ASLO Member Survey on Open Access

ASLO Member Survey on Open Access

ASLO is inviting members to help shape its vision on Open Access (OA) publishing for the future! The society currently publishes the Limnology & Oceanography family of journals: 

  • Limnology and Oceanography (LNO), the society’s flagship journal, which was first published in January 1956 and remained a print-only journal (even for manuscript submission and peer review) for decades; 
  • Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin (LOB), which was developed in 1990 to serve as a forum for discussion by members and source of society information; 
  • Limnology and Oceanography: Methods (LOM), which was launched in January 2003 as one of the first all-electronic journals in aquatic sciences; and
  • Limnology and Oceanography Letters (LOL), which brought the gold fully OA (and Open Data) revolution to ASLO in December 2016.

The first three started as subscription journals but eventually moved to a (current) hybrid model, whereas LOL had a fully OA model from its inception. Many societies and publishers are reconsidering the hybrid journal model given recent developments in the scientific publishing landscape. The launch of Plan S in 2018 by European funders and the 2022 United States Presidential executive order have mandated that all researchers funded by the respective agencies make their research results immediately and freely available to the public (by the end of 2025 at the latest for US federally-funded authors). 

ASLO by-laws recommend that its strategic plan be revised and, if necessary, a new one be formulated, every five years. This undertaking is completed by Board members, whose duty is to position the society for the benefit of its members. ASLO will adapt to the above-mentioned developments in scientific publishing by transitioning (a.k.a. ‘flipping’) LNO and LOM to the fully gold OA journal model (Glibert, 2023). ASLO’s Strategic Planning Committee would like to understand how this flip might affect your choice to publish with the Limnology & Oceanography family of journals (encourage or deter you from submitting to them). 

ASLO’s Raelyn Cole Editorial Fellows, Erin Peck and Rita Franco-Santos, volunteered to support the Committee’s efforts (while also fulfilling their Fellowship activities and pursuing personal interests regarding scientific publishing). They have prepared a brief (10-15 minutes) survey on member awareness of and opinions about OA publishing. It aims to identify how familiar ASLO members are with OA publishing and related matters (e.g., its benefits and barriers), how they prioritize and/or pay for OA when publishing, as well as their feelings about sharing other research components (e.g., datasets, protocols) openly with the research community. No prior knowledge on OA is required from participants! The survey will remain open until May 31st, 2024.

We live in a time when academia is dominated by the idea that we, researchers, must ‘publish or perish’. But more than that, we must remember to live and work by the principles of scientific progress and societal advancement. The Open Science movement, of which OA publishing is a part, enables academia to fulfill the obligation and opportunity to share new knowledge with the public in an immediate, free, and efficient manner. Reaping any benefits resulting from OA publishing hinges on a researcher’s ability to publish content as OA. For these and other reasons we hope that all members participate in our survey, so the collective’s opinion can help make publishing in the ASLO family of journals a more equitable process! 

You can access the survey here. Results will be disseminated to ASLO members and email subscribers as a publication or report. In addition, if we identify a need to increase member awareness of OA publishing, we will help ASLO prepare content to that effect. We appreciate your feedback and support in completing this research!

Gilbert, P.M. (2023). Message from The President: Trials and Tribulations of Transitions and Transformations in Publishing: What It Means—For ASLO and for You. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin 32(3): 110-112.

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