Getting Serious About an OA Journal for Librarians

October 16, 2006 at 9:43 pm | Posted in APAL, libraries, open access | 1 Comment

Earlier today, Dorothea posted about her experience publishing with Library Journal/Elsevier and more recently, Sarah expressed some distaste for publishing with LJ/Elsevier again in the future:

I have to say that having had experience with Elsevier myself, and having written once for LJ’s NetConnect, I did not have the presence of mind to even think that there was another agreement possibly available.  And, given what I now know about their parent company (which, had I been responsible, I whould have figured out before), I may not be writing for them again.

It’s time to think more seriously about this:  there needs to be an open access journal for librarians that can be the equivalent of Library Journal or better.  How many librarians have to rely on either American Libraries or Library Journal for their professional development?  How many are satisfied with this?

Now, I know that there are a number of open access journals that are related to librarianship, but I don’t think that many of them are widely read by librarians in the U.S. – at least, not the ones that relate to librarianship in general (rather than, say digital libraries, or information science).  This might be because of visibility in general, but also because there isn’t a focus on public librarians who might be a more natural audience.

I’m getting distracted by a number of different things, so I’ll stop for now.  But I do think that, if properly promoted and supported, an open access journal for librarians would be a great alternative to Library Journal as well as a great service to librarianship in general.

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  1. Having not visited the Library and Information ScienceLibrary and Information Science of DOAJ myself (and also, perhaps coincidentally, living in North America?), I was curious about this statement:

    Now, I know that there are a number of open access journals that are related to librarianship, but I don’t think that many of them are widely read by librarians in the U.S. – at least, not the ones that relate to librarianship in general (rather than, say digital libraries, or information science).

    Again, having an admittedly North American bias, I expected many of the entries to be in English and was surprised by the number, just scanning through, that were in other languages. A UNIX `grep Language | sort | uniq -c` later, I found that just over half we English-only and only about a quarter did not publish in English (judging by the Language: attribute of each entry in DOAJ, not by actual examination of the journal). The final tally was:

    1 Arabic
    1 Bulgarian
    1 Catalan, Spanish, English
    1 Catalan, Spanish, English, French
    1 Chinese, English
    1 Croatian
    37 English
    1 English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French
    1 French
    1 French, German, English, Italian
    2 German
    1 Italian
    1 Polish, English
    3 Portuguese
    3 Portuguese, English, Spanish
    2 Portuguese, Spanish
    5 Spanish
    2 Spanish, English
    1 Spanish, English, French
    1 Swedish, English, Norwegian, Danish
    1 Turkish, English


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