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Publishing Services

Journal Publishing Through ODU Digital Commons

If you are thinking about starting a new journal, have a journal currently hosted elsewhere that you would like to move, or are a faculty advisor to a student-run publication, ODU Digital Commons can help.

 Our journal platform offers a robust suite of editorial and publishing tools for peer-reviewed journals.These tools include

  • online hosting
  • manuscript management workflows
  • coordinating peer-review
  • maintaining communications between authors and editors
  • publishing within a volume and issue structure

Additional services include establishing journal policies, training on effective publishing workflows, and marketing assistance for recruiting submissions from potential authors.

Each journal’s website can utilize custom logos and branding.

Journals must be managed by an editorial board and an editor-in-chief. 

  New and existing journals may be published through ODU Digital Commons. Types of journals:

  • scholarly journals
  • literary journals
  • society publications with ODU editors
  • student journals
  • and more

Benefits of Publishing a Journal with the Libraries:

  • free access to publishing software, online hosting, and custom web design
  • assistance with International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) registration
  • persistent article identification with Document Object Identifiers (DOIs)
  • access to a web analytics dashboard for tracking online usage statistics
  • indexing with Google, Google Scholar, and scholarly databases
  • long-term digital preservation

 Journals should be open access compliant

The intention is to provide open access for all journals that are published in ODU Digital Commons. Priority support will be given for journals that are open access immediately upon publication and follow peer-review procedures. The library staff will work with departments that seek to have a subscription-based journal on a case by case basis.

 Journals should be considered ongoing in nature

We want to ensure the sustainability of all journals thus all requests must include one member of the editorial team that will be considered the managing editor. For student journals, a faculty member is required to sit on the editorial board.

 All requests to start a journal must be accompanied by a completed request form which includes:

  • proposed name for the journal
  • description of the journal including the aims and scope
  • frequency of publication
  • name of the faculty member or staff member who is initiating the request and who will serve as the managing editor

 Peer reviewed journals should have an editorial board and an editor-in-chief

An editorial board should be designated to serve as the body overseeing the editorial policies, and to manage the peer review procedures. If the editorial board is comprised of students, at least one faculty member must be on the editorial board to help ensure continuity. The editorial board members will be posted on the journal information page. We encourage composition of boards that include faculty, staff, and students.

 Digital Commons publishing platform is recommended

We encourage and strongly recommend the full use of the publishing features available in the Digital Commons to produce new journals. Library staff will work with faculty, students, and staff for appropriate training in using all the features for electronic publishing. The review, editing, and speed of publication are greatly enhanced by using these features.

 Authors retain their copyright

All authors of individual articles retain their copyright to the works submitted; however, all submissions become a permanent part of the Digital Commons collections. We cannot honor requests to remove or suppress content, unless it is for reasons of copyright infringement or other intellectual property violation. All authors must sign an agreement form prior to publication.

 Advertising and promotion is the responsibility of the publishing department

Publishing entities are responsible for the advertising and promotion of their journal.

 Approval of requests

All requests will be reviewed by the Digital Commons Manager. In order to allow sufficient time, please submit requests at least two months prior to requesting the start of a journal.

 Library responsibilities

Upon approval, the library staff will:

  • set up the journal site and provide training as needed
  • submit information on the journal to the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • submit a request for an ISSN to

 Discontinuation of a Journal

If no new content or issues are produced for two consecutive years, the journal will be considered to have “ceased publication.” The Digital Commons Manager will contact the department chair/head of the department and confirm that the journal is no longer being published and appropriate notices will be placed in the Digital Commons and in the catalog record.

Phases of Journal Development

Phase 1: Meet with ODU Digital Commons Manager to discuss parameters for your journal

Discuss institutional policies for hosting journals in Digital Commons, desired launch date, rights management/copyright, etc. Complete a journal proposal form and submit.

Phase 2: Design

In consultation with Digital Commons manager, journal editors will provide detailed design specifications for the journal. This includes colors, logo, typography, and layout. Digital Commons journals are based on a template.

Bepress, the Digital Commons vendor, provides design services and will create a journal site design based on the design specifications provided by the editors and within the template parameters. Bepress designers will provide 3 iterations of the design at no cost to the journal editors. Therefore, it is important to be as specific and provide as much design direction as possible. The designers will provide a mockup of the site and editors will have an opportunity to review and provide additional feedback to the designers.

Review the Design Customization Guide for Sites, Journals, and Events:

Complete the Digital Commons Journal Setup Form:

Phase 3: Demo and Training

Once the design has been approved by the editors, a demo site is created. This demo site will provide editors an opportunity to work and test the site. This demo site will also be used for training purposes. All editors will receive training on the demo journal site before it is launched.

Site text, including “about the journal”, submission instructions, information about the editorial board, and journal policies should be added to the demo site before launch.

See resources below.

Phase 4: Launch

Once the editors have been trained and the site text has been added, the journal is ready to be launched. After the journal is launched, it is ready to receive submissions.


An editor alone cannot manage a journal.

Essential personnel:


Responsible for oversight of all operations leading to publication of the journal. Works with Associate Editors to define the scope and structure of the journal. Works with Editorial Assistant to review all submissions and assign peer reviewers. Oversees journal editing and proofreading done by the Managing Copy Editor. Consults with the Marketing Assistant on marketing and communications related to the journal.  Utilizes bepress/Digital Commons "How-to" guides to manage submissions and publication.

Editorial Assistant (Managing Editor):

Partners with the Editor-in-Chief to facilitate the article submission and review process. Peer Reviewers are selected from the Editorial Board and are subject experts who will provide unbiased and rigorous peer-review.

Managing Copy Editor

Recruits and oversees all copy editors. Partners with the Editor-In-Chief in the editing process by ensuring that articles and other materials are free of errors, easy to read, conform to the submission guidelines, and conform to designated style guidelines.

Marketing Assistant

Partners with the Editor-In-Chief on marketing and communications related to the journal. Oversees and promotes online presence of the journal including Digital Commons, social media, and the website.  Monitors Digital Commons Dashboard Tools for download rates.

Below are links to peer-reviewed and undergraduate research journals published through ODU Digital Commons.

Journal of Sociotechnical Critique : The Journal of Sociotechnical Critique is a no-fee open-access peer-reviewed scholarly journal that seeks to support theoretically-engaged critical, public, and activist work at the intersections of philosophy of technology, internet studies, communications theory, library and information science, environmental ethics, and related fields. We welcome submissions on these topics from the international scholarly community looking at sociotechnical dynamics within any cultural and geographic context.

OUR Journal: ODU Undergraduate Research Journal : an open access journal published by the Honors College at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia.

Virginia Journal of Science : Published since 1940, the Virginia Journal of Science is an academic, peer-reviewed publication focused on all areas of science affecting the state of Virginia. As the official publication of the Virginia Academy of Science, it includes meeting minutes, notes, and reports of the Academy, as well as proceedings from annual meetings.

Journal Essentials: Practical Steps to Better Journals:  Overview   

Sample journals:  Journals of all types hosted by bepress with various designs

Journal Video Tutorials:  Short tutorials on various aspects of managing journals in bepress

Managing and Publishing Journals:  Step-by-step instructions for performing common editorial and publishing tasks in a Digital Commons journal. As workflows differ, not every journal will follow all of the steps included here.

Digital Commons Peer Review Tools:  Publications can take advantage of either single-blind or double-blind peer review using robust tools for managing reviewer lists and turnaround time.

Journal Design Tour: This tour introduces the Digital Commons design process for journals and event communities. It includes examples of basic journal and event design layouts and provides information on getting started.

Journal Design Customization Guide:  This guide is for Digital Commons repositories starting the design process as part of their site setup, and for journals or events that would like a unique design. It explains the available options, how template-based designs work in Digital Commons, and the steps in the design process–from completing the setup form to launching your new repository, journal, or event.

Journal Setup Form:  Use this form in conjunction with the Design Customization Guide if you plan to request a custom design for your journal. This form may also be used for journal redesign requests.


LPC Resources Roundup: Journal Best Practices Checklist:



There are a range of factors used when deciding whether to index a journal. It is important that these criteria are met before submitting a journal for coverage. Examples of criteria used by Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science):

  • Timeliness of publication: Late or short publication can indicate poor academic reception, and the possibility that the journal will falter in the near future.
  • Quality of peer review: A journal must have a robust peer review system in order to maintain research quality.
  • Distinctiveness of subject area: A journal must have a distinctive aims and scope. Companies like Thomson Reuters want to index titles that cause a redundancy or unnecessary addition. You have to show how your title will enrich the database.
  • Internationality: Unless a journal is regional, you should try to reflect geographical diversity of the subject area in your authors and editorial board.
  • Number of citations: Journals are often rejected because of low citation levels in their category. This may because a journal is largely uncited, because its main competitors are not indexed and there is no record of articles that cite the journal.


Each database will have its own indexing policies and criteria for inclusion. Common criteria are:

  • Length of time published or number of items published
  • Regular publication schedule
  • Public-facing Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
  • Re-evaluated yearly
  • Ulrich’sWeb: A database of serial information, including ISSN, editorial boards, indexing coverage, peer review status, and publication history for journals. This resource is commonly used to identify legitimate venues for publication. More information.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): A community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Most legitimate open access journals are indexed and certified here. More information.
  • Scopus: Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings as well as smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research. More information.
  • Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters: Web of Science): An analytics company focused on scientific and academic research, patent analytics and regulatory standards, pharmaceutical and biotech intelligence, trademark protection, domain brand protection and intellectual property management. More information.
  • EBSCO:  Provides fulltext coverage of magazine, newspaper, and scholarly journal articles for most academic disciplines. More information.
  • ProQuest One of the largest, multidisciplinary, full-text databases available in the market today. More information.
  • Google Scholar - Digital Commons journals are automatically indexed.


Getting Your Journal Indexed: a SPARC Guide