Editorial: OPUSeJ Says Hello

OPUSeJ Says Hello and welcome to the site. We are open and open-access. That is the “O” in the name. The rest is, “P” for peer-reviewed, “U” for universal, “S” for scholarly, “e”for electronic and “J” for journal.

Make yourself at home, look around, use the facilities, rearrange the furniture, open the fridge and most of all read what you like and leave us some of your writings. As you can see by reading “Scholars without Borders”, OPUSeJ is taking academic publishing in a new direction. We are keeping the venerable tradition of peer-review but we will be doing things a little differently than the traditional journal-based model does.  Our open, all-electronic, site is peer-produced. You build it. And therefore, it is free. In fact, the cost of scholarly communication, is just one barrier we aim to eliminate. Access is barrier-free, as mentioned, to anyone throughout the internet. Language is reduced as a barrier –any scholar could submit a manuscript in their language, provided they include an English language abstract. Because they elect a sponsor editor, the editing and peer-review process would be done in their language.  With a final version appearing online, the interested reader could read the English abstract and use a translation program to at least get the gist of meaning from the text. The site is not the journal of one particular field; manuscripts of any discipline are all welcome. In fact, articles of research that cross disciplines are particularly suited to such a site as they would be indexed in more than one subject digest, thereby reducing the barrier of academic isolation.

The online presence opens up vast potential for posting and linking the basic text of an article to so much more. Addendum, erratum, new citations forward and reader comments are possible, as in the OPUSeJ Forum sites. Video, audio, an extensive series of images, along with large data sets could easily be linked to text. The format lends itself to new and more immediate metrics of impact measurements. Views, downloads and citations are continuously tallied. Search features can be elaborate and customizing of your personal OPUSeJ index will be possible.

To understand how all this is possible, think of the OPUSeJ site as an enchanted shop run by scholar-elves. The shop is a curious mash-up of printing press and library with a mailbox outside. It seems unassuming at this time. There are a few manuscripts and reprints sitting in the mailbox, the press runs occasionally and the library shelves are almost empty. No one really knows how many elves work there–they don’t even ask for a wage. They mostly have day jobs elsewhere, but while at the shop, they seem to handle everything expeditiously. It doesn’t matter the subject matter or the language of the manuscript, it gets sorted and printed; it then joins the reprints to be organized on the shelves.

Now, keep watching and you will observe what seems like magic.  No letter-carrier is ever seen but the mail keeps coming into the bottomless mailbox, the press gets evermore busy, cranking out articles but never running out of paper or ink. And the shelves, though seemingly full, accommodate an endless flow of articles and reprints. Patrons can remove items from the library all they want but the same item is instantly replaced. Of course there is no “magic” involved, but the power of the internet and the digital structure of the site at work. These are not elves; they are you and me –anyone may contribute by submitting manuscripts, registering articles, editing, refereeing or adding comments.

It might not look like much now but check back regularly, contribute what you can and you will see the potential unfold.

To a boundless and bright future. Cheers!


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