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European Journal of Taxonomy: assessment of an open, collaborative project
Natacha Beau, Laurence Bénichou

Last modified: 2015-08-19


Natural History Institutions (NHI) have played for centuries a major role in dissemination of scientific information, including publication of names and taxonomic descriptions of organisms that are new to science. However, these institutions are facing numerous strategic and technical challenges as the field of scholarly publishing evolves rapidly towards new models. European Journal of Taxonomy (EJT) was launched in 2011 by a consortium of NHI to tackle these challenges and offer enhanced visibility and usability of taxonomic contributions as well as a coordinated strategy to retain control over editorial policies, publishing tools and standards. The project was built upon an innovative business model, with the use of Creative Commons License for the published content, open source software OJS as publication platform and “diamond” Open Access model, where neither authors nor readers pay fees. In this framework, main objectives of the EJT consortium were (1) to establish an innovative, transdisciplinary journal; (2) to integrate openness initiatives and new technologies in the content production; and (3) to set up a solid team able to reclaim expertise and tools in scholarly publishing. This paper aims to provide a first assessment of the project, to show the issues that the EJT team had to face, how they were addressed, how the project evolved throughout the years, and finally consider the journal’s future. Doing so, we will examine the underlying assumptions we had at the beginning of the project about the challenge of a multilingual team, standardisation, IT expertise, open access and citability, and transdisciplinarity.


Open Access; Scholarly Publishing; Collaborative Project

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