Partner with PeerJ to build a new ecosystem for society publishing

Earlier this year we wrote about a renewed focus on community at PeerJ. This post is the first in a series on new programs and innovations we’re launching at PeerJ as part of our community development. 

In this post we:

  • Consider the pressures on scholarly societies and their members in the current landscape
  • Describe new publishing opportunities at PeerJ for societies and member associations
  • Call for partners to help us build a new and productive ecosystem for society publishing

A recurring theme in our research in the Communities Team has been the future of scholarly societies. Whether it’s authors choosing to publish with us to meet OA requirements their society cannot fulfill; concerns from society board members about slowly but steadily falling membership and financial reserves (exacerbated by conferences cancelled this year and next due to COVID-19); or societies wanting to launch and manage an OA journal, but put off by the complexity, cost and ongoing investment to maintain and sustain a fledgling title: the current dynamics in STM publishing can make life difficult for societies, especially smaller membership organizations. Meanwhile, the focus of many publishers has been on alternative business models and transformative deals at the institutional/funder level. 

Here at PeerJ we believe that scholarly societies and the communities they support and develop are vital to a thriving academic and research ecosystem, so we are hoping to offer an opportunity to societies and a solution to many of their concerns. 

Society Publishing with PeerJx

We are currently seeking partners to co-develop a new ecosystem for societies that we believe can answer many of the concerns we have heard. Our first step towards this new ecosystem is to develop PeerJx. 

Inspired by the relationship between TED and TEDx events, PeerJx focuses on local research communities and membership organizations. PeerJx partner sites are built on PeerJ’s journal portfolio, platform and infrastructure, but partners have their own editorial responsibilities and community development opportunities. Partners and their members benefit from the platform, service and reputation of PeerJ – and our highly-regarded portfolio of indexed, peer-reviewed journals – with the opportunity to build their own publication pathway, increase their member numbers, and develop their community and opportunities for them to interact.

PeerJx is designed around choice and flexibility for our partners. We know one size won’t fit everyone, so partners can integrate their own branding, and choose the editorial model, community tools, website configuration and even business model to create a bespoke publishing outlet best suited to their organization and members. 

Choose your journals

Choose to partner with PeerJ and you can choose which PeerJ journals to build into your PeerJx publishing pathway. 

PeerJx removes the administrative effort and cost of launching a new journal, and allows your members to submit to the highly regarded and indexed journals in PeerJ’s portfolio. Our journals’ excellent reputation, broad audience and high-quality peer review standards means your members can submit to your PeerJx knowing their research will be highly visible, widely disseminated, indexed in all the important databases and responsibly archived. Your members can choose to submit to any of our seven journals.

Choose your editorial model

Choose to take control of your publishing pathway. Partners can choose to form their own Senior Editorial Team and Editorial Board, and choose whether they want to curate content including blogs, news and announcements into their PeerJx site alongside their community’s research articles. There are three initial PeerJx editorial models:

Choose to reduce publishing costs for your members

Members of partner organizations submitting to their society’s PeerJx will enjoy a discount on our standard Article Processing Charges, or can purchase of one of our PeerJ Membership packages.

Partners can also choose to take collective action to reduce the cost of publishing for their members. Partner societies have the option to choose from a sliding scale of annual contributions – based on the size of their membership – to reduce article processing charges for their members. 

We anticipate developing business models in tandem with prospective partners to ensure the publishing with PeerJ is as accessible as possible. Our aim is to eliminate cost as a barrier to partners from participating.

As the PeerJ Partner Publishing Program develops and grows we intend to build models and revenue streams that will result in reductions to the publishing costs for Partners’ Members and profit shares with Partner organizations.

Choose to partner with PeerJ

We want to build an accessible, equitable solution for societies and members organizations seeking their own publishing outlet – or an Open Access option to complement their current publications – without the cost and administrative burden of launching and maintaining a new journal. The PeerJ Partner Publishing Program and the PeerJx concept are still in their nascency and we hope partners will choose to work with us to help develop the program and its core concepts to ensure they meet your requirements.

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to find out more, you can download the PeerJ Partner Publishing Program prospectus here. We’d love to have the opportunity to talk through in more detail what societies would want from such a partnership – we want to develop the core concepts with prospective partners so we build something they want and need. If you’d like to help us develop a new and flourishing ecosystem for open access society publishing please get in touch: nathaniel.gore@peerj.com