IEEE Expands Open-Access Offerings

Two publishing models are to launch in 2013

7 December 2012

Open Access Image: iStockphoto

IEEE is now offering two new fully open-access publication models: topical journals and a megajournal.

Open access is the movement in scholarly publishing to make content available via the Internet at no charge to readers. Publications recoup their costs by charging processing fees to authors who want to gain as wide a readership as possible by offering their articles for free. IEEE’s traditional journals instead charge subscription fees to members, libraries, and other organizations, and magazines and most journals are still available to subscribers only.

The Web-only journals are expected to have a faster peer-review process and publishing cycle than other IEEE publications.

The two new publishing models join the IEEE’s hybrid open-access model, introduced last year. That allows traditional IEEE journals to publish author-paid open-access articles along with subscription-based content in the same issue. Open-access articles are free to anyone once they’re published in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

“With the addition of these new publishing models, IEEE now offers authors several open-access publishing choices for meeting their wishes and/or sponsor requirements,” says David Hodges, vice president of IEEE Publication Services and Products.

IEEE will continue to publish magazines and some journals available to subscribers only.

The three open-access models being implemented result from policies issued by the IEEE Board of Directors in the past few years to encourage organizational units to experiment with new ways of distributing their information. The initial policy supporting the exploration of new publishing models was approved in November 2007. In August 2010 a set of guidelines was approved for units wishing to develop the new models.

Each model must be self-sustaining and recoup the publication’s operating costs. Those costs include paying for content management, article submission and review systems, editorial and typesetting services, and marketing and other investments.

Authors of articles in nearly all IEEE’s transactions and journals now have the option of making their articles available for free under the hybrid open-access publishing model. To do so, each author must pay a processing fee per article, which has been discounted for 2013 from US $3000 to $1750. About 1400 articles were offered this year at no charge to the reader.

Content must, of course, fall within the scope of the publication and undergo the same comprehensive peer-review process as other articles. All content—free or not—will be published in the print edition.

The new topical electronic journals will only publish open-access articles, which must focus on either an overarching theme or a narrow topic within a specific engineering discipline. The processing fee starts at $1350 per article. Three such journals were introduced this year.

The monthly IEEE Journal of the Electron Devices Society publishes papers on topics such as the theory, modeling, design, performance, and reliability of electronic and ion integrated circuit devices and interconnects. Tutorials and review papers are included.

The semiannual IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing, sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, publishes papers on evolving aspects of computer science and computing technology applications not being covered in the society’s other transactions.

And a quarterly from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, the IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, aims to bridge the engineering and clinical worlds. The journal provides a platform for state-of-the-art biomedical engineering technology. Topics include health care delivery systems and global initiatives and advanced technical applications for solving clinical problems.

Then there is the IEEE megajournal. Set to launch in the second quarter of 2013, the online-only journal is expected to touch on all IEEE fields of interest while providing practical articles on technology applications, manufacturing techniques, experimental methods, and interdisciplinary topics.

To shorten the publication cycle, articles will be reviewed only for technical accuracy, although the megajournal plans to ask its reviewers to rate articles for reader interest as well. Authors pay a processing fee of $1750 per article; articles are expected to average nine pages. For now, an author will be asked to sign a copyright transfer form for an open-access article. IEEE is reviewing options for new legal instruments for authors, however, including a license that would define usage rights for open-access articles. When the appropriate documents are ready, IEEE systems now used to manage copyright transfer will be modified for open access.

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