An alternative template
Six criteria for more efficient and equitable journal publishing in economics
- High quality. In the electronic age, where diffusion of
unrefereed papers is instantaneous and almost costless, the chief
function of an academic journal is to provide a robust mechanism of
quality control and peer recognition. ELSSS will be publishing only
- Equity. Given the ancillary function of publishers in
academic journal publishing, the lion's share of the rewards ought to
accrue to the individuals who produce journals and whose reputation
establishes the value and quality of the journals themselves, namely the
authors, referees, and editors. ELSSS will produce and distribute
journals efficiently on a non-profit-making basis, distributing any net surplus compatible with wide diffusion to authors, referees, and editors.
- Wide diffusion. One of the most deleterious effects of
the recent trend of soaring journal pricing by some commercial
publishers has been the creation of a three-tier system made up of
As a result, the diffusion of knowledge has been substantially hampered.
- a very small (and decreasing) circle of libraries which have
managed to maintain their periodicals portfolio in the face of steeply
- the very large (and increasing) number of libraries which
have had to reduce (sometimes very drastically) their range of journals
in order to accommodate the exorbitant subscriptions charged by some
- libraries in developing and transforming economies, which
have been priced out of journal acquisition altogether (note that some
commercial publishers, unlike most journals published by learned
societies, etc., do not offer discounted subscriptions to libraries in
developing and transforming economies).
In contrast, ELSSS not only will enable all researchers (students and faculty) located in high-income countries full access to its journals by charging break-even subscriptions, but also will allow full access free of charge to all libraries and research centres located in the rest of the world.
- Innovation. In spite of the substantial profits earned
by some commercial publishers, so far journal publishing has not made
full use of the extraordinary possibilities offered by the Web. In
addition to providing the same limited electronic services currently
being offered (often at an additional charge) by commercial publishers -
essentially "print on screen", and rudimentary search and archiving -
ELSSS will strive to offer true state-of-the-art electronic services,
including interactivity, full searchability, citation tracking, etc.
Thanks to financial support from Royal Economic Society, the University of St Andrews, the Consortium of
University and Research Libraries, and Scottish Enterprise Fife,
ELSSS has designed, developed, and tested its own software for the
electronic submission, refereeing and editing of papers and for the
production and dissemination of truly innovative online (and print!)
journals. For details, see the EPT page.
- Privacy and transparency. ELSSS, being an organisation
run exclusively for the benefit of the academic community (and
indirectly for the general public), is committed to upholding the
strictest standards of respect of individual privacy and of
institutional transparency. Data on and/or from individuals will be
treated always as strictly confidential: under no circumstances will
individual data be released to any third party, unless the individuals
concerned explicitly and directly agree to any such release.
other hand, ELSSS will grant the widest publicity and access to its own
institutional data and structures, including data on circulation,
pricing, remuneration, expenses, staffing, etc. Subscribers and any
other party that express an interest not only will be kept fully
informed of developments in the technological and publishing fields that
may affect ELSSS activities, but also will be actively solicited for
their opinions and feedback so to ensure that ELSSS journals meet the
evolving needs of the academic community.
- Defense of authorship. ELSSS aims at strengthening the
proprietary rights of authorship, by giving authors full copyright to
all their material published in ELSSS journals and by ensuring the fair
use of electronic resources.
ELSSS is proud to announce that its first journal, The Review of Economic Theory, is endorsed by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).