Presentations (Communicative Events)

Building Tremor Journal: Examining the Costs of Open Access Publishing

Newton, Mark P.; Morris, Julie N.

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) was established in 2007 by the Columbia University Libraries/ Information Services (CUL/IS) to explore and provision new research support services for the university in all areas of scholarly communication, including online scholarly publishing. (Renfro and Neal, 2012) As the landscape for library publishing has continued to grow, CDRS has found an increasing level of demand for library-based support of publishing initiatives from within the University and beyond. Because of CDRS’ unique position as an organization housed within the existing CUL/IS infrastructure, the Center has access to a great deal of resources and support systems that have enabled it to provide a full suite of services in support of library-based publishing, including the publication of Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements (TOHM) journal (, a fully open access scientific journal based on the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software.
Using CDRS' publication and support of TOHM as a case study, this presentation will examine the costs involved in publishing an open access journal, moving beyond the basic setup and execution of a journal website capable of incorporating a peer-review workflow to look in detail at the specific essential services CDRS provides, including: Software development, hosting, and maintenance: The Center continually works to develop on top of the OJS software to customize the web site to allow for full journal publication workflow, including the build of a plugin to work with third-party vendors.
Indexing support: In an effort to uphold the journal’s contribution to the scientific community, CDRS has successfully undertaken application for indexing in PubMed Central (, and continues to maintain this relationship. Finance management: Through the Center’s relationship with the library finance office, CDRS manages the journal’s finances, including author fees, waivers, and the incorporation of third-party funding and grants to the journal. Research and Development: A constant aspect of CDRS’ support for open-access publication through TOHM is the task of keeping abreast of new opportunities for enhancing the scholarly content through new software tools and platforms; metadata optimization and SEO tools; and methods for integration with the broader scientific research community.
The support of TOHM speaks to the Center’s strategy for securing paths for the open access to scholarly research. Additionally, as exemplified by the Library Publishing Coalition’s (LPC) goal to “refine justification and positioning for library-based publishing activities,” (“LPC Project Deliverables”) it provides a useful mechanism for analysis of the opportunities the greater research library community has in the support of scholarly research publication.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Libraries and Information Services
Published Here
April 7, 2014


Slide deck presented at the 2013 PKP Scholarly Publishing conference in Mexico City