye–shall–find entities. How will that differentiation emerge?

First, and most likely, commercial publishers will try to distinguish themselves by means of technological innovation. Therefore, it is important that attention be given to adding value by means of a continuing program of technological innovation or, more specifically, software enhancements at the level of publishing software as well as in the hosting process that meet the needs of author researchers, journals, and users. This is currently being done in Open Journal Systems and the Synergies project. It is imperative that plans be put in place for the continuation of these activities for the long term.

Some of the main current priorities for development of OJS include:

  • Facilitation of quick views of the status of an article by the editorial team;
  • Automated conversion of Microsoft Word files to XML;
  • Further developments to the reading tools allowing users to search further and more easily into the context of the author and the research;
  • Further development of OCS making it a simplified version of OJS with possibilities of easy migration of files to OJS;
  • The integration of other publishing services, e.g., management, layout, editing, etc. with OJS; and,
  • Adaptation of OJS to facilitate monograph publishing.

Some of the main current priorities of Synergies complement those in OJS in part because the two projects are significantly intertwined. They are as follows:

  • The creation of a national federated database of Canadian social scientific and humanities research;
  • The creation of analytical tools for the presentation of searches of the database;
  • Compliance with international standards in file mark–up;
  • Creation and development of reliable archiving;
  • Extension of use of OJS and OCS to other accumulations of research activities and publications; and,
  • Integration of OJS with institutional repositories.

Secondly, just as the feature film industry can spend almost as much on marketing a film as producing it, the commercial aggregators will distinguish themselves by continued, inventive, service–oriented, marketing. The large global producers of STM journals, and increasingly social science and humanities journals (SSH) have sales forces in place around the world. As well as direct selling, a major marketing element is the continuous tracking of developments of others to remain competitive and to innovate beyond what is currently available. This element speaks to technological innovation discussed above.

An equally significant marketing strategy is to present one’s own product in a form or framework that makes it sound far superior to the products of others. Yet another marketing function is bringing new consumers to the marketplace. Commercial entities also provide customer support. In short, a continuous, ever changing marketing effort is part and parcel of a commercial journal publishing operation and it must be matched by the not–for–profit sector.

The central issue with respect to technological innovation is to determine where that innovation will take place in the public sector and how it will be able to take place on a continuous basis. Also important is how to build an infrastructure where a certain amount of innovation is driven by a competitive orientation reflective of what happens in the private sector. Within the public sector and within open source, notching up contributions to the general good can readily replace competition for market share. Whereas a multiplicity of players feeding off each other’s creative energies can be productive, it can also be counterproductive to have too many players, a situation that emerges from general enthusiasm but no effective barriers to entry. To some extent, this is a danger Synergies is currently facing. Five universities are more than enough to serve the needs of the world in making Canadian research available online. Yet, in the blush of this new area of activity, and in wanting to maintain their association with journals they have funded, many other universities have become interested in being journal hosts. Our recommendation would be that the five regional centres find a way of facilitating the association of institutions with journals but that the actual hosting, which includes, as noted, continuous innovation and marketing alongside other publishing services and service standards that are unusual to an academic institution, be confined to relatively few institutions.

With respect to marketing, a review of the various players in the association– and not–for–profit–owned journal sector suggests that the marketing function might best be outsourced to professional publishers. Certainly researcher authors are not going to market their work even though many academics participate enthusiastically in research communication at a wide variety of conferences. Such activities raise awareness but do not, except indirectly, market journals. As noted, publishers are rare in journals, (Lorimer, et al., 2006) managing editors and editors being much more common in handling journal affairs. Even if publishers were to exist, they could not really be drawn from academe since publishing academics with a practical orientation who are interested in journals are few and far between. Were they to be hired as professionals from the publishing industry, the average journal is too small an enterprise to warrant the attentions of a publisher. Far more cost efficient would be a publisher for 10 or 20 journals. Given these realities, marketing might reasonably be outsourced. There are firms already active in the field whose business is built around providing services to journals [5].



Concluding remarks

The CJC sees its history as being one where we have been able to contribute to technological innovation in the dissemination of research to the most numerous possible in our target community, as well as more broadly. Through circumstance, we were able to create a team that led the way in online publishing. At a certain point, and with greater acceptance of online publishing, we were able to join efforts with others to contribute to the OJS journal publishing software and the formation of Synergies, a national journal hosting service that will offer the research community a good deal more than simple journal hosting. Our engagement in these activities has given us further perspective on the development of online journal publishing. Most notably, we have seen that technological development best can take place where it can serve a wide variety of journals. Our choice to collaborate with OJS was in part dictated by physical proximity and familiarity, but it came about also because we saw great potential in OJS and the PKP project in general. We are gratified that more than 1,000 other journals have seen OJS as a solution of choice, including many from South American and African countries.

The possible emergent from these activities is an online public knowledge infrastructure. The authors, journal producers and publishers are in place, creating and managing accessible content for research communities and the communities that derive from these. Journals serve as both repositories and provisioners to users assisted by libraries acting through their systems and acquisitions divisions, backed–up by the other services research libraries normally provide. The aggregative and tagging activities built into OJS and other journal publishing software, as well as that to be built into Synergies will facilitate the circulation of research within the academic community. As well, with a certain amount of attention, they will also facilitate the mobilization of knowledge to the community as a whole. A continuing commitment to technological innovation as well as to marketing will ensure appropriate levels of market penetration and long-term survival.

A useful parallel can bring this paper to a close. Until the 1970s and even into the 1980s universities were relatively passive in attempting to benefit from the intellectual property they created. The social contract they had with government was that they would be government funded and the intellectual property they created would be exploitable by the private sector. Any payback was often left in the hands of the beneficiaries. The rationale is understandable. Universities and research institutions exist to contribute to the general good of society. To orient oneself to the development of intellectual property and exploit it distorts the educative and knowledge creation mission of the university.

However, this model of the university in society notwithstanding, governments have chosen to underfund universities and to encourage them to seek to develop intellectual property and to seek to benefit from the development of intellectual property developed under their aegis.

A great deal of attention and effort has been paid to patents. Patents can be lucrative and generate large amounts of money fairly quickly. In the face of cost inefficiencies in the private sector, that is to say, commercial journal publishers, universities are now being encouraged to attend to a second form of intellectual property, copyright. In principle, there is no reason why the academic community cannot benefit from the management of copyright.

As a practical and already realizable example, consider the licensing of journal content using a Creative Commons Attribution–Noncommercial–No Derivative license (Creative Commons Attribution–Noncommercial–No Derivative License, 2007). This license uses copyright as a means to grant certain rights to users of content in such a way that users are not required to seek explicit permission from the author or publisher. With such a Creative Commons license anyone is free to use, copy, or distribute the original work provided that the work is preserved in its original form, proper attribution is given, and any form of copying or distribution is done for non–commercial purposes.

Journal content that is licensed in this way can be effortlessly included in course reading collections (printed or online) free of charge and there is no need to contact the publisher each time content is added to the collection. Similarly, Creative Commons journal content may be included free of charge in special issues or publications that aggregate content on a particular theme or topic. As with course reading lists, the editors of such volumes and collections do not need to seek and coordinate permissions from all relevant publishers. Examples such as these illustrate that the likely benefits of copyright management are likely to be less tangible than those derived from patents. They are most likely to occur in savings rather than earnings, and in the priceless benefit to be derived from the public circulation of knowledge. End of article


About the authors

Michael Felczak is the online editor at the Canadian Journal of Communication and a PhD student at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. He is also a researcher at the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology and at the Applied Communication Technology Lab at SFU. Michael’s research interests intersect technology with its social, political, and economic contexts and include Internet development and policy, free/open source software, and new media.

Rowland Lorimer is Director of the Master of Publishing program and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. He is Professor of Communication and past editor and past publisher of the Canadian Journal of Communication. He is an honorary President of the Association for Canadian Studies and is a past President of the Canadian Association of Learned Journals.

Richard Smith is the publisher of the Canadian Journal of Communication and a Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. He is also the director of the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology at SFU. His research focus is social inclusion (and exclusion) brought on by the introduction of new media. He has an ongoing interest in technology for education, privacy and surveillance in public spaces, online communities, and the wireless information society.



1. Please see for an introduction to open file formats for multimedia.

2. A popular free application for audio and video file conversion is ffmpeg2theora. Please see for more information.

3. See, for example, Hartemink, 1999.

4. Please see for more information.

5. A representative of one such service provider, the Charlesworth Group, was present at the PKP conference.



Jonothan Borwein and Richard Smith, 1997. “On–line Journal Publication: Two Views from the Electronic Trenches,” Canadian Journal of Communication, volume 22, number 3, at, accessed 18 October 2007.

Creative Commons Attribution–Noncommercial–No Derivative License, at, accessed 3 August 2007.

Andrew Feenberg, 1999. Questioning technology. New York: Routledge.

Alfred E. Hartemink, 1999. “Publish or Perish (1) – Journal Prices and Impact,” Bulletin of the International Union of Soil Sciences, volume 95, pp. 13–17, and at, accessed 18 October 2007.

Rowland Lorimer and Richard Smith, 2002. “Online Journal Publishing: From Here to Sustainability and Accessibility,” presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Learned Journals, joint session with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

Rowland Lorimer, Lindsay Lynch, and Johanne Provençal, 2006. “Augmenting Print: Planning for Online Journal Publishing by Social Sciences and Humanities Journals in Canada,” Canadian Association of Learned Journals; see also, accessed 18 October 2007.

Rowland Lorimer, Richard Smith, and Paul Wolstenholme, 2000. “Fogo Island Goes Digital: Taking a Scholarly Journal On–line, the Case of CJC–,” Canadian Journal of Communication, volume 25, number 3, at, accessed 18 October 2007.

Rowland Lorimer, John Gilbert, and Ruth Patrick, 1997. “Scholarly Communication in the Next Millennium: Selected Papers from Vancouver’s Policy Conference,” Canadian Journal of Communication, volume 22, number 3, at, accessed 18 October 2007.

Richard Monastersky, 2005. “The Number That’s Devouring Science,” Chronicle of Higher Education (14 October), at, accessed 18 October 2007.



Contents Index

Creative Commons License
From production to publishing at CJC online: Experiences, insights, and considerations for adoption by Michael Felczak, Rowland Lorimer, Richard Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License

From production to publishing at CJC online: Experiences, insights, and considerations for adoption by Michael Felczak, Rowland Lorimer, and Richard Smith
First Monday, Volume 12 Number 10 - 1 October 2007

A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2019. ISSN 1396-0466.