Looking at Labour and Compensation in Canadian Non-Commercial Scholarly Journals
Keywords:Canadian scholarly publishing, labour, editorial teams, non-commercial journals
The goal of this paper is to document how labour is divided and compensated (both monetarily and non-monetarily) in Canadian non-commercial scholarly journals. This study informs future research on sustainability in non-commercial academic publishing. As labour is essential for the continued success of these journals, understanding the extent (i.e., how many positions, how many hours per position), scope (i.e., which tasks are undertaken and who is responsible for them), and cost (monetary or non-monetary) of this labour will be critical in ensuring the sustainability of non-commercial academic journals in Canada. To investigate current practices, the authors distributed a survey to 484 Canadian journals meeting the above inclusion criteria. The survey was composed of two sections: how labour is divided at a journal (i.e., how many positions are there, what are the responsibilities of these positions, and how many work hours per week are dedicated to these positions) and compensation (i.e., does the journal provide monetary or non-monetary compensation to members of its editorial team, which positions receive compensation, and what is the source of these funds). The authors received 119 responses, for a 25 percent response rate. Among the main findings are that the majority of respondents compensate at least one journal position and that the source of these funds comes primarily from sponsoring organizations (i.e., affiliated institutional/university departments and scholarly associations). Additional findings include that the top three most commonly compensated positions are copyeditor, editorial assistant, and managing editor. Compensated positions such as translator, graphic designer, and copyeditor are often contracted out. Task distribution amongst editorial team members varies; however, editors-in-chief and managing editors are responsible for the greatest variety of tasks. Editorial assistants and managing editors tend to work more hours than other positions. Additionally, journal production was related to editorial team size, with larger teams producing more volumes on average than smaller ones. Recurring themes in free-text comments were large workloads, lack of compensation, and lack of recognition. This paper provides empirical evidence of the extent and variation of labour and compensation in Canadian non-commercial scholarly publishing. It provides data on current non-commercial journal practices which will be of interest to library publishers, journal editors, and other stakeholders in Canadian scholarly publishing.
Aguinis, Herman, Gideon P. de Bruin, Danielle Cunningham, Nicole L. Hall, Steven A. Culpepper, and Ryan K. Gottfredson. 2010. “What Does Not Kill You (Sometimes) Makes You Stronger: Productivity Fluctuations of Journal Editors.” Academy of Management Learning & Education 9 (4): 683–95. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.9.4.zqr683.
Baruch, Yehuda. 2008. “Opening the Black Box of Editorship: Editors’ Voice.” In Opening the Black Box of Editorship, edited by Yehuda Baruch, Alison M. Konrad, Herman Aguinis, and William H. Starbuck, 209–22. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582590_21.
Björk, Bo-Christer. 2013. "Open Access—Are the Barriers to Change Receding?" Publications 1 (1): 5–15. https://doi.org/10.3390/publications1010005.
Björk, Bo-Christer, Cenyu Shen, and Mikael Laakso. 2016. “A Longitudinal Study of Independent Scholar-Published Open Access Journals.” PeerJ 4 (May): e1990. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1990.
Bosman, Jeroen, Jan Erik Frantsvåg, Bianca Kramer, Pierre-Carl Langlais, and Vanessa Proudman. 2021. “OA Diamond Journals Study. Part 1: Findings.” https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4558704.
Brainard, Jeffrey. 2021. “The $450 Question: Should Journals pay Peer Reviewers.” Science, March 1, 2021. https://www.science.org/content/article/450-question-should-journals-pay-peer-reviewers. Archived at: https://perma.cc/UB4T-DQMV.
Canadian Association of Learned Journals. n.d. “Business Models.” Accessed December 16, 2020. https://www.calj-acrs.ca/business-models.
Canadian Association of Research Libraries. 2017. Canadian Scholarly Publishing Working Group: Final Report. https://www.carl-abrc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CSPWG_final_report_EN.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/JZ7B-TSSS.
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). 2018. Underrepresented & Underpaid: Diversity & Equity Among Canada’s Post-Secondary Education Teachers. https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/caut_equity_report_2018-04final.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/NMK8-Y5QJ.
Cavaleri, Piero, Michael Keren, Giovanni B. Ramello, and Vittorio Valli. 2009. “Publishing an E-Journal on a Shoe String: Is It a Sustainable Project?” Economic Analysis and Policy 39 (1): 89–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0313-5926(09)50045-8.
Clark, Timothy, and Mike Wright. 2008. “Sustaining Independent Journals.” In Opening the Black Box of Editorship, edited by Yehuda Baruch, Alison M. Konrad, Herman Aguinis, and William H. Starbuck, 176–87. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582590_18.
Clavette, Ken. 2018. Letter to the Honourable Kirsty Duncan. January 3, 2018. Canadian Association of Learned Journals. https://www.calj-acrs.ca/sites/default/files/letter_to_the_honourable_kirsty_duncan_jan_3_2018.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/GT4A-6QLP.
Committee on Publications Ethics. n.d. “Journal management.” Accessed December 16, 2020. https://publicationethics.org/management.
Edgar, Brian D., and John Willinsky. 2010. “A Survey of Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems.” Scholarly and Research Communication 1 (2): 1–22. https://doi.org/10.22230/src.2010v1n2a24.
Eve, Martin Paul. 2017. "Open Publication, Digital Abundance, and Scarce Labour." Journal of Scholarly Publishing 49 (1): 26–40. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.49.1.26.
Fischer, Charles C. 2009. “Launching a New Academic Journal: Twenty Years Later.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41 (2): 163–75. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.41.2.163.
Foster, Karen, and Louise Birdsell Bauer. 2018. Out of the Shadows: Experiences of Contract Academic Staff. Canadian Association of University Teachers. https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/cas_report.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/RV8X-LMPF.
Frei, Sybil, and Louise Fleming. 2016. “Survey Results—Shaping a Collective Future.” Datahub. https://datahub.io/dataset/survey-results-shaping-a-collective-future.
Fyfe, Aileen, and Anna Gielas. 2020. “Introduction: Editorship and the Editing of Scientific Journals, 1750–1950.” In “Editorship and the Editing of Scientific Journals, 1750–1950,” edited by Anna Gielas and Aileen Fyfe, special issue, Centaurus 62 (1): 5–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/1600-0498.12290.
Giménez-Toledo, Elea, Adelaida Román-Román, Pablo Perdiguero, and Irene Palencia. 2009. “The Editorial Boards of Spanish Scholarly Journals: What Are They Like? What Should They Be Like?” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 40 (3): 287–306. https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.40.3.287.
Government of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. 2018. “Aid to Scholarly Journals.” https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/programs-programmes/scholarly_journals-revues_savantes-eng.aspx. Archived at: https://perma.cc/9997-5BQE.
Hess, Charlotte, and Elinor Ostrom. 2007. Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice. Cambridge, MAass.: MIT Press.
Lange, Jessica, and Sarah Severson. 2021. “What Are the Characteristics of Canadian Independent, Scholarly Journals? Results from a Website Analysis.” The Journal of Electronic Publishing 24 (1). https://doi.org/10.3998/jep.153.
Larivière, Vincent, Stefanie Haustein, and Philippe Mongeon. 2015. "The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era." PloS One 10 (6):1–15. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127502.
Library Publishing Coalition. n.d. “Library Publishing Directory.” Accessed December 16, 2020. https://librarypublishing.org/lp-directory/.
Lorimer, Rowland. 2019. The Added Value of Canadian Journals. https://www.calj-acrs.ca/sites/default/files/docs/ua-opinion-canadas-not-for-profit-journals-en.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/8Z7W-NSXF.
Macdonald, Adriane, and Nicole Eva. 2018. “It’s Time to Stand Up to the Academic Publishing Industry.” University Affairs, February 26, 2018. https://www.universityaffairs.ca/opinion/in-my-opinion/time-stand-academic-publishing-industry/. Archived at: https://perma.cc/XN27-2GKP.
Magness, Phillip. 2016. “For-Profit Universities and the Roots of Adjunctification in US Higher Education.” In Liberal Education 102 (2): 50–59. https://web.archive.org/web/20211103011435/https://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/2016/spring/magness.
Mamiseishvili, Ketevan, Michael T. Miller, and Donghun Lee. 2016. “Beyond Teaching and Research: Faculty Perceptions of Service Roles at Research Universities.” Innovative Higher Education 41 (4): 273–85. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-015-9354-3.
Maryl, Maciej, Marta Błaszczyńska, Agnieszka Szulińska, and Paweł Rams. 2020. “The Case for an Inclusive Scholarly Communication Infrastructure for Social Sciences and Humanities.” [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research 9: 1265. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.26545.1.
Morrison, Heather. 2016. "Small Scholar-Led Scholarly Journals: Can They Survive and Thrive in an Open Access Future?" Learned Publishing 29 (2): 83–88. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1015.
Papillon, Martin, Mélanie Bourque, Alex Marland, Brenda O’Neill, and Graham White. 2019. CSPA-SQSP Committee on the Impact of Open Access on the Canadian Journal of Political Science Preliminary Report. https://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/documents/conference/2019/CPSA-SQSP%20Cttee_Impact%20OA%20on%20CJPS_Preliminary%20Report.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/8HWU-UK9F.
Paquin, Émilie. 2016. Shaping a Collective Future: An Investigation into Canadian Scholarly Journals’ Socio-Economic Reality and an Outlook on the Partnership Model for Open Access. Montréal, QC: University of Montréal. http://www.erudit.org/public/documents/Canadian_Journals_Socio-Economic_Study.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/3ZSF-BLEJ.
Parker, Lee D. 2007. “Developing Research Journals and Qualitative Inquiry: The Role of the Editorial Board.” Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management 4 (3): 168–82. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766090710826628.
Public Knowledge Project. n.d. “Student Journal Toolkit: Journal Administration.” https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/student-toolkit/en/journal-admin. Archived at: https://perma.cc/3XXQ-XCJ7.
Ryan, Ann Marie. 2008. “How May I Help You? Editing as Service.” In Opening the Black Box of Editorship, edited by Yehuda Baruch, Alison M. Konrad, Herman Aguinis, and William H. Starbuck, 176–87. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582590_3.
Saldaña, Johnny. 2013. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London: Sage.
Schimanski, Lesley A., and Juan Pablo Alperin. 2018. “The Evaluation of Scholarship in Academic Promotion and Tenure Processes: Past, Present, and Future.” [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research 7: 1605. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.16493.1.
Schlosser, Melanie. 2018. “Building Capacity for Academy-Owned Publishing through the Library Publishing Coalition.” Library Trends 67 (2): 359–75. https://doi.org/10.1353/lib.2018.0041.
Schweik, Charles M. 2007. “Free Open-Source Software as a Framework for Establishing Commons in Science.” In Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: Theory and Practice, edited by Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom, 277–310. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
SSHRC Evaluation Division. 2020. Evaluation of Aid to Scholarly Journals (ASJ): Final Report. https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/publications/evaluations/2020/evaluation_report_asj-rapport_evaluation_aide-revues-savantes-eng.aspx#3. Archived at: https://perma.cc/968Q-KTHZ.
Suber, Peter. 2012. “Motivation.” In Open Access, 29–48. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9286.003.0004.
Soloman, David J. 2008. Developing an Open Access Journal: A Practical Guide. https://www.uib.no/sites/w3.uib.no/files/attachments/guide_to_developing_oa_journals.pdf. Archived at: https://perma.cc/483C-PBQV.
Taylor and Francis. n.d. “Managing Your Editorial Board.” Editor Resources. Accessed December 16, 2020. https://editorresources.taylorandfrancis.com/the-editors-role/managing-editorial-boards/.
Wiley. n.d. “Editorial Resources.” Accessed March 10, 2022.
Zedeck, Sheldon. 2008. “Editing a Top Academic Journal.” In Opening the Black Box of Editorship, edited by Yehuda Baruch, Alison M. Konrad, Herman Aguinis, and William H. Starbuck, 145–56. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582590_15.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Sarah Severson, Jessica Lange
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.