Last November I wrote an opinion piece discussing the launch of the Wiley-Hindawi partnership project. That post was full of enthusiasm for the transition of these subscription journals to a gold Open Access model and expressed the hope that the journals would continue to be well supported by authors. We launched the journals officially on January 1st, 2017 and I am happy to announce that as of early March we have already reached 300 published articles.
Overall, the journals have attracted a total of 2,189 submissions since we opened them to authors in June 2016. While there was a good submission flow through the second half of 2016, the largest increases have occurred since we officially launched the journals at the beginning of 2017. Monthly submissions doubled from 159 submissions in December to 332 submissions in February and are on course to break through the 400 mark in March.
Every journal in the partnership is attracting submissions although some journals have been more successful than others. Journals in the physical sciences have tended to perform the best, with more life science focused titles performing less well. This is a slightly unusual result as we would normally expect the majority of OA submissions to be biased towards biomedical and life sciences fields.
Once we looked into the country distribution the spread of submissions seemed to make more sense. Overall the journals have a very international profile, attracting submissions from authors based in over 60 countries. However, there have been a significant number of submissions from Asia, with China being the largest contributor by far. A large portion of the Chinese submissions are to the more physical science focused journals and this starts to explain why these titles are performing so well. This is a trend that is also consistent with that observed across the full Hindawi journal portfolio.
The geographic spread for accepted manuscripts generally follows the pattern of submissions although the published articles are less concentrated in Asia, spreading more evenly distributed between countries. Acceptance rates between journals vary quite significantly, but on average across the partnership portfolio around 21% of total submissions make it through to acceptance. This is a little lower than our average acceptance rate across all Hindawi journals (26%) and it is unclear why this may be the case, although the free launch period (during which Article Processing Charges were waived) may be a contributing factor.
These are still early days for these journals and this partnership, but even at this stage we have a number of journals that have already become sustainable using this new OA model. The expectation is that we can reach sustainability across the full journal portfolio within 2017. This is an important step towards proving that the transition to Open Access is not only beneficial to authors and readers, but can also create sustainable OA journals.
The text and images in this blog post are by Hindawi and are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).