Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Adventures in Open Access publishing

 There is not a lot of diversity in the journals geochemists, geochronologists and hard-rock petrologists traditionally publish in.  Precambrian Research, Geochimica, Chemical Geology, Gondwana Research, and EPSL are all run by Elsevier, while the Journal of Petrology and Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology are also published by large, for-profit corporations.  American Mineralogist is one of the few society journals still published and operated independently. And although member subscriptions and not too dear, the journal is by no means open access.

Other fields of geoscience have been making more progress in the open access revolution.  Planetary and astronomy related geophysics often finds its way into arXiv, biogeosciences can sometimes access PLOS or PeerJ, and the EGU have a variety of open access society journals which span a range of geophysical topics.

One of these journals is Geoscientific Instrumentation,Methods, and Data Systems (GI). While most of their published work appeares to relate to home-made data acquisition systems for geophysical experiments, a colleague and I decided to approach them and see if they were interested in a manuscript relating to ICP-MS, one of the mainstay bread-and-butter methods of geochemical analyses these days. So we sent in the manuscript, and, to make a long story short, it is published online here.  

Anyone reading this who is interested in new, community-based alternatives to the big scientific publishing houses should check it out- the process and handling was similar to any other journal, the timescale was similar to traditional publishing in our field (about 5 months submit to published, including Christmas, and at least 1 month of delay which was entirely my fault), and I have to say that I found the editors to be as professional and helpful as anywhere else I have submitted.

 And the work I originally blogged about here a long, long time ago is finally in print.

C. W. Magee Jr. and C. A. Norris (2015) Alkali element background reduction in laser ICP-MS Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 4, 75-80.

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