Why do journals discontinue? A study of Australian ceased journals

Authors : Hamid R. Jamali, Simon Wakeling, Alireza Abbasi

Little is known about why journals discontinue despite its significant implications. We present an analysis of 140 Australian journals that ceased from 2011 to mid-2021 and present the results of a survey of editors of 53 of them. The death age of journals was 19.7 (median = 16) with 57% being 10 years or older.

About 54% of them belonged to educational institutions and 34% to non-profit organizations. In terms of subject, 75% of the journals belonged to social sciences, humanities and arts. The survey showed that funding was an important reason for discontinuation, and lack of quality submission and lack of support from the owners of the journal also played a role.

Too much reliance on voluntary works appeared to be an issue for editorial processes. The dominant metric culture in the research environment and pressure for journals to perform well in journal rankings negatively affect local journals in attracting quality submissions.

A fifth of journals indicated that they did not have a plan for the preservation of articles at the time of publication and the current availability of the content of ceased journals appeared to be sub-optimal in many cases with reliance on the website of ceased journals or web-archive platforms.

URL : Why do journals discontinue? A study of Australian ceased journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1448

Open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences: Complex perceptions of researchers and implications for research support

Author : Niamh Quigley

Adoption of open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) is a work in progress, with lower engagement in HASS than most of the natural sciences. HASS research impacts how we live, how we learn and how we see ourselves, and research institutions should encourage and enable their HASS research communities to increase the prevalence of open access research outputs.

Six experienced HASS researchers at a single academic institution in Perth, Australia, were interviewed to explore their perceptions and experiences of open access, and any barriers that they had encountered. Thematic analysis was used to code the transcribed interviews, and generate themes.

This study found a wide variance in the adoption of open access practices among HASS researchers. Some participants are publishing via APC-based gold open access (in DOAJ listed journals), while other participants encounter multiple barriers to sharing more of their work as open access.

Confusion about aspects of open access is evident. Even among participants who support open access, some have had poor experiences of open access publishing. This research also found that some participants hold extremely complex opinions on open access, which directly influence participants’ behaviour depending on which perspective they are considering.

These perspectives are: research supervisor, editorial role at journal, funding assessor and global citizen. Within HASS a diversity of behaviours exists around open access, and research institutions need to tailor their research support services around open access and scholarly publishing for different communities of researchers.

URL : Open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences: Complex perceptions of researchers and implications for research support

DOI : https://doi.org/10.53377/lq.10937

Research Culture: A survey of early-career researchers in Australia

Authors : Katherine Christian, Carolyn Johnstone, Jo-ann Larkins, Wendy Wright, Michael R Doran

Early-career researchers (ECRs) make up a large portion of the academic workforce and their experiences often reflect the wider culture of the research system. Here we surveyed 658 ECRs working in Australia to better understand the needs and challenges faced by this community.

Although most respondents indicated a ‘love of science’, many also expressed an intention to leave their research position. The responses highlight how job insecurity, workplace culture, mentorship and ‘questionable research practices’ are impacting the job satisfaction of ECRs and potentially compromising science in Australia.

We also make recommendations for addressing some of these concerns.

URL : Research Culture: A survey of early-career researchers in Australia

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60613

Exploratory analysis of indicators for open knowledge institutions: a case study of Australian universities

Authors : Richard Hosking, Chun-Kai Huang, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen, Katie Wilson

While the movement for open access (OA) has gained momentum in recent years, there remain concerns about the broader commitment to openness in knowledge production and dissemination. Increasingly, universities are under pressure to transform themselves to engage with the wider community and to be more inclusive.

Open knowledge institutions (OKIs) provide a framework that encourages universities to act with the principles of openness at their centre; not only should universities embrace digital OA, but also lead actions in cultivating diversity, equity, transparency and positive changes in society.

Accordingly, this leads onto questions of whether we can evaluate the progress of OKIs and what are potential indicators for OKIs. As an exploratory study, this article reports on the collection and analysis of a list of potential indicators for OKIs.

Data for these indicators are gathered for 43 Australian universities. The results show evidence of large disparities in characteristics such as Indigenous employment and gender equity, and a preference for repository-mediated OA across the Australian universities.

These OKI indicators provide high-dimensional and complex signals that can be widely categorised into three groups of diversity, communication and coordination.

URL : Exploratory analysis of indicators for open knowledge institutions: a case study of Australian universities

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/r2sx-xg40

Creating Institution-Wide Awareness of, and Engagement with, Open Scholarship

Author : Eleanor Colla


Strategies for how, when, and why to communicate on the topics of Open Scholarship (OS) are many and varied. Here, the author reflects on how a small, regional university library went from a low knowledge base of OS to having OS more thoughtfully and thoroughly considered across many aspects of scholarship.


The author discusses how, over a three-year period, the library turned OS from being seen as a topic only the library deals with, to a nuanced conversation present across many levels of a university. This was done in three broad stages: first, upskilling librarians; second, reaching out to others working in this space and creating conversations across campus; and third, broadening conversations to different audiences whilst beginning to embed OS in institutional practices.


Collaborative engagement across various levels has worked well for this university. The library will continue this approach to further embed OS in the culture of the institution while looking to further collaborate across the institution, and working with colleagues and OS advocates in other organizations, groups, and bodies.

URL : Creating Institution-Wide Awareness of, and Engagement with, Open Scholarship

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2387

Compliance with the first funder open access policy in Australia

Authors : Noreen Kirkman, Gaby Haddow


In 2012, the National Health and Medical Research Council introduced Australia’s first national open access policy for funded journal articles. This study investigated the extent of compliance during the first two full years of the mandate.


The funding acknowledgment fields in Web of Science facilitated the identification of the population of funded articles. Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals, publishers’ Websites, Trove, and Australian institutional repositories were the sources of data about open access.


Quantitative analysis performed on the records of 3,190 articles and 1,137 journal titles enabled the calculation of descriptive statistics to present the characteristics of the sample.


Over two-thirds (67.3%) of the articles were open access: 56.24% in journals and 11.06% in repositories. Hybrid open access comprised 25.58%, with 20.85% in fully open access journals and 8.75% in delayed open access journals.

Author accepted manuscripts in Australian institutional repositories (7.24%) and PubMed Central (3.82%) contributed to overall compliance but represented a small proportion of the non-open access articles.


As the first comprehensive study to measure compliance with Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council Open Access Policy, this study found a relatively high level of open access in journals alongside a low level of author accepted manuscripts in repositories.

Recommendations include better guidelines, procedures, and programs for grant recipients and a coordinated approach aimed at improving institutional repository deposit rates to achieve higher levels of open access and increased compliance with funder mandates.

URL : http://www.informationr.net/ir/25-2/paper857.html

Social engagement and institutional repositories: a case study

Author : Susan Boulton

This article explores the community reach and societal impact of institutional repositories, in particular Griffith Research Online (GRO), Griffith University’s institutional repository.

To promote research on GRO, and to encourage people to click through to the repository content, a pilot social media campaign and some subsequent smaller social media activities were undertaken in 2018.

After briefly touching on these campaigns, this article provides some reflections from these activities and proposes options for the future direction of social engagement and GRO in particular, and for institutional repositories in general.

This undertaking necessitates a shift in focus from repositories as a resource for the scholarly community to a resource for the community at large. The campaign also highlighted the need to look beyond performance metrics to social media metrics as a measure of the social and community impact of a repository.

Whilst the article is written from one Australian university’s perspective, the drivers and challenges behind researchers and universities translating their research into economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts are national and international.

The primary takeaway message is for libraries to take more of a proactive stance and to kick-start conversations within their institutions and with their clients to actively partner in creating opportunities to share research.

URL : Social engagement and institutional repositories: a case study

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.504