A friend who is also a senior colleague -- and is someone who has reshaped the medieval studies scholarly publishing landscape -- recently sent me an email that included this query:
[Publisher X] has asked me whether I'd be willing to start a new medieval printMy answer was rapid, because the issue is one I ponder frequently:
(and on-line) journal. They've also asked if you'd be interested in joining
me. My first question (aside form the ludicrous exhaustion of editing) is
whether we NEED another journal or whether others perceive such a need. Do
you have any initial responses?
"Reason not the need" would be my first response (isn't there always room for something new?), BUT my second is that if I ever did get involved with a new journal, I'm pretty sure I'd want it to be Open Access and web based. One thing that gets my goat about humanities journals (and humanities publishing more generally) is the large profit margin companies have for publishing them, and the fact that little or none of this comes back to the editors or the contributors.Does anyone else find it galling to have corporations enjoy such profits on scholarship, while also rendering much of it inaccessible via high prices and stingy access policies? Am I just being grouchy?
I think I'm done with publishing $90 books, and I also am not really sure I'd want to edit a journal that costs $200 per year for a subscription.
So, although I do like the idea ... I do have hesitations.