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‘By offering the same playing ground for everyone they are able to share their findings.’ A Q&A with journal editor Walter Leal

28th January 2020

As the editor of our first flipped open access journal International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (IJCCSM) we wanted to hear what Walter Leal thought about making the research landscape more inclusive and open for all. 

The journal publishes papers dealing with policy-making on climate change, and methodological approaches to cope with the problems deriving from climate change. It disseminates experiences from projects and case studies where due consideration to environmental, economic, social and political aspects is given and especially the links and leverages that can be attained by this holistic approach. You can read more about the journal here.

Hi Walter, as the editor of our open access journal IJCCSM we would be interested in hearing your thoughts on why open access is important in your field of study and how journals such as IJCCSM (have a wider impact on society?

Open Access is becoming part of our daily business, I believe that in 4 to 5 years, it will become standard. A growing number of funding bodies demand that publications from projects funded by them are made available via open access, so that research organisations are planning the funding needed to cover these costs.

Why should authors choose to publish their work in IJCCSM? What makes the journal a great venue for disseminating their findings?

The main reason is openness: unlike conventional climate journals, which reach a small audiences of subscribers, IJCCSM can be beneficial to thousands of researchers, especially those from developing countries, who would otherwise not be able to access the valuable articles we publish. And because we focus on concrete approaches to manage climate change- and do not only focus on models and forecasts- we can support real climate change adaptation efforts.

This year’s open access theme is ‘Open for whom? Equity in open knowledge’, do you feel that there is equity in open access? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this in relation to your field of research.

At the moment there is no such equity, since only a few can afford open access. However, as the business model of education and scientific organisations is progressively changing, I believe we might be able to reduce the current inequalities in the foreseeable future. Especially in climate change, a global problem, equity in open knowledge is essential.

How do you think we can create a scholarly community that is inclusive and equitable for all?

By offering the same playing ground for everyone, so they are able to communicate and share information on their works, on their results and their findings. In this context, open access can play a key role by making information available to anyone interested.

Walter Leal

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (IJCCSM) Editor