Confessions of an Open Access Journal Editor:

Open Access Week Guest Blog: Dr Claire Parkin, Editor in Chief – Advanced Journal of Professional Practice

Being the editor of an open access academic journal is incredibly time-consuming and often frustrating, but in my case I enjoy having this kind of role in my professional portfolio. The benefits of journal editorship outweigh the frustrations as the rewarding elements of sharing scientific and professional practice-related works of innovation are immense.

Managing the Advanced Journal of Professional Practice (AJPP) is a big operation, involving many activities behind the scenes. Handling the blind peer review processes and feedback to authors; copy editing procedures; proof reading iterations; and manuscript template preparation are a few of the basic vital roles. Of course, I cannot do all of this without the support of a great editorial team.

In my privileged role, I get a broad view of interesting transdisciplinary research or professional practice related activity that is under way. I interact with scientists and professionals from all over the world. It is a very satisfying feeling to see an early manuscript draft be supported and developed into a fully-fledged academic publication, especially from early career researchers or students.

The unique remit of the AJPP is for professional scientific knowledge exchange: analogous knowledge, for the benefit of professionals globally. All those working in a professional role are required to extend knowledge and skills within a practical environment. This journal enables the bringing together of those skills in a transdisciplinary capacity. Across all sectors of Health and non-health, Education, Business, Human Resources, Administration, Law, Politics and so on, there is a growing need for more collaboration between professionals, agencies, providers and above all with the people they seek to serve. If I get my job right (with the help of reviewers), I can have a positive effect on the careers of my fellow professionals and on the body of knowledge in the field of professional practice in general.

There are many additional benefits to editing an open access journal. The open access element is the mechanism by which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost, and with the addition of an open license that removes most restrictions on use and reuse.

An exciting development for the AJPP is the work I am doing in collaboration with the Scholarly Communications team to move towards Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) Registration. There are many regulations to fulfill and open access host site restrictions to overcome, however, we are 80% there and hope to announce successful DOAJ registration in the near future, a first for Journals at Kent!

In addition to this, I aspire to take the AJPP forwards to becoming the first fully ‘inclusive’ academic journal at Kent. I am currently testing the Blackboard Ally functionality and have successfully run a trial PDF manuscript through the system and turned it into inclusive versions including: Audio (MP3 version for listening); HTML (for viewing in the browser or on mobile devices); ePub (for reading as an e-book on iPad or other e-book readers) and Electronic Braille (BRF version for consumption on electronic braille displays). This is a very exciting venture which I am proud to be driving forwards.

The AJPP allows for the sharing of experiences and gold standard professional practices related to transdisciplinary work places and/or to enhance professional services. It has a specific remit for contemporary work which addresses transdisciplinary/multi-professional and work-related enquiry into practice. Applications of new knowledge, technology, discussion and research or practice-based innovation are particularly welcome, so if this sounds like you, then I would love to hear from you and you can submit your manuscript, reflection on practice, book review, letter to the editor or poster abstract here.

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