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Organizational Structures and Digital Skills Regarding OJS Adoption in Mexican Humanities Journals

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posted on 28.11.2019 by Néstor Daniel Martínez-Domínguez, Ivonne Lujano Vilchis, Bárbara Rivera-López

The objective of this paper is to analyze the forms of adoption of the Open Journal Systems by academic journals editors in Mexico. From a sample of 26 journals of Humanities (Linguistics, Philosophy and History), 9 academic and technical editors were interviewed with the purpose of identifying their perception on the interaction they had with OJS, and the main challenges for the implementation of this system in accordance with the journal's editorial workflow. Also, four authors and three readers were interviewed to identify their perception as users of the journals and contrast with the perceptions of the editors.


Results indicate that, first, the extent of offices that intervene in the installation and technical maintenance of OJS (e.g. the university's editorial or publication department, the library or external consultants) hinder the fluidity of the editorial process. Second, the lack of technical knowledge on behalf of the journal's academic and executive editors resulted in a limited use of the platform.They mostly use OJS for publication rather than editorial management. Third, the compulsory implementation of the platform due to indexing services and databases' recommendations on the one hand, and policies on evaluation of scientific publications on the other hand, are situations that end in a non-critical implementation of OJS in most of the cases analyzed. Finally, the diversity of OJS users (editors, authors, reviewers, designers, copy editors, among others) reveals a gap in their digital skills. The need for training in technical aspects, discourage the use of OJS as a management tool.


Summarizing, we propose that apart from analyzing the technical approach of the adoption of OJS, it is important to investigate the organizational and political conditions on which journals are produced, as well as digital skills of its users, in order to consolidate solid communication channels for communities in these disciplines.


Paper presented at PKP 2019 International Scholarly Publishing Conference, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

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