About Journal Publishing

What kind of journals will USF include in Scholar Commons?
The USF Tampa Library hosts and publishes peer-reviewed, fully open access journals with a global and interdisciplinary focus. Our support focuses on projects with direct links to the University of South Florida through its faculty, students, programs, centers, or institutes. Scholar Commons does not host journals with embargo periods. As a service to the research community, the USF Tampa Library’s commitment to true open access to scholarly information extends to authors. This means that there are no article or submission charges for journals hosted or published in Scholar Commons.

Do I have to be a faculty member at USF to host a journal on Scholar Commons?
Yes. There must be a current faculty member making the application for the journal and serving on the editorial board. If the faculty member retires or relocates, the journal may stay on Scholar Commons for continuity.

What does it mean to publish an open access journal?
Readers with access to the Internet can access your content at no cost to themselves or to their institutions. Publishing a peer-reviewed open access journal broadens your reader base by expanding access to a global community of subscribers. It allows researchers from any organization to participate in scholarly activities without barriers.

How will people find your journal?
Scholar Commons is on the bepress Digital Commons platform (https://www.bepress.com/products/digital-commons/) and is optimized to provide higher results through search engines. Once your journal has published enough content to qualify for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the USF Tampa Library will complete the application to have your journal listed there. If you provide us with the username and password for your journal in DOAJ, we will load content for each article to ensure that the journal is fully indexed.

In addition, the USF Tampa Library is a member of CrossRef and we will assign DOIs for your journal articles. CrossRef is a citation-linking network and the official DOI link registration agency for scholarly and professional publications.

What are the fees associated with publishing a journal?
The initial set-up and design fee, along with support and maintenance, is provided by the University of South Florida Tampa Library. There are no author or editor fees.

However, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties does include a clause that states that the journal publisher(s) agree to compensate the USF Libraries for site design costs up to, but not exceeding, $1,500 if the journal is not launched within 18 months of the site’s completion.

What services does the library provide?
As stated in the Memorandum of Understanding:

  • We will make the contents of the e-journal available free of charge via the internet or any subsequent technology
  • We will provide password access to the bepress Digital Commons system, which is the platform on which Scholar Commons resides, to allow the editors to manage the editorial process and e-journal content.
  • We will strive, in the absence of unforeseen technical difficulties and routine maintenance, to provide 24/7 access to the e-journal and its contents
  • We will assign DOIs to e-journal content and register it with CrossRef
  • We will digitally archive all e-journal content produced under this agreement
  • We will assign a USF Tampa Library employee to serve as the Production Editor to assist the editors with operational requirements, such as training and troubleshooting.

Does the library provide layout or copyediting services?
Unfortunately, due to staffing restrictions, we cannot provide custom layout services for new journals. The Scholar Commons system generates PDF-formatted content that comports with a standard template. Copyediting is the sole responsibility of the journal editors.

Will the library get copyright permissions for images and other material that authors include in their articles?
No, authors must obtain those permissions themselves. However, if they need guidance from the library, we are happy to answer any questions that we can.

Who retains rights to the journal content?
We encourage editors to allow authors to use a Creative Commons License, specifically a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. This allows anyone to reproduce or disseminate articles for non-commercial purposes, so long as the original authors and source are cited. After publication, authors have the right to post pre-print or post-print versions of their article online, including on their personal, departmental, or institutional repository pages.

Is the journal content backed up anywhere? USF retains a backup copy of the journal content, and because the Scholar Commons journals reside on the bepress Digital Commons platform, bepress duplicates and backs up the content both on an offsite from their side. Once the journal has begun publishing in earnest, we work with LOCKSS and Portico to have your content archived.

What if I want print copies of my journal?
Scholar Commons does not provide printing or mailing services. We suggest that you use a Print on Demand service for these materials. Rather than estimating how many copies of a particular item should be printed in a print run, a journal issue/book/proceeding/etc. is only printed upon request. This method eliminates problems including the burden of paying for unsold inventory or printing too few items.

Print on Demand takes the guesswork out of printing. You simply prepare a single file (usually PDF), submit it to the Print on Demand publisher, and it is stored until an issue is ordered by a customer. It is only at this point that ink touches paper. You can find more information here.

What do you need to do to start the process?
Please contact with any questions or to discuss your journal. You will need to fill out the Open Access E-Journal Proposal Form. Any additional information you might have concerning the journal’s editorial policies, submission guidelines, style guides, and any other information that would describe the project would be helpful in the evaluation of the project idea. If the journal seems to be a good fit for Scholar Commons, the editors and Scholar Commons will sign a formal Open Access E-Journal Hosting Agreement (Memorandum of Understanding), which outlines the expectations for both parties. You may find it helpful to review the Open Access Journal Workflow.