Our Study is Published, BUT the Journey is not Finished!

Each June, we receive e-mails from publishers welcoming the evolution of their journals’ journal impact factor (JIF). The JIF is a controversial metric (Callaway 2016), and it is worth asking, “What’s behind it?” In this age of “publish or perish” (Harzing 2007), we take much time and effort to write our papers and get them published. But how much time and effort do we put into finding readers or ensuring that we are reaching the right audience? Are metrics, such as the JIF, good guides for how well we are doing at reaching our target audience?

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Global Flow of Scholarly Publishing and Open Access

Open access is not a new topic for Elements. The topic was addressed by Alex Speer, Kevin Murphy, and Sharon Tahirkheli in 2013 (Speer et al. 2013) and, later, by Christian Chopin in 2018 (Chopin 2018). I fully agree that there is a strong imperative for the geochemistry, mineralogy, and petrology communities to ensure that the research it produces is widely accessible, especially in the increasingly important context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, according to the STM Report 2018 (Johnson et al. 2018), two thirds of the scholarly literature in 2016 remains inaccessible to the public because it is hidden behind a paywall. Scholars have been making various cases for wider public access to published research, known as open access (OA), since the late 1980s.

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