A Case Study of Online Publishing at CJC-Online: Experiences, Insights, and Considerations for Adoption

Michael Felczak, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University; Rowland Lorimer, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Simon Fraser University; Richard Smith, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

Abstract


In 1994 the Canadian Journal of Communication (CJC) initiated an online publishing program. Initially it took the form of a self-developed system for the online display of journal articles. Based on this foundation improvements were made each year as new functionality was added based on input from the journal’s editorial and publishing team. In 2004 the CJC took a major step forward by adopting Open Journal Systems (OJS). Utilizing the manuscript handling capacity of OJS and combining it with already developed functionality enabled the CJC to not only draw on and contribute to existing OJS efforts, but also to locate itself in an advantageous position vis-a-vis online and print publishing.

In contrast to the CJC, and to that of many Quebec-based journals, the vast majority of single journal publishers with limited circulations have not developed their online journal publishing capability. Typically, if approached, they have allowed commercial publishers or aggregators to publish their contents online on a non-exclusive basis. This paper will analyse the dynamics of technological development and innovation at the CJC with a focus on issues of ownership and control, financial stability, publishing and technological expertise, editorial outlook, and readership demand. Based on over ten years of experience with online publishing, we will conclude with suggestions on how more widespread adoption of online publishing might be achieved in Canadian social science and humanities journals given the current and quickly evolving publishing environment.