Open journals with Kevin Stranack
By Tania Arora, Staff Reporter
Douglas College organized Open Access Week from October 22 to 28 at the New Westminster campus, which involved three sessions. Open Access Week is an international event that aims to promote free and immediate access to information published by scholars online.
Douglas College kicked off the week by starting with the event Introduction to Open Journals with Kevin Stranack. Stranack is the Head of Digital Publishing at the Simon Fraser University Library and the Associate Director for Community Engagement and Learning at the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) in Vancouver. He is responsible for helping to educate others about the project, ensuring its development across communities, and ensuring an uninterrupted user experience and communications. The event took place at the Library Quiet Study Room at the New Westminster campus from 11:30 am to 12:20 pm. Journal editors, authors, professors, instructors, and students came together to learn about Open Journal Systems (OJS).
OJS was created by John Willinsky in the Faculty of Education at UBC and was released by PKP as open-source software in 2001. The software helps journals manage and disseminate their open source online publications.
PKP then went on to partner with the Faculty of Education at UBC, the SFU Library, and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at SFU.
Stranack explained how other universities are using this software at libraries and how it can be used at Douglas College. This provides more opportunities for people who have written scholarly articles, journals, or theses to have their findings be read by the general public.
PKP’s main goal is creating software to make journals more accessible. The multi-university research initiative has been involved in various research and development projects every year, either coming up with new projects or releasing improved versions of existing ones. A recent example of this is the PKP sustainability study, which reviews how to keep OJS relevant and useful in the constantly evolving realm of publishing. Top universities, colleges, and libraries across North America are currently partnered with the initiative. Namely, the University of British Columbia, Stanford University, University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, University of Pittsburgh, and the Ontario Council of University Libraries all work with PKP.
The initiative is also involved in various collaborative services. PKP coordinates with its partners on research projects, develops ongoing software versions, provides language translations, helps institutions with the documentation of the software, and holds seminars and workshops.
The OJS software promoted at Douglas College’s event is currently on its third version. Authors and readers can submit and manage content online in addition to being able to filter through and index content. Readers also receive timely email notifications and are able to comment on materials online.