IET launches open access engineering megajournal

Accepting submissions from autumn 2012 and available online in 2013, the megajournal will cover a full range of engineering topics

·         Existing 26 journals to add open access option

·         Announcement follows global research project canvassing opinion from 35,000 engineering researchers

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is to become the first engineering, not-for-profit publisher to adopt an open access model with the launch of a comprehensive, online-only open access journal. Open access options will also be added to its existing 26 journals. This is part of the IET’s continuing mission to make essential engineering intelligence available to the worldwide engineering community, benefitting researchers who contribute to or use this content.

The IET, which has 150,000 members in 127 countries around the world and has published engineering journals since 1872, will be inviting submissions for its new open access megajournal from autumn 2012, with the online-only publication expected to launch in 2013. As a broad-based engineering journal it will accept papers on a wide range of engineering topics, rather than focusing on a single specific field. The title and editor-in-chief of this new publication will be announced later in 2012.

From 2013, authors will also be able to choose to make their research free to view in any of the IET’s 26 existing engineering journals, which include well-known titles such as Electronics Letters and the newly launched IET Biometrics. Currently all research papers published by the IET’s journals are available in print and online to paying subscribers only.

The IET’s decision to adopt the open access model comes after a major global review with over 35,000 engineering researchers from academia and industry to gauge their appetite for open access. This research found that 87% of engineering researchers said they would continue to submit articles to a journal if it converted to an open access model, and around a third of them had previously published in an open access journal.

Daniel Smith, Head of Academic Publishing at the IET, explains: “The recent Finch report has further fuelled the public debate about open access academic publishing, which we believe is one of the most significant industry changes in recent years and yet is complementary to the existing subscription-based model.

“For authors it not only provides more choice in terms of where their peer-reviewed papers are published, but offers them more opportunity to publish high quality cross-disciplinary studies. This is particularly key in engineering, where many of today’s advances are being made at the interfaces between subjects. For readers, gaining quick and easy access to research is of course a major step forward and we are excited by the potential that open access offers.”

Tim Hamer, Director of Knowledge at the IET, adds: “Developing open access to quality engineering content which accelerates both research and innovation is a major pillar of the IET’s knowledge strategy. The introduction of our open access megajournal is an important element within this.  We believe the broad scope of the new journal and the opportunity to publish open access articles in existing journals will be a welcome development for the worldwide engineering community.”