An Update on NCFR Journal Author Services

Diane L. Cushman, NCFR Executive Director
/ NCFR Report, Spring 2021

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I want to take this opportunity to update members on recent and planned changes to the operation of NCFR’s scholarly journals.

Online access for NCFR journals started in 2004 with the partnership between NCFR and John Wiley & Sons Publishing. Over the years, Open Access, whereby published articles are made available free to download in perpetuity, has dramatically altered the journal publishing industry.

About 3 years ago NCFR removed the page-count limits on our journals. At the time, the rationale for this change was primarily the prevalence of online access and the decline in printed copies. However, in looking back, this was actually one of the first steps to increasing the amount of content that could be published in NCFR journals.

With Open Access publishing now reaching maturity, the business model for scholarly journals has moved from subscriptions paid by university libraries to fees paid upon article publication by research funders and countries, often through global publishing agreements. As a result of this change in business models, journals are motivated to publish more content. One strategy to achieve this is to make the submission process easier for authors and to offer more author services.

In the coming months NCFR will be introducing free formatting, a change that will allow authors to submit manuscripts in any format, with journal-specific styling required only after an article has been accepted for publication. This allows authors to forgo revising manuscripts before submission, thereby reducing the amount of effort, particularly if the manuscript has already been submitted and rejected by another journal.

Another author-friendly change under way is an article transfer network. Our publisher’s analysis of articles submitted to or published in an NCFR journal shows us that, at times, articles submitted and rejected by one NCFR journal are subsequently published in another NCFR journal or even another Family Science journal published by Wiley. Likewise, NCFR publishes articles that have initially been submitted to and rejected by other Wiley journals, most often simply because the content is a better match for another journal. The article transfer network allows editors to suggest and direct manuscripts be transferred to other journals published under the Wiley banner and, if reviews have already been completed, to transfer those reviews along with the manuscript. Authors can accept or reject the transfer suggestion, but if accepted, this feature can significantly reduce time to eventual publication.

Over the coming few months you will see additional communications about these journal enhancements. Let me know if you have any questions.