International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management's transition to open access

18th October 2022

Author: Walter Leal - Editor of International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

Walter Leal photo

In 2018, the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (IJCCSM ) made the decision to switch from a subscription format to a fully gold open access model.

The aim of IJCCSM is to facilitate, through scholarly research, a better understanding of climate change. Switching to open access aimed to maximise the dissemination of climate change research, ensuring that vital real-world research was supported and communicated to all stakeholders including academics, policymakers, and practitioners.

Climate change directly affects the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, therefore it’s important that climate change research is disseminated without restrictions.

IJCCSM’s most important achievements are:

  1. A greater presence in the literature published: article downloads have increased by nearly 80% from 2018-2021, particularly in papers related to climate change management processes.
  2. A higher number of citations: the journal is now listed in the top 10% in two of its categories in Scopus; the Scopus CiteScore has increased from 1.1 in 2017 to 5.7 for 2021[1]
  3. An increased interest among many scientists to engage on a dialogue with us through special issues. Forthcoming special issues include topics such as Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems and Agriculture, Climate Change and the Circular Economy, and Carbon Neutrality.

The transition has not been without challenges. Firstly, some authors still do not seem to be fully aware of the many advantages associated with publishing open access. The article processing charge associated with publishing open access can be seen as a hindrance to some authors and some authors may not be able to afford to publish. Emerald offers support to authors through institutional Read & Publish deals which offer authors vouchers to publish if they are at a partnering institution, or help is offered to authors from developing countries in respect of waivers.

There is some good news however: grant-awarding bodies such as research councils and many public and private funders are encouraging their grant recipients to publish via the open access route, and provide the funding needed for it. In the context of Horizon Europe for instance, one of the world’s largest research programmes, the open access route is the preferred one.

Ultimately, moving IJCCSM to an open access format has enabled the research to be more widely circulated and cited, for the benefit of disseminating climate change research. Several articles have been cited in policy documents, which include Climate Change Adaptation in Zambia, and the effects of global warming above 1.5°C. News outlets have also featured the journal’s research, re-writing for a broader audience – this demonstrates the importance of open research to reach multiple stakeholders, from the researcher to the policy maker, practitioner and the wider public.     

As for the future, it is expected that open access will gain in both visibility, and importance. Since the focus of IJCCSM is on climate change – one of the most pressing challenges of modern times – we expect more submissions in the future, as more and more authors see IJCCSM as the journal of choice when it comes to promoting scholarly research on how to manage a changing climate.

[1] Source:

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