Bright future for society journals: The advantages of advanced open access publishing
"The open access model has created a range of new opportunities for the dissemination and popularization of scientific research, but many society- or institution-based academic journals continue on a subscription basis. In 2011, the International Society of Hymenopterists (ISH) decided to move their publication, the Journal of Hymenoptera Research (JHR), from a conventional, subscription-based model to open access with Pensoft Journal Systems (PJS 2.0). The two years of positive experience are described in an Editorial in the latest issue of JHR. One of the many positive changes that JHR has been experiencing since the switch is a flexible schedule allowing an unlimited number of published articles per year, as opposed to the earlier restriction of two issues per year. 'The open access model and online publication of Pensoft offers a wide range of additional dissemination services', says Dr Stefan Schmidt from the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich, Germany. These services include data publishing and automated export of 'atomized' content, that is, separate parts of the articles - like species descriptions and images - to important scientific databases and global aggregators.' Amongst these platforms are the Encyclopedia of Life, the wiki Species-ID, and the Plazi Treatment Repository. Open access facilitates public outreach of research through press releases associated with published articles. Since May 2011, Pensoft has been supporting authors in "translating" the technical texts into press releases with accessible language and illustrative media, which then result in postings on science news distributors, mass and scientific media and through the social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.). The service means a wider outreach and popularity for the research performed by the authors as well as for hymenoptera research more broadly. 'The results are more than obvious – the journal started a new life, experienced a visible growth and became a place to go for Society members and specialists with an interest in Hymenoptera', Schmidt says, adding that 'while we put a lot of effort into technological development, we continue to produce a high resolution full-colour printed version with a subscription option for individuals and institutions, and offer a discount on printed copies and open access fees for Society members.' 'The Journal of Hymenoptera Research was the first society journal that trusted the novel journal publishing platform of Pensoft. I am convinced that using the previous print-based, and PDF-only publishing model (even in open access) brings a lot of trouble to institutional and society journals. Many of them simply struggle to survive. We are glad to witness such a successful transition of JHR', concludes Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and managing director of Pensoft Publishers."