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Risky Business: Consultations with Journal Editors Regarding a Proposed Cooperative Scholarly Publishing Model

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Open access is a principle that has been widely embraced by various academic stakeholders, although how to implement sustainable models of open access remains an important question. This report evaluates journal editors’ responses to a cooperative approach to scholarly publishing that aims to redirect library subscriptions to help support journals in moving open access. I approached 64 journal editors regarding such an initiative: 32 in the context of Libraria, a collective of anthropology and archaeology journals, and 32 in the context of a proposed Canadian cooperative. The primary outcome of the consultations was that participating in a cooperative scholarly publishing initiative was an experiment with an uncertain result. Editors’ responses suggest that while financial concerns are universal, they are influenced by journals’ publishing structure and ownership. Ultimately, the results of my consultations suggest that cooperative scholarly publishing initiatives are trust- and relationship-building exercises that will take time to develop.
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