Module 14: Facing the Editorial Challenges of New and Small Journals


This module describes the puzzling problems confronting many start-up journals or small journals, mostly found in developing countries. These are problems associated with limited pools of reviewers and authors, a lack of content, the high cost of production, and lack of financial resources and poor visibility. These challenges have stifled the growth, and in many instances, led to the demise of journals. The objective of this module is to introduce participants to some of these challenges and some attempts to provide possible solutions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will:

  • Have a better sense of some of the common challenges they are most likely to face in running small journals
  • Understand the causes of these editorial challenges
  • Be in a position to provide solutions to these problems


In an increasingly competitive world, editors of any new, or small, or independent, scholarly journal face many challenges. While there is a great and growing need for regional and national journals to produce relevant research results for their academic and professional communities, there are also problems to overcome to ensure that the journals provide a safe platform for this information. Many journals around the world face similar challenges – and these are often worse in developing countries where there is a lack of resources or infrastructure to support scholarly publishing. However there is also a large body of goodwill and a desire to grow scholarly publishing in most regions of the world, and the global scientific and scholarly community has a vested interest to support journals. Journals editors need not struggle alone. Some problems may at first appear insurmountable, but many can be resolved through analysis of the causes of the problem and actions to address these. Solving problems often happens one step at a time!


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