Academic open-access journals: where to next?

Mare Kõiva, Andres Kuperjanov

Department of Folkloristics, Estonian Literary Museum

In 1996, the academic journals Mäetagused, published in Estonian, and Folklore: EJF, published in English, were the world’s first full-text folklore journals which integrated various online solutions. According to Moira Lorraine Smith, more than twenty of such journals are being published today.

Tim Ingold (2013) recently studied the possibilities and perils of open access journals from a philosophical aspect. David Prosser (2014) proposes in his blog post ‘Open Access Goes to Market?’ the possible future scenarios. Partly, they both repeat the issues that emerged as early as in the 1990s and later—quality publishing requires language editing, technical editing, increased scrutiny in peer-review, etc. Full publishing process rises the cost of open access publishing almost to the level of journals published only in print or hybrid open access journals (entailing complete editing cycle) with some articles available only for subscription.

The paper discusses the general issues of open access publishing, future trends in the field, and provides a short survey of the authors, readers and publication process of Estonian journals.