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August 07, 2018

Summer Time Developments Brings DOIs, Paper Metrics & New Licence Terms

The month of August is the time of year when, traditionally, UK universities slow down a bit. It’s the summer holidays, so staff with families take the time to go on vacation, meaning many an email goes unanswered for a while and progress can seem sluggish. Personally, as a former academic librarian, August was the month I was often the busiest as all those project tasks and new academic year preparatory efforts were always in full swing! As Senior Editor of Exchanges, I felt this slight pause in email traffic and article ingest was the perfect time to push ahead on some the developmental work and background research advancing the journal for the benefit of our authors and readers alike.

Exchanges sample download graph

The most exciting new addition is that you can now see the downloads from the past year of all the articles on Exchanges. This is a great way for authors to track their papers’ engagement, not to mention for the Editorial Board to identify the areas in which our readers are most interested. This is our first step towards providing more information about how well the material published with us is being received, and over the next year, hopefully, I’ll be able to highlight further new information in this area.

Secondly, coming very soon will be DOIs for every article on Exchanges, both past and future. DOIs (digital object identifiers) are a unique alphanumeric string which provide a persistent lifetime link to a particular location on the internet, a shorthand if you like, for each article on Exchanges. This means even if we alter the journal’s website location or change our domain address, the DOI will remain a stable and viable way for readers to access an article. Additionally, I think they also make citing articles look a little tidier.

From today, we’ve also changed the Creative Commons author publishing licence for Exchanges, from the more restrictive Attribution-Non-Commercial-Sharealike (CC-BY-NC-SA), to the more desirable Attribution (CC-BY) only. The prior licence was considered the bare minimum to meet funders and governmental agencies around the world’s open access requirements. Shifting to a CC-BY licence brings us more in line with the major interdisciplinary titles, such as PLOS One, and further demonstrates Exchanges’ adherence to no-author-fee diamond model [1] open access publishing. Previously published, or submitted articles, will retain their original licences, as agreed by their authors. Newly submitting authors from now on, will be asked to accept the new licence terms at the point of submission, as part of their publishing agreement with Exchanges.

Behind the scenes I’ve also rolled out our very first author feedback system. This ties into my previously discussed interest in our author and reader audiences, and will provide some initial data towards satisfying that curiosity. It will also contribute by identifying aspects of Exchanges’ platform and process which work well, or less so, for our authors, directing my attention to where the greatest benefit can be achieved. If you’re one of our prior authors (vol 5.2), and you’ve had one of my emails about this, please do respond as it’s a very short set of questions which won’t take a lot of time. If you’ve already responded, many, many thanks!

Finally, a big welcome to the new members of our Editorial Board, who I know will make a considerable contribution to the running and engagement of the journal, and I’m really looking forward to working alongside them. Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce a few more additions to the team in the coming months, as the title continues to grow.

Hence, as you can see, the summer is continuing to be anything except quiet for Exchanges!

[1] As per Fuchs and Sandoval, although some might call this the ‘radical mode’, if they’re more a fan of Gary Hall’s work.


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