An efficient journal
Connotea Imports 2012-03-08
"Aficionados of open access should know about the Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR), an open-access journal in my own research field of artificial intelligence....JMLR was founded when most of the editorial board of the Kluwer journal Machine Learning (now a Springer journal) resigned to establish JMLR, Inc., a nonprofit to develop and publish the new journal on an open access model....Almost immediately, the journal was appreciated as being of top quality. The number of articles it published increased quickly over the first few years, its illustrious editorial team serving to convince prospective authors of its seriousness. Its first year in ISI’s rankings, it had the highest Impact Factor of any journal in its Web of Science subject category....The journal does not charge any submission or publication fees and has never done so. It has never taken any advertising. Indeed, it has never had any direct revenue at all....Of course, there are costs, but they are all provided through in-kind support. By far the largest costs are the labor required for peer reviewing and its management by the editorial board, but this is all volunteer effort as in most all scholarly journals. The primary people involved, the editor-in-chief, managing editor, and production editor, are all unpaid, contra Anderson’s conjecture....As for the typesetting of articles, computer science authors typically use the open-source LaTeX typesetting system for writing their articles, a system designed for beautiful typesetting of mathematical material and far better for mathematical typesetting than the typical systems publishers are accustomed to. The process of retypesetting that many journals have historically performed inevitably introduces errors, leading to a product inferior to that computer science authors typically provide. JMLR used an approach where authors submit camera-ready copy based on a publisher-supplied LaTeX style file. By dropping the retypesetting with an inferior system, errors in the process are eliminated and the quality of typesetting improved....JMLR has always appeared both free online and by subscription in print....The print edition of the first four volumes was published by MIT Press....JMLR received no revenue from the print edition and paid no subvention to MIT Press.... From the fifth volume on, the print edition was taken over by Microtome Publishing under the same zero-zero arrangement. Under Microtome Publishing’s approach, which leverages important aspects of the print editions specific to open-access journals, the subscription cost decreased dramatically over the next few volumes, settling at a steady state of 8 cents per page for the last several volumes. Adding it all up, a reasonable imputed estimate for JMLR’s total direct costs other than the volunteered labor (that is, tax accountant, web hosting, domain names, clerical work, etc.) is less than $10,000, covering the almost 1,000 articles the journal has published since its founding — about $10 per article....How do I know all this about JMLR? Because (full disclosure alert) I am Microtome Publishing...."
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