Georgia Tech Collaborates with Other Leading Research Universities on New, Open Access, Scientific Journal

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Georgia Tech has joined forces with a global scientific publisher and four other leading research universities to launch a new, open-access, scientific journal called Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 

Elementa is the result of a collaborative effort among BioOne, Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. As a member of this campus-based publishing collaboration, Georgia Tech is strategically positioned to maximize the dissemination of new knowledge related to the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological systems during this era of human impact. 

"Elementa is a terrific opportunity for Georgia Tech, as well as a much more sustainable economic model for libraries," said Catherine Murray-Rust, Vice Provost for Learning Excellence and Dean of Libraries at Georgia Tech. Murray-Rust serves on the board of BioOne, which is a non-profit collaboration that brings together scientific societies, publishers, and libraries to provide access to critical, peer-reviewed research in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.

"I think it is really exciting for us [library] to have peer-reviewed, scholarly content that is freely available and for scholars to get their research out there to the world in a high-quality journal," added Murray-Rust.  

Unlike many scholarly journals, Elementa is free and open to readers without subscription fees, while authors must pay a reasonable fee to submit their work. It serves as an alternative publisher of science research to the large, commercial publishing companies that charge libraries millions of dollars each year to provide access to faculty and students. Each article submitted to Elementa will undergo a rapid, but rigorous, peer-review process. 

Authors retain copyright to their work and other scholars are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt it, provided proper attribution is given. Articles published in Elementa will be available in machine- as well as human-intelligible formats: HTML, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket, XML, and JSON. The journal is organized into six knowledge domains, all of which are lead by a prominent Editor-in-Chief. 

Dr. Michael Chang, Deputy Director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech, is the Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainable Engineering domain.

"What first attracted me to Elementa was the vision of the founders to rethink and redesign the very fundamental nature of academic publishing. We think of Elementa as a model of academic publishing for the future," said Chang. "From open access to dissemination via social media (that is also becoming increasingly mobile) to the business model of publishing to the metrics we use to measure impact, Elementa is a ground-up reinvention of the way the research community communicates even as it holds onto the requirement of rigor in peer review." 

As Editor-in-Chief, Chang's role is three-fold. He will serve authors by ensuring the review process is fair, robust, and rapid; advance the science and engineering community by raising the awareness of topics and issues emerging in the field of sustainable engineering; and work to ensure Elementa becomes a stable, enduring open access journal for the publication and dissemination of the most important research in the epoch of the Anthropocene. 

"As all of our economic and ecological futures are now irreversibly and globally connected, it is vital that we understand how this massively complex, hybrid natural-human system works, and how we, as the newly ordained greatest agents of change, are changing it, intentionally and otherwise," said Chang.

Elementa is slated to start accepting its first articles in April 2013 with an official launch set for July 2013. For more information, visit



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