The journal

The EAAEP Foundation publishes the journal Q Open. The Foundation (together with the publisher as co-owners of the journal) appoint the editors of the journal and supports them in collaborating with the publisher Oxford University Press (OUP). Here is the weibsite of the journal. 

A Publishers Contract defines the conditions and responsabilities of OUP and the Foundation. The current contract runs from January 1, 2020. An editorial contract sets the rules between OUP, the Editors and the Foundation. These contracts help to manage the expecations and makes clear each others duties.

Q Open has one Editor in chief and 4 additional editors specialised in a certain subject area that the hjournal covers. Some of them are based outside Europe.  Editors have each a team of associated editors. The normal term for an editor is 3 years. To keep experience within the group of editors a second term is an option. As all editors started at the same date, a rotation scheme will be developed to create a yearly replacement of one or two editors over time.

Editors are appointed by the EAAEP Foundation and the publisher. The editors are obliged to maintain an editorial board of 15 – 35 persons. The editors are responsible for having all contributions to the journal reviewed by referees eminent in the relevant field. The editors annually submit a report on the performanceof the editorial process.

The publisher and the Foundation have entire control of the appearance, design, format, frequency, length, price, marketing, distribution, and finances of the journal.

Support of the editorial proces

The publisher runs the editorial office to support the editors in their work. Oxford University Press (OUP) provides the following support of the editorial process:

  1. Submission of Manuscripts via Manuscript Central /Scholar One;
  2. Support of the process via a virtual office;
  3. Handling the final corrections with the authors of papers;
  4. Reporting on the performance of the ERAE

Compensation for editors
OUP provides a small compensation for the editors

The Evolution of Open Access and Q Open

As we approach the successful completion of the inaugural volume of Q Open, its role as a high-profile open access (OA) journal is developing. As previously explained, Q Open is a new and exciting open access journal that is a collaboration between the European Agricultural and Applied Economics Publication (EAAEP) Foundation and the Oxford University Press (OUP).

The rationale and role that Q Open can play within our profession is growing. Specifically, we are seeing rapidly changing demands being placed on academic researchers regarding the need to ensure open availability of research output as part of a wider open science agenda. One of the most prominent examples of this is ‘Plan S’, an initiative of the research funding organisations which comprise Coalition S, which aims to drive forward open access and open science.  The rationale driving the open science agenda is compelling. There is no reason not to support the view that science should be more credible, reliable, efficient and responsive to the challenges that society faces.

As part of this evolving research environment, Horizon Europe (the EU’s key research and innovation funding programme until 2027) has implemented a policy that means that research will need to be made OA on publication, and that funding will only be available to fund publication fees in full OA outlets. Furthermore, Horizon Europe funding will not support funding of research publications in hybrid journals (i.e., journals with a paywall and OA options). Similar changes to research funding and OA requirements will come into force in the UK in 2022 (although in the UK publication fees in hybrid journals will still be supported through ‘transformative’ agreements), and there have been ongoing discussions in the US to change the existing 12 months maximum embargo period on funded published research and to adopt OA for publications immediately.

The ongoing evolution of requirements being imposed by funders marks a significant departure from how the vast majority of academic research has been supported historically. It is in this context that Q Open potentially offers our profession the possibility of publishing research that meets the increasingly demanding OA requirements whilst also providing a publication platform that brings with it the necessary reputation and support, that academic researchers require in building a career. Of course, for Q Open to meet the needs of our profession it is important that Q Open grows its reputation and becomes established as a target journal for academics to publish in. It is in this context that we encourage members of the profession to seriously consider Q Open as an outlet for their high-quality research.

Finally, although it is important to enjoy the publication of the inaugural issue of Q Open, we realise that much hard work remains. It is important that we continue to attract high quality submissions as the journal develops. Furthermore, if we are to achieve our objective of being a top-ranking field journal in the areas we cover (i.e., agricultural economics, environmental and climate economics, natural resource economics development economics and food economics) it is essential that we continue to receive the support that we already have from our colleagues. We also understand that the transition to OA will not be easy for the profession and society/community-based journals. Fully OA journals have to become established in terms of Impact Factors and need to have a minimum size not to be loss-making. To transform community/society-based publishing with its advantages of good networks of authors and reviewers, linked also to congresses and seminars with special issues, we call upon society members to contribute to this transition by submitting and helping to review for Q Open.

The Q Open Editors: Iain Fraser, Erwin Bulte, Vincenzina Caputo, Phoebe Koundouri and David Lewis