Communicating communications research

Lorcan 1 min read

While looking at the Open Journal Systems pages I came across a link to the International Journal of Communication. This is probably old news to folks but I thought it quite interesting.
It is a publication of the USC Annenberg Center. It is edited by Larry Gross and the distinguished chronicler of the ‘network society’, Manuel Castells. This is a peer-reviewed journal with a distinguished editorial board.
I was interested in how it described itself. Here is some blurb from the Annenberg Center pages:

The editors hope to provide greater exposure for their authors’ work and encourage the freer distribution of scholarly information. “In an increasingly globalized academic community,” says Gross, “web-based publication available anywhere in the world, without charge, extends and democratizes the conversation among scholars, permitting those previously excluded to join as full participants.” [USC Annenberg Center]

I found the connection between scholarly excellence, open access, and more effective dissemination interesting.
The published background touches on current issues in scholarly communication. For example:

  • There is a very explicit Open Access Policy which includes the following statement:

    Open Access enables authors to obtain the maximum possible exposure for their work. Freely available papers are read more, cited more, and have more impact than ones available only to paid subscribers. As an experiment, enter a research topic into a search engine like Google and see how many links you obtain to papers published in traditional journals. You will find that most references are to working papers, not to published papers, because working papers are freely available. [Editorial Policies]

  • And on preservation:

    Papers published in International Journal of Communication are stored on the server of the Annenberg Center for Communication, currently located at the University of Southern California. We take the preservation of the papers very seriously. We are working to permanently archive the content of the journal in D-Space.[Editorial Policies]

    An interesting characterization this, as preservation will depend on somebody’s insititutional commitment rather than on D-Space as such.

  • Dissemination: they encourage libraries to list the journal and note some places where it is recorded, including DOAJ.

The journal is supported by the Annenberg Center and the first issue is well presented. The model is not applicable across the full range of scholarly publication, but it is good to see this and I will be interested to see how it develops.

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