Open Source Possibilities

Open Access journals are a common topic among graduate student discussions as well as a concern and interest among higher education administrators. Here at Virginia Tech I have been given the wonderful opportunity to explore the world of open access from a very privileged position: as a co-editor elect of SPECTRA: the Social Political Ethical and Cultural Theory Archives.

Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Theory Archives (SPECTRA) is a student-led online scholarly journal established as part of the ASPECT (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) program at Virginia Tech. The journal features work of an interdisciplinary nature and is designed to provide an academic forum for students to showcase research, explore controversial topics, and take intellectual risks. SPECTRA welcomes submissions for publication by way of scholarly refereed articles, book reviews, essays, interviews and other works that operate within a problem-centered, theory-driven framework. (

We use OJS, which is part of PKP to organize the journal. Before this year it ran through a common blog; wordpress. While there isn’t a statement “for” or “against” open access, the journals being is statement to a belief in changing the way we think about “publishing” and access to readership. As for the journal’s organization, the graphic below is incredibly helpful to those new to this process.

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