Should we merge all WikiJournals into one?
The WikiJournal project is struggling to take off. So should we keep the current model of having many WikiJournals? Or should we merge all of them into a single, all-encompassing WikiJournal?
We're talking about the WikiJournals in the English Wikiversity, not other Wikiversities.
Arguments in favor of many journals
- Specialist journals can be more attractive to authors. Certainly some medical researchers are more interested in publishing in a medical journal than in a generalist journal.
- Retaining a separate WikiJournal of Medicine maintains the outreach and reputation so far built.
- The built reputation is still small.
- The "WikiJournal of Medicine" name is consolidated in for example ISSN.org (for the International Standard Serial Number), Crossref (for doi codes), and the registration as a non-profit organization, so it would be a lot of work if we would need to change it.
- Journal editors and other volunteers may be interested and particularly knowledgeable only in specific fields.
- In a generalist journal, articles can be easily categorized per discipline, and the categories advertised so that users can quickly find articles in their field if interest.
- Different fields can have different expectations of peer review.
- In a generalist journal, articles can be easily categorized per discipline and then subject to the appropriate standards for the field.
- General journals can struggle (e.g. SpringerOpen closed down).
- Specialist journals can struggle too. There are a trillion that closed down.
- If Wikiversity is around for a long time and grows significantly, merging all journals into one would put too many constraints in place.
- What kind of constraints?
Arguments in favor of one journal
- Having a single generalist journal would give a place to users working in areas that don't really have enough peers to start a specialist journal.
- The publication rate of the WikiJournal of Medicine is declining (2014: 2 issues, 12 posts; 2015: 1 issue, 4 posts; 2016: 1 issue, 1 post) and the WikiJournal of Science hardly has any contributors either. Merging the two journals (and any future ones) into a single WikiJournal would allow us to collaborate, gather contributors and readers more effectively.
- More interested editors to spread the workload (peer review, template work, documentation, etc).
- More interested editors to advertise its existence, especially outside of the existing wiki community.
- Having only one journal reduces the risk of it falling under the critical mass of editors needed to continue in 10 years (probably the main risk for most volunteer projects, and could easily happen for a WikiJournal servicing too niche a topic).
- Having only one journal would greatly simplify the mailing list. Instead of having one list for the WikiJournal of Medicine, another the WikiJournal of Science and others for future journals, we'd have a single list for the WikiJournal, a single and thus larger suscriptor list and more regular emails.
- There's no need for a separate mailing list for each journal. We can have a single list and send all issues from all journals through there.