Journal of the APA to Go Open Access

In less than two weeks, the Journal of the American Philosophical Association (JAPA) will transition into an open access journal.

Heather Battaly (Connecticut), editor-in-chief of JAPA, writes:

The Editorial Team of JAPA is delighted to announce that all articles accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Philosophical Association from July 9 onwards will be Open Access, published with a Creative Commons license and freely available to read online.

We have an Open Access option for every author: the costs of open access publication will be covered through agreements between the publisher and the author’s institution, payment of APCs (Article Processing Charges) from grants or other funds, or else waived entirely, ensuring every author can publish and enjoy the benefits of Open Access.

For more information about Open Access at JAPA, see this FAQ and the Journal’s Open Access Options page.

The journal will continue to be published by Cambridge University Press.

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22 days ago

Wonderful news! May others follow the JAPA!

22 days ago

It’s about time!

c b
c b
21 days ago

I am cautious about the flip, although I appreciate the good intentions. At the moment Cambridge’s APC, the APC the blog post says will apply as well to JAPA, is $3,450. The promise that, if no other funding is available to you, that it will be waived, is quite vague, and specific to JAPA–no other Cambridge journal makes this promise, nor is it quite clear that they have any outstanding provision for it.
A case in point: the last journal to flip to OA via an existing publisher (rather than through by going self-hosted on Janeway like Ergo/PImprint), Thought, suggested in their announcement of the change that those who lacked funding would have the APC of $1,500 covered. Today their editorial guidelines, and OA agreement guidelines, make no mention of this. There’s no box for ‘I’m an adjunct at a college with no research funding’, merely for your credit card number. It might be that in a sort of off-the-record fashion a waiver is still possible, but to me the prospects look poor when they no longer make any mention of it in public materials.
In the grand scheme of things, publisher-led OA flips need to be seen simply as redistributing the costs of running a journal from library budgets to nebulous ‘research funds’, if not authors. This is understandable in Europe, or in the California system, because all large research institutions have such funds. But America, unlike Europe, lacks national research councils to cut deals with publishers, and also unlike Europe has many small institutions which do not allocate funds for APCs and are endangered financially already. These small institutions nevertheless retain library budgets, if library budgets which are gradually being cut. But, there is no reason to believe that resources saved in cutting will be made available for APCs; there is in fact much evidence to the contrary.
Publisher-led OA flips also have the deleterious effect, as we have seen in the cases of Wiley journals, of incentivising journals not on the basis of the indispensability of the content therein but on the sheer quantity of articles published, and thereby quantity of APCs. In the long run it seems likely that the pressures Wiley has exerted upon journal editors to publish more will become more or less the norm.
None of this is true of scholar-led OA flips, for the record. I have nothing but admiration for the APC-free OA journals like Ergo, Philosophers’ Imprint, and the new JPP & PPA. It is true that these journals are run much leaner, and rely on volunteer labour, but they at least do not suppress publications by those at less well-off institutions. But, this is not the direction JAPA has gone (although I would suggest, given the not insignificant resources of the APA, it is likely something they should investigate).
(Comment reposted from Philosophers’ Cocoon, alongside the post).

19 days ago

I suspect we will see significantly fewer young scholars publishing in the Journal of the APA as a result of this change. Myself, as a young scholar without a tenure-track job, I will no longer consider submitting my work there.

I was disappointed not that the journal moved to an open access (OA) model (it would indeed be very good news if they moved to an OA model like Phil Imprint’s!), but that they chose one with a fee of $3450 for the publisher. Even though they claim “there is an Open Access option for every author,” I still have many questions, and the FAQ page linked in the APA post doesn’t work, so apologies if I am raising issues that have already been addressed there.

The institutions where I am adjuncting both have an OA fee agreement with Cambridge. In one case, this means that the journal is eligible for me to request (once a year at most, when the university opens the yearly call) that the university covers up to 50% of the fee, leaving me responsible to pay the other 50%. The other institution where I work excludes part-time teaching faculty from being eligible for this, since we are not considered research staff. (So far, most universities I’ve seen have something similar to the first case.) As someone who is currently overworked and underpaid, I am not looking forward to keeping track of when my university’s yearly funding call opens, applying for it, waiting for resolution, risking rejection (the university’s annual budget for it is limited), risking my paper appearing much later for publication while I am on the job market, not knowing what will happen if my adjunct position ends during the process, and risking not having my (half?) of the fee waived and having to pay thousands out of pocket if something fails.

Thus, it is just more safe, faster and straightforward to submit my work elsewhere. 

I also have concerns about the new model creating incentives to accept more papers for publication, potentially lowering the perceived value of one’s work published there (the value signal of journals is crucial for unknown young scholars), and I am ethically uncomfortable with the thought of having thousands of dollars of public funds spent (case of Europe and public universities) to have my work published at the Journal of the APA when there are other options around.

Heather Battaly
Heather Battaly
18 days ago

Thank you for the interest and comments. The Editorial Team, the APA, and Cambridge University Press have ensured that EVERY author of an accepted paper at JAPA will be able to publish Open Access. For Authors whose institutions do not have agreements with the publisher, and/or who aren’t using grant/institutional funds, the cost of publishing OA will be waived.

Reply to  Heather Battaly
18 days ago

To be clear, I work in a country where we are not allowed to use grant money for Open Access. So, the journal would cover my fees as well? All of them?

c b
c b
Reply to  Heather Battaly
17 days ago

I appreciate very much the commitment to making OA accessible regardless of institutional finances. I take it to be basically unique among OA journals & I hope that Thought, & other traditionally-published OA philosophy journals, follow suit.