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Open-access mega-journals: Continuity and innovation in scholarly communication

Open Access mega-journals are large scale, broad-scope journals that operate an open-access business model, and which employ a novel form of peer review, focusing on scientific ‘soundness’ only and not judgments of novelty or importance. Mega-journals have been a polarising development within scholarly publishing. Advocates and publishers of OAMJs argue that their approach essentially democratises knowledge by facilitating the publication of all scientifically-sound papers and allowing the academic community as a whole, rather than a small group of editors and reviewers, to determine which are most important or useful. Critics of the model perceive OAMJs as low quality ‘dumping grounds’, often publishing articles rejected by traditional journals.

This special issue aims to showcase new research investigating the mega-journal phenomenon, and contribute to current debates on the impact, effectiveness and sustainability of the OAMJ model.

The guest editors are seeking high quality original submissions, both research-based and conceptual, that address questions relating to this relatively new form of journal. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Soundness-only peer review
  • OAMJs and post-publication measures and metrics
  • Mega-journals as a disruptive innovation
  • OAMJs and Open Science
  • Researcher perceptions of OAMJs
  • Applicability of the OAMJ model to non-STEM disciplines

Submissions should comply with the journal author guidelines which are here. Submissions should be made through ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at

The guest editors

Stephen Pinfield is Professor of Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield, UK.  Simon Wakeling is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield’s Information School.


Deadline for Submissions: April 2018
Peer Review: April to July 2018
Revisions, Copyediting, proofting etc: July to November 2018
Publication of Special Issue: December 2018/January 2019