How to Run a Successful Academic Journal

Posted April 8, 2021


There is a number of logistic, editorial, and technical aspects that must be taken into consideration when running an academic journal and intending to ensure its long-term sustainability. The publishing process for academic journals may slightly vary from journal to journal, however, some requirements and standards for scholarly articles are applied to all academic publications, especially if the publisher aspires to run a successful academic journal.

What constitutes a successful academic journal?

Successful publishing process would be impossible without completing these four main stages:

Attracting the authors
Content is the essence of any publication. So good quality content – well-written articles reporting significant researches – is an obvious requirement for a journal to be successful in an academic community. To receive good quality manuscripts from respected and noteworthy authors, the journal has to earn a good reputation first. This may be tough for young, early-stage journals but there are a few ways to attract good quality submissions from leading authors. One of the methods is utilizing your editorial board. Having well-known, respected scholars as your board members can help you broaden your network and thus attract important researchers. Another, more modern way to attract authors is by working on your journal promotion online through different social networks and online academic communities.

Peer-review process
When you have good quality submissions and content flowing in, what comes next? In academic publishing, each participant in the publishing process is interconnected. One stage cannot be completed without the other – and the same applies to the content. The content of any journal is directly connected to a peer-review process and the competence of the reviewers. For a competently executed peer-review process, a journal needs a trustworthy group of experts from a certain science field who can objectively evaluate whether the submitted work falls within the journal’s scope, if the research is relevant enough and if the work meets the basic publishing and ethical standards. Even the most impressive manuscripts from leading authors may be flawed or may not fall within the journal’s scope. In such cases, peer-review is responsible for detecting these flaws before the manuscript becomes an article.

Typesetting & Copyediting
After the peer-review process is complete, each manuscript has to undergo a thorough document preparation process in order to be suitable for publishing and/or printing. It’s within the publisher’s responsibility to ensure that the soon-to-be article has a flawless layout and language, and is formatted according to the publishing standards. Basically, the article preparation process involves typesetting and copyediting (to ensure that the article has a complete structure and layout), language editing, and artwork preparation (when the article contains complex figures, tables, diagrams, etc.). Since these actions require specific knowledge, the publisher may need to hire a competent staff of typesetters or outsource services from a reliable partner that can deliver all of the mentioned services. The latter is even more likely if the publisher wants to produce machine-readable articles in full-text HTML format.

Article publication
Article or issue publication marks the final step in the publishing process for academic journals and it’s as important as any of the steps we’ve discussed above. In this stage, the main goal of a publisher is to ensure that the published articles reach the broadest audience possible. It’s a mistake to think that merely good content by leading authors is enough to make it to the top – especially when it comes to young, freshly launched journals. It may be hard to compete with other journals within the same academic field as Google and academic databases are overloaded with similar publications. That’s why it’s especially important to make sure your journal’s homepage is optimized for the best performance online. To achieve that, it’s recommended to choose a journal publishing platform that is already configured to help you achieve your results with a user and mobile-friendly interface, SEO optimization, full-text HTML format support, and other useful tools and features.

PubliMill is a publishing platform designed for academic societies and publishers. With the help of useful built-in functionalities (full-text HTML, SEO optimization, clear and comprehensive interface, marketing and social media integrations, etc.) PubliMill can help you reach your goals as a publisher and give your journal a modern look with a user and machine-friendly interface.

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