EJournals: Guidelines for Editors

Virginia Tech Libraries Publishing FAQs and Principles of Transparency and Best Practice

Virginia Tech Libraries (VTL) provides publishing services to its university community and beyond through its Scholarly Communication department in the Research and Informatics Division. VTL publishes works solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to its university community.

Areas of interest:

VTL Current Publications

VTL Publishing Staff

  • Gail McMillan, Director of Scholarly Communication
    540-231-9252, gailmac@vt.edu
  • Robert Browder, Digital Publishing Specialist
    540-231-0267, rbrowder@vt.edu
  • Corinne Guimont, Digital Publishing Specialist
    540-231-4041, gcorinne@vt.edu
  • Peter Potter, Director of Publishing Strategy
    540-231-5595, pjp33@vt.edu
  • Anita Walz, Open Education, Copyright, and Scholarly Communication Librarian
    540-231-2204, arwalz@vt.edu
  • Carrie Cross, Administrative Assistant
    540-231-3028, cecross1@vt.edu
  • Student Assistants

Contact Information

Each journal displays its contact information on its main page: /ejournals

If you would like to reach out to a VTL staff member directly, please see the VTL Publishing Staff section above. Alternatively, if you prefer to contact us via mail, our address is:

560 Drillfield Dr.,
Blacksburg, VA 24061

  • VTL does not share in the authors’ or journals’ copyrights.
  • Each publication determines its copyright and licensing policy.
  • VTL strongly recommends that journals allow authors to retain their rights while giving the journal non-exclusive rights.
  • VTL strongly recommends displaying a Creative Commons license as VTL does at the bottom of its pages.

Access Policy

  • VTL allows each publication to determine its access policy.
  • VTL has successfully recommended open access (OA) for all its publications. Nine of ten current (March 3, 2016) journals are immediate OA. One ( The ALAN Review ) delays public access for two years.
  • The full content of all VTL publications can be read without requiring readers to register.
  • VTL’s publications strive to comply with Virginia Tech’s web accessibility standards , including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 .

Business Model

  • VTL charges no fees for its publishing services.
  • VTL’s publishing services do not generate income from author fees, reader fees, subscriptions, advertising, or selling products such as reprints. There is no commercial aspect to VTL publishing; it is a library service.
  • VTL publications are available online without charge to anyone.
    • Journals do not charge authors article publishing fees.
    • Journals do not charge readers for access to articles, nor do they charge article processing fees.

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding

  • Publishing is a joint effort. For each work published by VTL, an MOU is created that describes the nature of this joint effort.
  • The MOU grants VTL permission to store and provide access; it does not give VTL any share in copyright.
  • The editor retains control of the journal/conference proceedings and is responsible for the quality of the publication while the library ensures enduring long-term public access.
  • Either party may terminate the agreement after giving one year’s notice to the other party, though it is assumed that such action would only be taken after mutual consultation in order to avoid any possible inconvenience to the other.

DOI: Digital Object Identifier

  • VTL assigns a DOI to each of its current journal articles.
  • VTL is a member of CrossRef and uses the OJS plugin to assign DOIs as needed.

ISSN: International Standard Serial Number

  • VTL will apply for an ISSN if a journal does not yet have one.
  • There should be a unique ISSN for each format (e.g., electronic, print).




  • VTL has published largely in English, but is open to publishing in other languages.
  • VTL has published articles in French and articles with extensive Greek passages (e. g., Electronic Antiquity ).

Abstracting and Indexing (A&I)


  • VTL regularly backs up its publications so that, in the event of a data loss, a copy can be restored on a timely basis.

Archiving: ensuring long-term accessibility

  • VTL maintains the integrity of its publications and does not edit/change published works.
  • The VTL preservation strategy has been active since 2004 when it became a founding member the MetaArchive Cooperative where its journals are regularly ingested into the dark archives of a distributed digital preservation network.

Peer review

  • Each journal determines its peer review process and the qualifications of its peer reviewers.
  • Most VTL journals have a blind peer review process clearly identified on each journal’s website.
  • VTL also publishes non-peer reviewed works
  • Non-peer reviewed journals (or sections within peer reviewed journals) are clearly identified.

Ethical behavior

  • VTL adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct .
  • VTL expects its journals to also adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct .
  • Research misconduct
    • Because VTL works with members of the academic community, we rely on our editors to “prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others.”
    • If there is an allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article, the journal editor is expected to follow COPE guidelines .
    • VTL expects its journals to be timely in publishing corrections, clarifications, and retractions in a prominent place.
    • Journals will have clear policies about handling potential conflicts of interest.

Complaint Policy

  • Conflicts of interest will be handled according to each publication’s clearly stated policies.
  • For other issues, contact Gail McMillan ( gailmac@vt.edu , 540-231-9252), who will immediately explore the problem and work towards a quick resolution.


  • VTL does not usually advertise its publications.
  • In conjunction with a journal it publishes, VTL may support or initiate communications to make the journal and/or its articles known to a particular readership.

Publishing Schedule

  • VTL welcomes new publications throughout the calendar year.
  • Journals that do not use OJS can expect a two week turn around time.

Scanning Services

  • VTL will scan a reasonable number of its journals' back issues or conferences' proceedings that are not yet available electronically.

Advisory Body

  • VTL’s publishing services are advised by the VTL’s Associate Dean for Research and Informatics, Director of Publishing Strategy, and the Dean of University Libraries.

Other Open Initiatives

Open Educational Resources (OER)

We collaborate with VT faculty to produce Open Educational Resources.

Contact: Anita Walz ( arwalz@vt.edu , 540-231-2204)

See the Open Educational Resources Guide http://guides.lib.vt.edu/oer for more information.

Subvention Fund

The Virginia Tech Open Access Subvention Fund subsidizes article processing charges (APCs) for scholarly peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication in open access or hybrid OA journals.

  • Funded by Dean of Libraries and the Provost.
  • FY2016 is its fourth year; it has a budget of $86,000.

Author Discounts

Institutional memberships and library subscriptions offer discounts to authors faced with APCs for OA journals.

Open Access Policy

The Virginia Tech Library Faculty Association approved an Open Access Policy on Aug. 1, 2013.

Open Access Events

OA Scholarly Communication Initiatives

VTL supports new OA scholarly communication initiatives such as Knowledge Unlatched, Open Library of the Humanities, PeerJ, and SCOPE3.

Open Con


Since 2014, VT Libraries have sponsored at least one student to participate in the annual student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. They share their experiences through the blog Open@VT .