This is a summary of the tools used by Quantum. We will update it regularly, with the goal of helping other scientific communities setting up their own open-source journals.
Last updated: March 2021 (beta version).
- Scholastica: peer-review platform. It’s like Easy Chair but for journals. It’s not perfect, but it has improved over the years, and they have reasonable customer support. The submission process is simple and friendly. They offer the possibility to host the journal website, which we’ve opted out of.
Costs: $10 per submission.
- WordPress for the website template (OnePress). We have developed and open-sourced a plugin for publishing papers, and we use Relevanssi for search.
- Webhostone (based in Germany) for website and email server hosting.
Costs: around EUR 300 per year.
- LaTeX template: developed and open-sourced by Quantum.
- PayPal and Stripe for payments. Remember to tell them that you are a non-profit.
Costs: some x% of each payment.
- Atlassian Jira for tracking internal workflow.
Costs: $144 per year.
- Google spreadsheets, docs and forms for various internal little things.
- We have a Quantum computer (that is, a classical computer with a Quantum sticker) for our employees.
Costs: around EUR 500.
Legal and logistics
- We are registered as a non-profit association. As we’re based in Austria, legally this is a Verein. Note: this is the publisher of Quantum, not the journal itself. The members of this association are the executive and steering boards, as well as our paid employees.
- We have a bank account and a credit card for the non-profit association.
- Currently Quantum employs three assistants on a part-time regime, in Austria. Note that for the first 1-2 years of operation the journal was run only by the executive board, who worked on the journal on a voluntary basis in addition to their jobs as researchers.
- We have access to office space at the University of Vienna.
- Crossref: for ISSN, DOI, and cross-referencing. Essential.
- SHERPA/RoMEO: database of publishing policies of academic journals.
- Free Journal Network and Directory of Open-Access Journals: networks of fair open-access journals.
- CLOCKSS: archives all published papers, in case the journal’s website ever goes down.
- Scopus and Clarivate: for indexing and citation counting (a necessary evil).
- European Physical Society: list of recognised physics journals.
- Quantum practices open accounting. All money flows are described in this public spreadsheet.
- The main running costs are the employees’ salaries (currently around EUR 2’150/month). Note that this was a gradual run-up, and that for the first year of operation we had no employees.
- The main source of income are the voluntary publication fees. More about that in this post.
Rough timeline of the journal’s first two years
We believe that we did most things in the right order, so hopefully this might be a useful template for other community-led journals.
- Spring 2016: Brainstorming among the Executive Board. Setting up the non-profit, registering website and email, getting introduced to peer-review platform. Contacting researchers to form the Steering Board.
- Summer 2016: Opening up discussions with the wider scientific community about the upcoming journal and its editorial policies. Open call for editors. Setting up website, article template, peer-review platform, inner technicalities and logistics.
- Autumn 2016: Journal opens for submissions.
- Spring 2017: First publications (the 25th of April 2017 is Quantum’s birthday).
- Summer 2017: Registering memberships (for some we started earlier, but for many we had to wait until there were a few months’ worth of published papers; please check this well in advance).
- Winter 2017: Hiring first paid employees.