Daily Nous has the full story here.

Imprint is an impressive open access journal. Its mission statement is vital reading. The journal deserves our support. Consider helping them out.

I’ll cut and paste their Mission Statement below. It offers a vision of what the future of journals in philosophy could be like if we banded together to help out journals such as Phil Imprint and together work to transfer prestige to such journals.


There is a possible future in which academic libraries no longer spend millions of dollars purchasing, binding, housing, and repairing printed journals, because they have assumed the role of publishers, cooperatively disseminating the results of academic research for free, via the Internet. Each library could bear the cost of publishing some of the world’s scholarly output, since it would be spared the cost of buying its own copy of any scholarship published in this way. The results of academic research would then be available without cost to all users of the Internet, including students and teachers in developing countries, as well as members of the general public.

These developments would not spell the end of the printed book or the bricks-and-mortar library. On the contrary, academic libraries would finally be able to reverse the steep decline in their rate of acquiring books (which fell 25% from 1986 to 1996), because they would no longer be burdened with the steeply rising cost of journals (which increased 66% in the same period).*

The problem is that we don’t know how to get to that future from here, and there are so many other, less desirable futures in which we might end up instead. The growing trend toward licensing access to electronic versions of journals is counterproductive, since it reproduces the unnecessary economy of subscriptions and permissions, in which intellectual property produced at universities, often with public funds, is transferred to private publishers who can collect fees for its dissemination. Now that academic institutions have access to the Internet, they have no reason to pay subscription or subvention fees to anyone for disseminating the results of academic research.

At the time of the Imprint’s founding, significant obstacles stood in the way of a transition to fully electronic publishing. Authors did not view electronic publication as prestigious, readers did not view the electronic literature as authoritative, and neither of these views seemed likely to develop in the absence of the other. Younger scholars were unsure whether electronic publications would count towards tenure and promotion. And the funds that would support electronic publication and archiving were tied up in print subscriptions that could not be discontinued until an electronic alternative was available. Philosophers’ Imprint was founded to overcome these obstacles to the free electronic dissemination of scholarship. The Imprint is designed to combine the permanence and authority of print with the instant and universal accessibility of the Internet. The Editors select for publication only those submissions which are judged to be of lasting value, on the basis of a blind refereeing process. Having no commitments to subscribers, the Editors are free to publish as few papers as are found to meet an absolute standard of quality. Each paper is given a fixed, typeset appearance and a stable Universal Resource Locator (URL), to allow for reliable citations. The University of Michigan Digital Library has committed funds to produce the Imprint, to provide it with indexes and a full-text search engine, and to ensure the permanent accessibility of its archives.

No license, subscription, or registration is required for access to the Imprint. Because the Imprint has no subscription income, it must operate economically, without paper or postage. Contributors are therefore required to submit their work electronically. All correspondence with authors and referees is conducted by electronic mail. Finally, the Imprint does not manage rights and permissions. Permission for instructional uses are not necessary, since the Imprint is accessible without charge to teachers and students alike; permission for other uses is managed by the authors, who retain copyright in their work.