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New vision for scholarly publishing

SJI is pioneering a new vision for scholarly publishing.  It combines the open-access model with innovative approaches to address the problems in the current scholarly publishing system at the worldwide level.  This revolutionary project is an attempt to provide a one-stop efficient forum for publishing research and creative work from all disciplines. See what scholars are saying.
 

 

"I wholeheartedly support the open-access peer-reviewed journals that SJI publishes. This is the wave of the future for scholarly publishing. The service that SJI provides is both valuable and visionary." -- Dr. Linda Di Desidero, Associate Professor, Acting Director, Communication Studies & Professional Writing, University of Maryland Univ. College, Maryland.


"SJI is without question a pioneering open-access publisher. I fully support SJI, and recommend it to all scholars and researchers." -- Dr Jack Penm, Senior Fellow, School of Finance and Applied Statistics, The Australian National University, Australia
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"The traditional publishing process is systematically used by established scientists to frustrate and block significant innovations in science which challenge their professional position, and which might prejudice their access to research grants. SJI fulfils a role which is desperately needed in science publishing, a breath of fresh air in a traditional scientific world where established scientists maintain a stranglehold on what new ideas can be circulated. We all need to get away from the truism that, in the past, "science progresses funeral by funeral."
Dr. Clive Delmonte, Associate Lecturer, Open University, United Kingdom.


"M
y experience with SJI has been of utmost high quality. The intellectual productions, the review processes, and the published works do not differ at all, from any other ranked academic journals. I have found that the parameters, the array of diversity, and the involvement of the authors is of enormously high standards. SJI is a pioneer of open access publishing and it abides to the highest criteria of intellectual research, I have ever been exposed." -- Dr. Mak Esposito, Director of the Master in International Business, Grenoble Graduate School of Business, France.
 

 

Rapid and fair peer-review process

SJI maintains a rapid turnaround time from submission to publication, averaging three months compared to 6 to 18 months for most traditional journals. Each submission is reviewed by three to seven peer reviewers with final decisions reported to the author, usually within three months. This is possible because SJI has a growing review board with more than 4,000 active reviewers. See what scholars are saying.
 

 

"SJI makes time to publication a matter of months rather than years.  The manuscripts that I have reviewed for SJI have been of excellent quality." -- Dr. Molly M. Lindner, Assistant Professor, Kent State University--Stark campus, Ohio.


"SJI provides an important service to the global scholarly community. It offers valuable opportunities for scholars to have their work published quickly without sacrificing quality in peer-reviewed journals.  It has an innovative vision that encourages rapid exchange of ideas and information in a highly interconnected world." -- Dr. Lorraine Madway, Curator and University Archivist, Wichita State University Libraries, Kansas.
 

"SJI provides a rapid publication pathway for scholars, yet with the same kind of careful editorial supervision and blind peer-review that one would expect from the finest academic print journals and professional societies." -- Dr. Jay Martin Anderson, Professor of Computer Science, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


"I strongly support SJI because it provides an excellent opportunity for scholars and researchers to publish articles on a timely fashion and based on a rigorous peer-review process. I believe that open access policies should be implemented by all journals." --Dr. Hugo Cota-Sanchez, Associate Professor and Herbarium Director, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
 

 

Blind peer-review system

SJI employs a fair and innovative blind peer-review system, where the referees, authors and editors remain anonymous throughout the peer-review process. With this pioneering and innovative approach, SJI is trying to eliminate some of the flaws of the traditional peer-review system as mentioned below.

Many authors and researchers expressed concerns about the fairness and integrity of the peer review process in traditional scholarly publishing. Many scholars feel that the peer review system in the traditional publishing world is plagued by elitism, bias, abuse, and conflict of interest.

Richard Horton, editor of the medical journal The Lancet, has said "The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong" (source).

Some scholars such as Drs.
Peter M. Rothwell, Christopher N. Martyn, and Alison McCook have argued that traditional peer review lacks accountability, and may be biased and inconsistent (source).  Dr. Lena Eriksson, a Swedish researcher in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, argued that the traditional peer review system may make the publishing process susceptible to control by elites and to personal jealousy (source). The traditional peer review process may also suppress dissent against "mainstream" theories as indicated by Dr. Brian Martin (source), Dr. Juan Miguel Campanario (source), and Drs. Campanario and Martin (source).

Moreover, research and ideas
that are consistent with the elites' views are more likely to be accepted by premier elitist journals or publishers than are iconoclastic or revolutionary findings and ideas (source). An extensive study by Dr. Tom Jefferson's well-respected international team of scientists has revealed that the traditional system of peer review, which has existed in some form for at least 200 years, is flawed.  Dr. Jefferson states "if peer review were a new medicine, it would never get a license" (source). Dr. Fytton Rowland of Loughborough University, U.K. has also pointed out some of the flaws in the traditional peer review system (source). Studies by Dr. A. J. Meadows, Dr. A. Williamson, and others have also found that some editors and reviewers were biased and discriminated against authors based on nationality, native language, gender, or host institution (source).

Many
scholars have argued that there is a need to liberate the publication process for faster and fairer access.
With its pioneering and innovative quadruple-blind review system, SJI is trying to eliminate some of these flaws in the traditional peer-review system. See what scholars are saying. 
 

 

"Universal and free access to knowledge has been our only protection against the types of intellectual tyranny that are frequently presented as absolute authority and representation of consensus. Open access journals like SJI have the potential to assess a manuscript based upon its accuracy and potential rather than the prestige of the institution and the pen from which it originates. We are emerging into an international community and a global consciousness where versatility and multiple approaches to the dissemination of knowledge, traditional and novel, are essential. SJI and other open access journals are the expression of this evolution." -- Dr. Michael A. Persinger, Full Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, Psychology and Biology, Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada.


"Open access online journals may hold the future of academic growth in their hands. Unfortunately, the pressures of academia have often translated in research that is no more than pouring old wine in new glasses, at least as far as humanities is concerned. Most journals have become the stronghold of dominant ideologies. Self preservation has made the permeability of new ideas and approaches almost null. Free open discussion has always been the best vehicle to raise awareness among the public. Open access journals like SJI may be the best vehicle against the petty tyranny of dogmatic knowledge." --Dr. Antonio Gragera, 
Professor of Modern Languages, Texas State University, Texas.


"Control of the means of publication and distribution has long remained the primary means by which scientific orthodoxy has been defended. By preventing the publication of innovative ideas, techniques, concepts and models science has arbitrarily stunted the evolution of our understanding about how the universe works and our place in it. By maintaining strict, parochial control of the means of publication, those who have achieved ascendancy in one branch of science or another are able to (a) protect their privileged access to research resources, (b) prevent incursions into their academic territory by potential competitors, (c) impose academic, scientific and personal biases on the literature, and (d) impede the rate of obsolescence of their own competence. The demonstrated predilection of conventional peer-reviewed journals to suppress the publication of non-conforming, controversial, and genuinely innovative ideas gives rise to the need for a viable alternative. Open-acces peer-reviewed journals provide an indispensable, relevant, equally valid alternative to the mainstream organs of science. I heartily support them and encourage others to use this means of publication to give others access to the insights that will lift science out of the dark ages."--Dr. David G. Yurth, Director of Science & Technology, The Nova Institute of Technology, Utah.


"Online publication of well reviewed scientific studies is exactly what academic researchers need. Under the current system print journals are exacting exorbitant publication fees and editors of these journals are controlling more and more of what is seen by the scientific community through arbitrary decisions even before the articles are sent out to reviewers. The print journals' penchant for what they claim are superstars to be on their editorial boards further constrain the openness of scientific works by placing people with "territory" to protect in a spot where they can "manage" what appears in print. Nothing is more of an anthem to the concept of "Scientific Inquiry" than that type of behavior. The ability to recognize poor experimental design and execution is in the training we all receive as graduate students.  The claim, by the opponents of online publication journals, that such vehicles will result in erroneous information cluttering up the literature conveniently forget all the bogus studies that have been published by print journals following review by the "superstars" of their review boards. If Patriotism is the last refuge of Scoundrels, then self serving editors of print journals are the Judas of free exchange of thought and scientific inquiry. Peer-reviewed open-access journals provide a much needed avenue to thwart censorship." -- Dr. Jerold H. Theis, Professor, Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis.

 


Flexible stylistic rules

SJI maintains minimal stylistic rules and considers papers that follow any style manual such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. All traditional journals have very restrictive stylistic policies that unduly create artificial barriers and in effect retard innovation and creativity.  Restricting the authors and researchers to only one style manual is a flawed concept for open-access electronic journals and perhaps for the future of scholarly publishing. 

Unlike other journals, SJI is not obsessed with trivial
non issues that make publishing drudgery for many scientists and authors (e.g. if one missed a comma in the bibliography, or forgot to italicize the issue number of a journal in the reference section). For its pioneering and innovative approaches, SJI has
received overwhelming support from scholars, researchers and editors from across the country and from around the world.  Many scholars and editors are indicating that they always had reservations about these antiquated style guides, but did not have the courage to speak up against the status quo. See what scholars are saying. 
 

 

"SJI makes being published in a peer reviewed journal easier in the sense that they dwell on the important and substantial issues in a paper rather than ephemeral or non issues that make publishing drudgery for most scientists. That is what most of us like about SJI. I am very delighted to review papers for SJI as I have done for other important journals in my area of expertise." -- Dr. Philip A. Ikomi, Research Scientist, College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology, Prairie View A & M University, Texas.


"SJI provides an opportunity for researchers and educators to publish their work without prejudice and unnecessary drudgery. I have been reviewing manuscripts for SJI in the area of chemistry and biochemistry for at least 2 years.  I always used the same standards of review that I use for other journals.  I am certain my colleagues that review for SJI do the same.  Accordingly, quality work is being published through open access SJI journals.  SJI has been a source of literature for my own research and availability of information without the requirement of subscription and other conditions is a blessing." --Dr. L. Sreerama, Professor, Department of Chemistry, St Cloud State University, Minnesota.


"I am proud to be among those chosen as  reviewers for SJI. SJI is one of the best alternative open-access publications which conducts serious, constructive, and rigorous peer-reviews of manuscripts. SJI is to be commended for its innovative approaches." --Dr. Ketut Wikantika, Director of Center for Remote Sensing, Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia.
 

 

Article length

SJI does not set the same limitations on the length of the article as other traditional journals do.  For our standard journals, an article can be up to 50 pages long. 


Post-print archiving permitted

SJI allows and encourages authors to deposit their post-prints in open-access archives or repositories. The primary benefit of post-print self-archiving is reaching a larger audience which enhances the visibility and impact of research.


Innovative journals

Our standard scientific journals are complemented by several unique and innovative journals such as Journal of Dissertations, Journal of Patents & Trademarks, Journal of Reviews, Journal of Electronic Books, Journal of Biography & Autobiography, and Journal of Creative Work.


One of the fastest-growing forums

Our innovative approaches have received overwhelming support and appreciation from scholars, researchers and editors from every corner of the globe. As a result of such worldwide attention, SJI is becoming one of the fastest growing forums for publishing research and creative work from all disciplines. This is precisely the reason why some traditional publishers are becoming hostile to SJI and other open-access journals. See what scholars are saying. 

 

Unsolved issues in open-access publishing

Since 1998, a number of small scale non-profit open-access journals have been launched by various scientific associations and universities.  However, there are a handful of large-scale for-profit and non-profit open-access publishers. These open-access publishers have been unable to come up with economically sustainable business models.  They have not been able to use a business model that is efficient and profitable for the publisher and at the same time affordable for the authors and their funding sources.  Most of the open-access journals are sustained by grants and endowments as well as subsidies from universities, foundations, government agencies, and professional societies or associations.  A handful of large open-access publishers have sustained their operation without reaching profitability by continuing to raise the article processing fee which is their primary source of revenues.

Critics have argued that the escalating processing fees of these open-access journals are becoming a barrier that may destroy what it originally wanted to foster. In very few disciplines (other than medical and life sciences) do scholars have sufficient funds from grants and other sources to pay such high article processing fees. In many fields, funding at the university, foundation or government agency level is scattered, uncommon or rare.  Even in medical and life sciences, many researchers and scholars in less funded institutions as well as independent researchers are unable to pay such high article processing fees. In fields such as Social Sciences and Humanities, many authors are engaged in significant research without grants, and therefore, may not have the funds to pay for the prohibitive article processing fees.

Reasons for lack of profitability and affordability

As these academic publishers move from the noble intentions of the open access movement to that of hardheaded business realities, they have found themselves in a difficult situation. They have not been able to move from a relatively sheltered environment of the academic enterprises supported by grants, endowments and subsidies into the dynamic, changing, and competitive marketplace of Web commerce. Moreover, many of these open access publishers are led by scholars from the academia, whose experience is in securing grant funding and delivering research results. This expertise is quite different from what is required in an ongoing Web-based service enterprise.

One of the reasons for the difficulty in reaching profitability is that the major open-access publishers maintain a very high cost structure of operation which carries extremely high overhead and administrative costs. These include a plethora of big-expense offices and a stable of high salaried professional editors, executives, programmers, and database administrators. 

For a major traditional journal, the average cost of producing an article is approximately $2750. For open-access publishing, the cost is in the range of $500–$2500 per article (source). These expenses are split among editorial costs, electronic composition and production, journal information system, manuscript management system, electronic archiving, overhead expenses, and administrative costs. The publication fee or article processing fee must cover the costs of publishing the accepted article plus the cost of reviewing the number of articles the journal rejects for each accepted article. 

Such high cost structure demands sizeable revenue streams to offset it.  However, the major open-access journals have not explored all possible streams of revenues.  Instead, they have relied heavily on processing fees and institutional memberships that pay the article processing fees for university faculty and researchers. However, as they continued to raise their fees, it has become unaffordable for many authors and institutions. 

There is also a serious problem with the fee structure of major open-access journals.  In many cases, their article processing fee or institutional membership fee is not scalable. They charge a flat article processing fee for publishing each article no matter how many authors collaborate in writing the article.  If an article is written by one author, he or she pays the same high processing fee as an article that has five authors.  This fee structure is not fair or affordable for an individual author whose research may not have been supported by a grant and therefore, he or she has to pay the processing fee out of pocket. 

The major open-access journals also charge a flat fee for their institutional membership.  Such membership fees have also been rising at a rapid pace. Many institutions have begun to cancel their memberships. 

The major open-access publishers expected academic institutions to support author fees with massive reallocations from library acquisitions budgets. However, relying too heavily on article processing fees puts open-access journals at a disadvantage compared to traditional journals, which are supported centrally through library budgets.  Many universities have pointed out that libraries cannot simply transfer their acquisitions budget from subscriptions to open access overnight, since access to the subscription-only journals is important for their researchers.

The business models followed by the major open-access journals have failed to provide a viable long-term revenue base built upon logical and scalable options. They have failed to generate surplus revenue for reinvestment over time that will allow them to evolve and grow.
 

SJI solution

SJI is the first global initiative to combine the open-access model with unique and innovative ideas and approaches to address the problems in the current scholarly publishing system at the worldwide level.  As a strategic response to market demand, SJI is pioneering a new vision for scholarly publishing. 

SJI leadership has a very clear sense of its mission and vision, and a passion for pursuing it. As we provide high quality services at lesser cost, SJI continues to thrive and our base of support grows stronger every day, while other open-access journals struggle to merely sustain their operations with the help of grants and institutional subsidies. Our journals are logical alternative to high-priced subscription-based print journals as well as high fee-based open-access journals.

SJI has been able to attain affordability and sustainability using a lean publishing model.  SJI is able to reduce costs of publishing by requiring the authors to perform the final formatting of their articles for publication. The authors are also asked to seek professional editing services if SJI reviewers and editors have recommended such revisions.

SJI has developed several alternative models of sustainability and is using innovative ways to generate revenues that are missing from other journals.  We have found numerous creative ways and a wide range of revenue streams that allow us to share and distribute the costs of open-access publishing across all interested stakeholders—not just article processing fees from authors. Such alternative streams of revenues help us keep our article processing fees low enough to attract authors and researchers who do not have sponsors or grants, and consequently, cannot afford to pay the high processing fees of other major publishers.

Unlike other journals, SJI has a scalable article processing fee structure which makes it affordable for authors and their funding agencies. The experience of SJI clearly indicates that researchers and their host institutions and funding agencies are willing to pay reasonable and affordable article processing fees for the sake of faster and fairer access and greater exposure of their work.


 
 
 

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