Commissioning for an Open Access Journal



I am a commissioning editor for an online open access journal titled E-International Relations (E-IR), which is the world’s leading open access website for students and scholars of international politics, featuring high quality scholarly content and student-facing resources. The website was established in November 2007, and is recommended by leading academics and practitioners from around the world. We reach over 3 million unique readers per year. In addition to maintaining the website, E-International Relations produces a range of open access books. E-IR is owned and operated by a registered non-profit organization and is based in Bristol, UK. E-IR raises its operating budget by selling advertising on the website, from book sales, and via donations from its readers. E-IR’s goals are: 1) To be the leading open access scholarly publisher in our field, making high quality expert content free to view for all and 2) To provide the best source of freely available scholarly materials for students of International Relations. An all-volunteer team of academics, practitioners and students staffs E-IR. These volunteers give up some of their time because they want to have a hand in furthering E-IR’s goal of creating a unique resource for students and scholars.


E-IR’s Commissioning Team is responsible for the bulk of the Articles published on E-IR. The Articles section is the most visited section of the website and it houses the most unique content. Quite simply, E-IR would not function without a vibrant core of editors coming up with ideas, and then going out and chasing up great content. Commissioning is a great opportunity to work with leading experts, and to network with the largest team on E-IR. The Commissioning Editors work around subjects of their own choosing – either on their own solo initiative or as part of different subject teams like International Relations Theory, Gender, Climate, Security or International Political Economy – then find relevant prospective authors and contact them inviting them to write. As those pieces come in, they work with the author to prepare them for publication. The role also invites possibilities to edit, or commission future Edited Collections which are available for download on the website, and on sale worldwide in bookshops.


Commissioning Editors focus the bulk of their time on soliciting and editing work authored by others. However, they are welcome (encouraged!) to contribute their own writings to the website if the editor fulfills E-IR’s expertise criteria.