The ideal model, if you ask me

Interview with Sible Andringa

We invited a number of (lead) editors to tell us about their journals and the reasons why they chose to work with Sible Andringa, editor-in-chief of the Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics feels that the journal has become more attractive to authors since switching to Openjournals and he explains why his editors quit working with a traditional publisher.

Sible Andringa: ‘The journal Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics (DuJAL) has been around for a long time. It started as the Journal of Applied Linguistics in Articles. The first volume was published in-house in 1976. From the beginning, the journal was published by the Dutch Association of Applied Linguistics Anéla (see In 2012, it was decided to change its name. The journal was renamed Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics and it has since been published by  John Benjamins. In January 2021, the journal moved to Openjournals.

‘So Anéla owns the journal and this association unites all applied linguistics scholars in and near the Netherlands (especially Flanders). Articles in DuJAL are actually always about language use, language acquisition and/or language policy and everything related to it. Articles can also have a methodological angle. And authors often come to us if there is clearly a ‘Dutch angle’ to the article.

Moral duty

‘Open science is becoming an increasingly important theme in our field. Applied linguistics is highly interdisciplinary and for example, leans heavily on the methods of psychology. There is a lot of experimentation and use of complex designs and statistical procedures. This makes the transparency of procedures and sharing of data and analyses increasingly important. There was a reproducibility crisis in psychology, and although we do not have such a crisis in linguistics, this field also suffers from a lack of transparency and replication.

‘It is also becoming increasingly important for scientists to engage in open science. You can often present all kinds of badges with your article these days: open data badge, open instruments badge, etc.. So yes, open science is important and it is becoming more and more important. At the same time, I feel that open access publishing in particular is stagnating somewhat, although I cannot substantiate this with numbers. The emphasis seems to be more and more on open data, open instruments, and less on the open access publication. While I think this is the most important thing: open data and open instruments are a service to the research field, while open access publishing ensures that knowledge is accessible to everyone. So I do worry about how things are going.

‘That’s why Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics is now available as a diamond open access journal. We really choose diamond for ideological reasons: we all have a costly moral obligation to make our research public, and we want equality. Open access becomes elitist as soon as authors have to pay for it. The knowledge generated by science should be accessible to everyone, and everyone should be able to publish open access. You will only achieve that with diamond open access.

Leaving Benjamins

‘We had an open access deal at Benjamins: the last two volumes were open access there too. Yet we left. That had a lot to do with a lack of freedom. We wanted a publishing model that was not attractive to Benjamins. That’s when we left. Fortunately, Openjournals was just launched. What we really like is the total freedom to set up our journal the way we want. Openjournals only asks that we publish open access and that is also what we want.

New forms of publishing

‘What you see happening a lot now is that a publication becomes very fragmented. If someone publishes in a journal of one of the big publishers, you often see that the article is offered there in final form. At the same time, there is a pre- or post-print in some public archives so people without access can also read it. And to make things more complicated, somewhere else, the dataset or instrumentation is offered. With Openjournals, you can choose to offer all that together: pre- and post-prints are not necessary, and all data and instruments can be co-published.’

‘The ideal model, if you ask me.’

‘In addition we can now also think about all kinds of new forms of publishing, such as publishing conference posters and the like. Those conversations we now have, because we know it is possible and allowed by the publisher. We find that we have become more attractive to authors now that we are open access and publish on an ongoing basis.  There are not huge numbers of submissions right away, but a steady stream of good quality.’