Case Study: Open Access Yields Solid Growth for Hindawi

By McClure, Marji | Information Today, May 2008 | Go to article overview

Case Study: Open Access Yields Solid Growth for Hindawi


McClure, Marji, Information Today


At first glance, Hindawi Publishing Corp. appears to be just like any other STM publisher. It publishes a healthy slate of peer-reviewed titles and has a relatively large staff that runs the operations typical of a traditional publishing house.

Hindawi, which was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, was just like any other publisher for its first 10 years of business. But that changed in February 2007 when Hindawi, which had started to test the waters of open access (OA) journal articles a few years earlier, completed its full conversion to an OA publishing model.

The Alliance With SAGE

Hindawi's OA initiative and the company's commitment to the process received a boost last November when it formed a partnership with SAGE, an international publisher of academic, educational, and professional journals and books. The alliance calls for the publishers to jointly publish a collection of OA journals. When the alliance was first announced, SAGE was publishing nearly 500 journals in the humanities, social sciences, and STM fields, while Hindawi was publishing more than 100 OA journals.

"The rationale for this partnership is that it combines SAGE's experience and reputation within the scholarly publishing industry and Hindawi's efficient publishing operation in order to develop very strong open access journals that achieve high standards in terms of editorial quality, production quality, and technological support," says Paul Peters, head of business development for Hindawi.

Each company will have a specific role in the joint publishing process. SAGE will develop and market the journals, while Hindawi will provide the technological, editorial, and production infrastructure that will run the journals, according to Peters. He says the companies will each have 50% ownership of the journals and will equally split revenues generated by the publications. Chances are the collaboration will enhance the reach of both publishers in the marketplace.

The companies will begin by publishing a collection of STM titles and will consider adding titles in other areas in the future. Their journals will be accessible online through Hindawi's platform.

More Alliances to Come

Peters adds that Hindawi doesn't have any other partnerships in place, but the company is interested in building additional alliances that can combine Hindawi's strengths with those of potential partners.

On its own, Hindawi currently publishes more than 100 peer-reviewed journals in the STM space and expects to publish roughly 3,000-4,000 journal articles in 2008. Hindawi's titles include the International Journal of Aerospace Engineering and the Journal of Biophysics.

The company's publishing house, with nearly 300 employees, is divided into five operating units: production (handles production of all articles in-house), customer relations (manages editorial aspects of the journals), information systems (includes IT and content management department), business development (houses journal development, marketing, graphic design, web design, and product development), and business (includes internal functions such as human resources, finance, accounting, and administration).

The Strength of OA

Hindawi's journals are published under the OA model, meaning that the full text of the journal articles is freely accessible to all interested readers. Since OA journals can be viewed by anyone, no subscription is necessary. They are distributed under the Creative Commons attribution license, which allows for the unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction of the articles. Article authors maintain the copyright to their work.

Hindawi's journals are available on the company's website (www.hindawi.com), and biomedical journals are also accessible via PubMed Central. A print-on-demand service enables readers to access the journals in printed form. However, most journals have only a few print subscribers, according to Peters. …

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