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Journal Publishing Guide

Supports for Editors

This page includes useful information and resources to support journal editorial teams. 

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) has a free 14-module video-based course “Becoming an Editor” that walks you through the major tasks required of an editor for a scholarly journal and how to analyze and solve common problems that may arise. This is also a good resource if you are a new editor for an existing journal.

Your Editorial Team

One of the most important parts of starting a new journal is getting together your editorial team. Your team's structure will depend on many factors such as:

  • Types of submissions (e.g. original research articles, opinion pieces, book/article reviews) and the number you expect to receive
  • Skills Required (e.g. social media, copyediting, subject-specific expertise)
  • Reporting Structure

You will want to consider what each position will do if the role should have a term length and how you plan on recruiting for the position. 

Resources to help you build your Editorial Team 

Student Journal Advisors  

For new student journals, you are required to have at least one Faculty, staff or librarian advisor as a member of your team. The advisor role is meant to ensure there is both support and continuity for student journals, but the actual level of day-to-day involvement is something you will determine yourselves. Typical activities could include being available for questions, giving guidance and resources when needed, and potentially attending some editorial meetings. We typically ask that the journal advisor sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) but this is optional. If you'd prefer that someone from the journal (like the managing editor) sign the agreement, we just need to make sure that a new MOU is signed each time there is a change over in the editorial team. Note that to be indexed by DOAJ, a student journal will need 2 PhD level advisors.  

Here are some useful resources for locating freelance editorial support:






Peer Reviewers

  • Reach out to your peer networks.  


Copyright and Licensing

There are two primary copyright ownership models journal teams should consider:

  • Author retains copyright
  • Author transfers copyright to the journal/publisher

To choose between the two options, journals need to consider what they want to permit their readers to do with articles. Does the journal want readers to share them, translate them, or post them on their personal websites? Does the journal want authors to have the right to post their article to sites like ResearchGate and Does the journal want readers to have the option to adapt the articles into other formats (such as an infographic)?  (Adapted from Journal Publishing Guide by University of Toronto Libraries)

Aligned to the ethos of the Library's Journal Hosting Service that supports fair, open and sustainable publishing models that enables the timely dissemination of scholarship at reasonable costs,, Journal Teams are encouraged to allow authors to retain copyright ownership of the works published in the journal. 

Also consider assigning an appropriate Creative Commons License to your journal by integrating this into your Copyright Notice and editorial workflow.  See below.

Navigate to Settings -> Distribution -> Permissions:


Copyright Notice: Add your journal’s copyright statement here. It will be visible on the journal website.  

Sample Copyright Notice: 

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution  License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Check the box to require authors to agree to your copyright statement.

Base new article’s copyright year on: Choose whether the copyright date is based on the issue (under a traditional, issue-based publishing model) or on the article (based on a continuous publishing model).

Copyright Holder: Select who holds copyright to the articles published by your journal. The trend in open access publishing is to allow authors to retain copyright of their work.


Display your CC license on your Journal Site and Published Articles

Creative Commons licenses specify what readers may do with the journals’ content. There are six license to choose from.  Once you have chosen your Creative Commons License remember to: