A platform for up-and-coming talent

Interview with David van der Linden

We invited a number of (lead) editors to tell us about their journal and why they chose to work with openjournals.nl. David van der Linden is editor-in-chief of Early Modern Low Countries and he explains how this journal enables young researchers to publish open access.

Early Modern Low Countries (EMLC) is a young journal: it is founded in 2017 and is now publishing its sixth volume. Our journal focuses on the history of the Low Countries in the early modern period, roughly the period between the Renaissance and the French Revolution. EMLC primarily caters to an academic audience, and has a strong interdisciplinary character: we publish articles on history, arts, and literature. We also aim to provide a platform to young researchers and as a result PhD students and postdocs frequently publish in our journal.

Alba amicorum

The history of the Low Countries is a very rich research field, which also attracts great interest from abroad. In short, we publish articles on all kinds of topics, from slavery and sexuality to religious tolerance and the history of ship flags and executions. We also regularly produce themed issues on specific topics, such as the rise of newspapers and most recently on alba amicorum, a kind of early modern book of friends.
I am very proud that EMLC has already managed to establish itself as a leading journal within early modern studies in just a few years. More and more authors know how to find us, both inside and outside the Low Countries. In the future, we hope to further expand our international profile and publish good articles on the pressing themes of our time, such as gender and environment – it is precisely the past that can hold up a mirror to us there!

Precious cause

Open science is definitely an important theme in our field. Nowadays, recipients of NWO grants are required to publish their results open access. EMLC was involved in the pilot to launch openjournals.nl from the start, not only because open access is really important to the editors, but also because we believe that journals are stronger if they work together. Open access is a costly business and by working together costs can be saved.

No costs

When we founded EMLC, it was a very conscious decision to make it available as diamond open access. We specifically wanted to offer new talent a platform to publish articles in English for an international audience. But young researchers often don’t have the financial means to make their articles available in gold open access journals – regular publishers can charge EUR 1,000 or more. By not charging authors, we still wanted to make open access publishing possible, and with success.
Researchers are increasingly aware that their work is more widely read if it is freely accessible. At Openjournals, I can easily track the number of clicks and downloads: this shows our articles are viewed many hundreds of times. That is an absolute plus for the authors and for the field.

Very intuitive

The user-friendly interface and excellent support are without doubt the strongest points of Openjournals: in case of problems, an e-mail is usually enough to solve the issue. Often these are minor issues, such as an incorrectly created DOI. Most of the adjustments can easily be done by yourself in the system. Furthermore, the system allows the editor to process and publish articles intuitively. Overall, the platform is extremely user-friendly.