Publishing individual articles vs. complete issues

Modified on Tue, 19 Jun 2018 at 11:11 AM

In the era of print-only publication, there weren't a lot of options for journals in the area of publication frequency; articles were bundled into issues and only then were they made available to readers. Digital publication gives editors much more flexibility, and eScholarship supports a variety of options.

Closed issue (or volume) publication

This is the traditional journal publication model, and it remains particularly useful when journals publish thematic sets of articles that are not particularly time sensitive in nature.

In closed issue publication, articles are processed and vetted for a period of time, after which they are arranged into a complete issue and are all published all at once, preferably at a consistent rate (e.g. monthly, quarterly, yearly). Editors can choose to identify their issues by volume and issue number, or by volume or issue numbers alone (Vol 1, Iss. 2 vs. Volume 1, or Issue 2).

To publish using this method, simply follow the standard instructions outlined in the article "Issue arrangement & Publishing."

Incremental publication

With incremental publication, editors typically "open" an empty issue and publish individual articles immediately as they are ready for a period of time, enabling them to get information out to readers as quickly as possible.

Typically journals that publish incrementally have a single volume or issue per year. They open the issue on Jan 1st., add articles to it throughout the year, then "close" the issue at the end of the year.

The process for publishing incrementally is essentially the same as described in the article "Issue arrangement & Publishing" with a couple small differences:

  • Locating the "open" issue: OJS (eScholarship's current submission management system) doesn't technically support incremental publication, so it can be tricky to locate the open issue after the first article has been published. Since the system thinks that an issue is done once it's published, you'll need to navigate to Manage All Submissions > Issues > Back Issues to locate the open issue. Similarly, when working with an article that you're ready to add to the open issue, you'll need to look for the issue under Back Issues in the Scheduling section of the 3. Editing screen.
  • Publication dates: Articles published in traditional volumes or issues typically have a year-only publication date, but incrementally published articles require a more specific publication date. The article "How do I adjust publication date(s) for articles" will show you how to make this adjustment.

Articles in Press

A hybrid approach, Articles in Press offers a mix of benefits. Articles are made available to readers as quickly as possible, but Editors can still arrange articles into thematic issues at a later time.

To enable Articles in Press, follow the steps for creating a new issue, with the following changes: un-check both the volume and issue boxes, and enter the value '0' for both. Also un-check the year box. Finally, give the issue the title "Articles in Press" and make sure the issue title box is checked.

Once the Articles in Press issue is set up, articles can be added to it and published in much the same way as described above under "Incremental publication." When you have enough articles to justify a new complete issue, you can move articles from the Articles in Press issue into the numbered issue by navigating to the 3. Editing page for the article(s) and changing the issue assignment from Articles in Press to the desired issue in the scheduling section. Remember to return to the numbered issue's table of contents preview and select 'Publish Issue' (or 'Update Published Issue') to complete the changes. (Note: an Articles in Press issue that has no articles in it will not display on your journal's public site.)

One final change you'll need to make: Set the default "current" issue to "second-most recent issue." This can be done by going to your journal's public-facing site and selecting the Administrator Login link in the page footer. After logging in, select 'Edit Page' in the top toolbar, then 'Journal Profile.' You'll find the default issue selector at the bottom of this page. Remember to save your changes.