The SAIMM is adopting a new system to manage the publication of the Journal. The Open Journal System (OJS) for journal management is a free, web-based platform that has been developed by the Public Knowledge Project at the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia through its federally funded efforts to expand and improve access to research.
Our present system of handling the submissions to the Journal, the refereeing process, and the iteration that takes place between authors, reviewers, the Journal Coordinator, and proofreader is by e-mail, telephone, and paper.
With a view to improving the mechanics of the way that submissions to the Journal are processed and speeding up the approval for publication, we undertook an exploratory discussion with Aries Systems Corporation, who market Editorial Manager, in June 2015. An on-line demonstration was well received, and while Editorial Manager could do what was required, the cost of the system at $8000 pa was deemed to be prohibitive under the prevailing economic constraints. Similarly ‘ScholarOne’, which is marketed by Thomson Reuters and was introduced to us in June 2016, has very similar features and costs as Editorial Manager.
In February 2017 Dave Tudor attended a workshop hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in Pretoria which detailed the OJS, the set-up, and management.
Ina Smith, the Project Manager: African Open Science Platform at ASSAf, has been instrumental in the development of the OJS in Africa. Ina gave a tutorial to Sam Moolla, Kelly Mathee, and Dave Tudor on 13 June 2017 which included a comprehensive introduction to the system and set-up.
While the set-up, which can be viewed at http://www.saimmjournal.co.za, can be added to and refined, the important business of establishing the procedures for submissions and review is nearing completion. An important first step is to contact each one of the referees on our database and request them to register as a reviewer on the OJS system.
There will be a period of time during which the new OJS process will be run in parallel with the existing ‘manual’ system until this system is cleared.
25 July 2017