Present and future of the UOC's scholarly journals

Subject:  Multidisciplinary

The 7th Scientific Publishing Seminar has been organized as a forum for reflection on the journals' evolution to date and their future challenges.

On 11 June, the UOC held its Scientific Publishing Seminar, coordinated by Elsa Corominas, executive editor of the journal ETHE. This year, the seminar was held online, with a highly participative format, to share good practices and improvement proposals related with the UOC's scholarly publishing.

The seminar was attended by 23 participants, including academic staff who are members of the scholarly and dissemination journals' editorial teams; representatives from Library and Learning Resources; the deputy general manager of Research and Innovation, Mònica de Forn, and the vice president for Strategic Planning and Research, Marta Aymerich.

As is the tradition in these seminars, the session was opened by the Vice President, who highlighted the growth experienced by the scholarly journals in internationalization, readership and gender parity in the articles' authorship. In line with the institutional strategy, achieving these milestones helps promote the UOC's research and innovation and strengthens the University's commitment to open access.

 Infographic showing the reach and impact of the ten journals published or co-published by the UOC.

In this year's seminar, the scholarly journals' editors briefly outlined the current status of the publications they represent and analysed their strengths and challenges. Among other things, they emphasized the good rapport with the co-publishing institutions and the creation of research networks with other centres and institutions.

Where are we going: reflections on the scholarly journal system

Each speaker mentioned aspects that needed improving, such as the need for more support in disseminating the published content or maintaining the professionalization of the journals' management to adequately plan for the journals' growth and consolidation.

The seminar also reflected on the role of the dissemination journals within the University's ecosystem, the possibility of establishing collaborations between scholarly and scientific publications to generate new articles or the importance of fostering the dissemination of scientific content to a non-scientific audience. It also acknowledged the quality of the journals' management model and the role played by the Library team.

Part of the reflections corresponded to the five hypotheses analysed in this article by Ciro Llueca, director of Library and Learning Resources, on scholarly publishing:

  • The journals contribute and must continue to contribute to the University's strategy.
  • With the journals' professionalization, their academic management should focus on the strategic aspects while the management teams focus on the rest.
  • The main challenge, with the demand for sustainability and quality, is dissemination.
  • It is possible to engage in reflection on the areas where effort should be focused.
  • Another necessary task is to define the fit of the dissemination journals and other communication tools in the journal ecosystem.

Where we've come from

The representatives of the different journals described their current situation.

With this overview, the debate was opened, with contributions from the other journals' representatives: Miquel Peguera Poch (IDP), Joan Miquel Gomis (Oikonomics), Joan Soler-Adillon and Lídia Arderiu (Mosaic), Ferran Lalueza (COMeIN). This led to an exchange of knowledge involving a heterogeneous system of journals, from those published by the UOC to the journals that are co-published or where the UOC is a member of the editorial committee, as is the case of David Megías, the IN3's director, who is a member of the managing board of Internet Policy Review.