Employment relations journal now free

13 Oct, 2020
A cartoon of a man popping out of a laptop holding a megaphone and a sign that reads

The New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations (NZJER) will now make itself available free on Tuwhera, AUT’s open access journal hosting service.

The move continues a trend towards open-access publishing and away from academic journals that can't be read unless paid for.

Three editors of NZJER are at AUT: Professor Erling Rasmussen, Associate Professor Felicity Lamm and Dr Julienne Molineaux.

In an editorial in the last paid edition of the Journal, they examine open access and lay out the reasons for the NZJER move.

Open access is not just about making content available for free but is also about people being able to share or re-use material without asking, the editorial says.

"Although many academics would agree that traditional publishing approaches prevent access to research findings and are costly for education and research institutions, they are also under pressure to submit and support highly ranked journals," it says.

"As long as universities use journal ranking as proxies for research quality and critical indicators in their performance management, it will be an uphill battle for open access publishing."

Research-funding bodies could help shift the balance in favour of open access publishing, and if universities demand similar types of openness for research findings, then the balance would shift even further, the authors say.

"While there have been calls for a paradigm shift, it is unlikely, in our opinion, that there will be a substantial swing away from traditional to open access publishing in the foreseeable future.

"However, a re-balancing of current publishing approaches towards open access publishing could be a start that could reduce many of the negative aspects of traditional academic publishing and domination of large, international publishing firms.

"With profit margins being very high in several cases, there is clearly room for some considerable adjustments."

The move comes ahead of this year’s Open Access Week, the theme of which is Open with Purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion.

A free week-long series of online events has been organised by the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) and includes two events hosted by AUT Library’s Scholarly Communications Team Leader, Luqman Hayes.

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