I'm an academic and would like to start a scholarly journal. My reasons are manyfold: primarily I want an open access journal, and think that my field needs an own journal.

How do I start a new open access journal?

  • Have you served as an editor on an existing journal?
    – mhwombat
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:39
  • Editor and editor ... I've peer reviewed some articles. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:40
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    Related: How to create an editorial board for a new journal How to start a new journal is actually a pretty good question - I'm surprised we don't yet have a question on this. +1. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 16:45
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    Anyone can create a journal - all you need is a website to host papers and an email address for submissions. However, if you want it to be taken seriously, you need to convince respected people to serve on the editorial board and/or submit papers. That can be very difficult as it requires you to be well-connected and respected yourself.
    – Thomas
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 17:19
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    I have enough reputation now to post comments on topic (don't know how that happened though). megamozg.ru/post/7612 — This article, written in russian, covers topic of creating scientific journal from technical side (software, typesetting, registering in things like DOI and ISSN). Should i delete same message posted previusly as an answer?
    – Leonid
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 20:02

6 Answers 6


You shouldn't do this alone if you want to have a respectable open access (OA) journal in your field. The first time after launching a journal is critical: You need a good editorial board and a sustained amount of good submissions until you achieve a good impact factor. This is pretty much impossible without the help of an organization or a professional publisher.

You are probably a member of some kind of scientific society which is active in your field. I suggest that you get some other members on board with this idea and lobby for the society starting an OA journal. There are quite a few OA journals that have been started like this. An example from my field are the EGU's open access journals, which are a huge success.

  • Starting something like JACS (journal of the American chemical society) or Science (from the American Association for the Advancement of Science) but using open access licensing seems like a good approach. In my experience there is also more than enough room for own initiatives in the framework of these professional organizations, especially if they're not that big.
    – VonBeche
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 15:08
  • @VonBeche I had in mind something like the EGU journals, which are quite successful.
    – user9482
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 15:13

Starting an open access journal will require a significant amount of time from a dedicated group of people with expertise in diverse areas. A great resource I found that explains this process in detail is "Starting an Open Access Journal, a step-by-step guide". In addition, there are many books on the topic as well, and online resources which I will list at the end.

Why do you want to start an open access journal? To promote scholarly research in your field, to allow dissemination of knowledge, or to increase your own prestige within the scientific community? It may be possible that you will find your efforts more rewarding and fruitful if you are able to contribute to an open access journal. I have listed a few resources below:

ArXiv.org - "e-paper" of scientific papers in math, physics, computational finance, computer finance. De Facto publishing platform for many fields.

oatd.org - Fantastic collection of Open Access Theses and Dissertations, free to search, download. Great resource for any open access researcher.

Wikipedia Directory of Open Access Journals - Before you begin further development on a new open access journal, be sure to check that a journal with your current focus is not already in existence. In addition performing this research will help you to form your open access journal if you decide to pursue starting an open access journal.


See the list of "OA journal launch services" maintained by the Open Access Directory. http://oad.simmons.edu/oadwiki/OA_journal_launch_services

If you learn about other, similar services not on the OAD list, you could help others by adding them. OAD is a wiki open to public edits.

Good luck.


The free open source Open Journal Systems (OJS) (GitHub) software enables one to easily create and manage all the stages (submission, peer-reviewing, etc.) of an open access journal. It will even aid submitting it to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).


I am not having enough reputation to just post comment on topic. http://megamozg.ru/post/7612/ — This article, written in russian, covers topic of creating scientific journal from technical side (software, typesetting, registering in things like DOI and ISSN).

  • Do you expect us to read Russian?
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:47
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    Check the section "Provide context for links" at academia.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer.
    – silvado
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:53
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    @scaaahu I expect that users can choose what translate tools they prefer (google.translate and translate feature of some browsers are not only options). Google translated link
    – Leonid
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 15:05
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    You've read to the second sentence as well, right? It starts with Always quote the most relevant part of an important link.
    – silvado
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 23:36
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    @scaaahu See this machine translation of the article. The article is very helpful.
    – Geremia
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 17:26

Here's a book:
Developing open access journals : a practical guide.
Solomon, David J. https://books.google.com/books?id=sbIVAQAAIAAJ&source=gbs_ViewAPI

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    I downvoted this answer because it is not self-contained and therefore not useful. It could be posted as a comment instead.
    – mmh
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 15:03

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