For this blog post we were asked to find an open access journal in our discipline. I am in the department of Human Nutrition Food and Exercise with an emphasis in Behavioral and Community Science, so chose the open access journal SSM- Population Health. This is a sister journal to the journal of Social Science & Medicine and has the same Editors-in-Chief. Both Editors-in-chief are associated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, however the Editorial Board is from all over the world. SSM – Population Health Editorial Board – http://www.journals.elsevier.com/ssm-population-health/editorial-board/

SSM – Population Health is a “new online only, open access, peer reviewed journal in all areas relating Social Science research to population health.” It is an interesting journal in that it is “especially welcoming [of] interdisciplinary papers from across the Social Sciences and allied areas.” I love the idea that many disciplines of science are able to come together in one journal. To me this is the ultimate idea of collaboration. What I also love about this journal is that it “offers an alternative outlet for work which might not be considered, or is classed as ‘out of scope’ elsewhere.” To me, social science transcends all areas, so this is a very exciting journal to come across. They have a newsletter that you can sign up to receive if this type of journal interests you.

As far as open access goes, SSM – Population Health has a relaxed approach. In the Journal’s Note from the Editors-in-Chief, they explain how due to the struggle of “growing submissions” and “lack of space”, the Journal of Social Science and Medicine decided to launch the new sister publication in an open access model. The Journal and its Editors do not seem to position themselves within the open access movement. Instead, they seem to embrace the idea of open access as a way to “provide a forum for debate in the field of social sciences and population health” that would otherwise not exist.

I have included the Aims and Scope as well as a Note from the Editors-in-Chief with their links. Enjoy!

Journal of SSM – Population Health – http://www.journals.elsevier.com/ssm-population-health/

Aims and Scope

The new online only, open access, peer reviewed journal in all areas relating Social Science research to population health.

SSM – Population Health shares the same Editors-in Chief and general approach to manuscripts as its sister journal, Social Science & Medicine. The journal takes a broad approach to the field especially welcoming interdisciplinary papers from across the Social Sciences and allied areas.

SSM – Population Health offers an alternative outlet for work which might not be considered, or is classed as ‘out of scope’ elsewhere, and prioritizes fast peer review and publication to the benefit of authors and readers.

The journal welcomes all types of paper from traditional primary research articles, replication studies, short communications, methodological studies, instrument validation, opinion pieces, literature reviews, etc.

SSM – Population Health also offers the opportunity to publish special issues or sections to reflect current interest and research in topical or developing areas. The journal fully supports authors wanting to present their research in an innovative fashion though the use of multimedia formats.

 Note from the Editors-in-Chief

At Social Science & Medicine, we have sought to publish cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary science at the intersection of medicine/public health and the social sciences. As our reputation has grown as one of the top journals in the field, we have struggled to keep up with the growing volume of submissions from all over the world. Due to pressure of space, we have been able to publish only a fraction of the manuscripts received by our offices.

We are therefore excited to announce the launch of a new sister publication, Social Science & Medicine – Population Health, based on an open access model.  Substantively, the new journal will focus on the same subject areas as we currently feature in Social Science & Medicine, except with one important difference: we are pleased to expand our coverage to include studies that are currently viewed as out of scope by the parent journal, including methodological notes (e.g. instrument development, methodological innovations), targeted reviews, and well-designed replication studies conducted in novel settings.  We seek to maintain the highest standards of peer-reviewed excellence, as well as to provide a forum for debate in the field of social sciences and population health.