PKP International Scholarly Publishing Conferences, PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2007

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Living Reviews - Open Access Online Publications
Christina Weyher

Last modified: 2007-07-14


In this talk we shall present Living Reviews (,
which are are open access online journals featuring an innovative
editorial concept for the publication of high-quality scientific content.

Living Reviews journals publish solicited, peer-refereed review
articles that give an overview on the state of research in their
specific fields. The articles offer annotated insights into the key
literature and describe available online sources. Published reviews
are regularly updated by their authors to incorporate new developments
in the field - which is the significance of the word 'living' in the
journal titles.

Living Reviews are aimed to establish an entry point for graduate
students who want to get into a field as well as for experienced
researchers who want to catch up with important recent progress.
The journals provide advanced web presentation and online
functionalities as developed and maintained by the project. All
references are collated into an online searchable literature database,
with cross-links back to the citing context in the respective LR
article. The software for publication and management of the journals
(the ePublishing Toolkit) is being developed as an open source project (

The first journal, Living Reviews in Relativity, went online in 1998.
Meanwhile three more journals have been founded, in solar
physics (2003), european governance (2004) and landscape research
(2006), that are being published by different research
institutions. More journals are in the course of formation.

In this presentation we will show how the concept of Living Reviews
can be adopted to various scientific fields. It is in particular
interesting to note, how an editorial concept originating from the
natural sciences also spreads towards the social sciences and what
different usage scenarios for such an online information resource are
possible. Based on the experiences gained with several years of
founding and running Living Reviews journals, we seek to identify key
success factors as well as possible pitfalls for future journal founders.