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SFS Publishing Partnership with the University of Chicago Press for FRESHWATER SCIENCE

1/2/2013

The SFS Board of Directors charged the Publications Committee to identify a publishing partner for Freshwater Science (FWS), which originated from the Society’s 5-year Strategic Plan. Following a lengthy and wide-ranging search, the Co-Publisher Review Team (PubComm subcommittee consisting of Chuck Hawkins, Joe Holomuzki, Irwin Polls, Pam Silver, Len Smock, and Jack Feminella) and Publications Committee unanimously recommended that the University of Chicago Press (UCP) be chosen to partner with the Society to publish FWS. On December 20, 2012, the Board of Directors accepted the recommendation from the Publications Committee to partner with UCP.

UCP is a not-for-profit publishing company that offers comprehensive publishing, production, distribution, and marketing services designed to maintain and enhance the editorial integrity of the Journal, and increase its availability and usage worldwide.

The five-year agreement (2014-2018) provides several important benefits to SFS members and FWS authors and readers. The individual electronic access fee will remain at $15 for two years and will increase to $18 in 2018. The cost for a paper copy will gradually increase to $80 in 2018. The Society will retain ownership of the journal’s title, copyright, and content. The journal’s Editorial Board will maintain its independence and control editorial policies and content. UCP will greatly expand international circulation and visibility through wide-ranging and aggressive marketing. Author page charges will be reduced from $50 to $30 per page, and author fees for revisions, remakes and supplemental files will be eliminated. UCP will provide open access at the current fee of $400. UCP will provide electronic access on the JSTOR Current Scholarship Program, and JSTOR will continue to host the journal’s archival content. Emerging and low-income countries will receive access electronically at no cost or at a deeply discounted rate. UCP will bear all operating costs, guarantee stipends for journal employees, and share profits with the Society.

We will keep you posted during 2013 as FWS transitions from Allen Press to the University of Chicago Press.

Background

Archived 12/28/2012

The SFS Board of Directors has charged the Publications Committee to identify a publishing partner for Freshwater Science (FWS). This charge originated from the Society’s 5-year Strategic Plan. The goals of this arrangement are to move FWS to the next level by ensuring its continued financial health, improving visibility, accessibility, and services to authors and users while retaining the Journal’s editorial independence, quality, personal service to authors, and reasonable cost.

WHAT IS A CO-PUBLISHING AGREEMENT?

Presently, SFS pays Allen Press to provide manuscript submission and tracking, typesetting, printing, distribution, and electronic publishing. The Society bears all of the costs and risks, but retains all profits realized from FWS. In a co-publishing agreement, the Society would partner with a publisher to share both costs and profits. The publisher would manage the Journal’s finances, but the Society would retain full editorial control of journal content and quality and all copyrights. The publisher would provide publishing services, distribution, marketing and advertising, and electronic hosting. They also would provide citation, financial, and market analyses for performance analysis.

CONSIDERATIONS

The Society benefits from a co-publishing arrangement in several ways. The publishing world is changing rapidly, and publishers have the resources and experience necessary to help FWS navigate these changes. Publishers have the marketing capabilities and access to widely used electronic platforms to raise the international profile of FWS. However, care must be used to ensure that the publisher shares the goals and values of the Society, and that the financial arrangements are fair and beneficial to both partners. Readers and authors must benefit from the agreement (positive publishing experience, greater accessibility of articles, equitable publication and subscription fees).

PROCESS

A subcommittee of the Publications Committee (FWS Co-publishing Review Team) has solicited and received proposals. After proposals are evaluated, the short list of publishers will be interviewed. A 5-y contract will be negotiated with the successful candidate as approved by the SFS Board of Directors. The goal is to co-publish the March 2014 issue of FWS with the Society’s new publishing partner.

For more information please contact Jack Feminella, SFS Publications Committee Chair (feminjw@auburn.edu).

Librarian Survey

A key consideration in the move to a co-publisher is how the new partnership may affect (positively or negatively) your access to the Journal through the potential move away from BioOne and/or JStor to another database used by the publisher that your library may, or may not, carry.

In June of 2012, SFS conducted an online survey of members and science librarians about available electronic access/bundling services at their institutions. Before we make the decision about our new co-publisher, it was essential that we heard from your libraries about what platforms they carry so we can ensure the new agreement does not reduce access to the Journal. 

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