Open Access Journal Post

The journal I plan to talk about in this post is the “Journal of rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering”.  In this bimonthly published journal, authors are not required to pay any fee for publications and articles are permanently free for download and reading. In fact, the first introductory lines of the journal goes as ” This journal is a peer reviewed, subsidized open access journal where Chinese Academy of Sciences pays the OA fee”.

This journal operated by the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences started publishing in 2011, and it is expected to receive its first journal impact factor in June 2020. It’s  source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), an indication of how well cited a journal is of 2.11 (greater than 1.5). And one of its most downloaded papers is the 2018 version of Hoek-Brown failure criteria and GSI, by Hoek and Brown, two of the most famous names in the rock mechanics world.

The scope of this journal, as published on their website, aims to “foster the international exchange of academic ideas and to promote the development of rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering, functioning actively as a bridge to link the research achievements with the international world, which aims to make more readers know the latest research development and key engineering construction in rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering.” The journal  idea of open access is intended to provide an opportunity for researchers across the world, in China and overseas, to read about latest research and exchange new and innovative theories and technologies, and this why the Journal is published in English, though it originated from China.

Although the journal doesn’t mention how it relates to other open access journals within the same field, it does reflect the motivation of sharing knowledge globally by everyone.  And in the geotechnical field, open access journals are not very common. Regardless of the reluctance of some researchers to publish in open access journal, due to the fear of lower quality research being published there, open access journals started to gain more attention recently with more research publications addressed to this type of Journals.

2 thoughts on “Open Access Journal Post”

  1. First, I find it interesting that although the journal originates in China, it is published in English. After some thought, there is a journal in forestry that is published in Croatia called the Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering, and it is also published in English. I have no idea why both of these journals are published in English but it would be interesting to look into why they are. I also found it interesting that journals in your field are typically not open access, in forestry there is a considerable amount of open access journals. I guess there is a lot of differences in journal regularities among different fields.

  2. I wonder if this journal originated as a result of more access difficulties and restrictions for people outside the US. I also wonder if those working in rock and soil mechanics tend to do field work in more remote areas, further hindering access. Regardless, by making the journal open access and in English, it seems they are striving to enhance accessibility worldwide.

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