Open UBC Week: Open Access Megajournals – Have They Changed Everything?

Open UBC Week: Open Access Megajournals – Have They Changed Everything?

Date & Time:  Tuesday, October 22, 9:30am – 10:50am

Location: Room 302, Dodson Room, 3rd floor, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

Description: The Open Access ‘Megajournal’ (a class of journal defined by the success of PLOS ONE) is a reasonably recent phenomenon, but one that some observers believe is poised to change the publishing world very rapidly.

A megajournal is typically understood to be an online-only journal; covering a very broad subject area; selecting content based only on scientific and methodological soundness; and with a business model which allows each article to cover its own costs. With these attributes, megajournals are not limited in potential output and as such are able to grow commensurate with any growth in submissions. PLOS ONE pioneered this category of journal and is currently expected to publish in excess of 30,000 articles in 2013 alone – possibly approaching 3% of all STM articles published that year. Recognizing the success of this model, many other publishers (such as Nature, Springer, SAGE, BioONE, PeerJ, , BMJ, F1000 and so on) have launched similar journals and each of these publishers is seeing their megajournal grow in volume, month on month. In many ways, the growth of the megajournal has been one of the most visible successes of the open access movement.

Dr Peter Binfield, who led PLOS ONE for 4 years until mid-2012 and left PLOS to co-found PeerJ, has experienced the megajournal both from within PLOS ONE, and from the point of view of starting an entirely new megajournal (PeerJ). In this keynote Peter shares some of his insights about megajournals, how they operate, how they can succeed, and whether or not this new category of journal will truly revolutionize the publishing landscape.

Speaker Bio:

Pete has worked in the academic publishing world for almost 20 years. Since gaining a PhD in Optical Physics, he has held positions at Institute of Physics, Kluwer Academic, Springer, SAGE and most recently the Public Library of Science (PLOS). At PLOS he ran PLOS ONE, and developed it into the largest and most innovative journal in the world, publishing some 3% of the world’s literature at the time of his departure. During that time, he also championed the development of Article-Level Metrics and continues to advocate for this approach towards literature assessment.

Peter left PLOS to co-found Peer J Inc, alongside Jason Hoyt (previously of Mendeley). PeerJ, the journal, launched in Feb 2013 (with PeerJ PrePrints following in April 2013) and makes use of an Editorial Board of over 800 world class researchers, including 5 Nobel Laureates and several faculty from UBC. PeerJ provides researchers with a low cost lifetime membership (starting as low as $99) which gives them the lifetime rights to publish for free thereafter. PeerJ has been hailed as “a significant innovation” by Nature, and was named as one of the “Top 10 Tech Innovators or 2013 by the Chronicle of Higher Education” – the company aims to drive down the costs of open access publishing, whilst simultaneously raising the bar for innovation and functionality.

Ticketing Information: This is a FREE event. For more information, visit

Open to Public, Recommended For UBC Community