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08:55 AM

COE Launches Open Access Journal of Applied Disciplines

Cipra_Alli (1)

Governors State University’s Journal of Applied Disciplines (JAD) was recently launched to fill a void in academic publishing. It was important to founder Dr. Alli Cipra, Associate Professor in GSU’s Division of Psychology and Counseling, to “create a space for faculty, researchers, and students who don’t have access to pay for journals,” she explains.

Cipra tells the story of a student doing research and wanting to read a paper from a journal to which the GSU Library did not subscribe. “The cost to access the paper was $35.99 for 72 hours,” she reported. “And it is not like the money goes to the authors, that money goes to the journals. I wanted to get rid of that. I think research and science and education should be accessible to everybody. Open access is the best way I know how to do that.”

“I want people to know that research is not about an ivory tower. It is about real people, many of them first generation, learning about ways to improve our world,” said Cipra.

There are costs associated with publishing even an online journal but GSU’s mission is about making education accessible. So, the College of Education decided to cover the costs, rather than following the normal practice of charging a publication fee to the authors. 

“The College of Education is proud to support an open access journal that does not charge for submissions. We support this through some release time for the editor and providing student help,” said College of Education Dean Shannon Dermer.

JAD will publish contemporary research in areas such as psychology (Dr. Cipra’s field), counseling, education, social work, physical/occupational therapy and the broader social sciences. Cipra explains that the Journal is “about creating a platform where people can show the intersection of their work in lots of different areas because, for example, psychology should not be psychology in a vacuum.

Students have a place to publish without paying for the publishing fees many journals charge in JAD’s Spotlight on Student Research feature. Dr. Cipra points out that while student papers go through the blind review process, they are given an extra layer of support in terms of feedback and opportunities for revisions. Another benefit is that students will have the prospect of working on the back end of the Journal – copyediting, checking citations, etc. “We have a really active student research lab here at GSU,” Cipra explains. “Our students are so excited to have the chance to work on the Journal.”

For faculty, the Journal provides an opportunity for peer-reviewed publishing credits, without the long wait that sometimes occurs. Some publications take up to two years to go from submission to print. Faculty working toward tenure often can’t wait that long and if research is ongoing, findings may already be updated by the time papers are actually published. GSU faculty also have the opportunity for external service by acting as reviewers or serving on the editorial board.

GSU benefits too. “Governors State University’s name is right there on each publication,” Cipra said. “And an open access journal fits nicely into our mission to provide an accessible education to our students.”

The Journal of Applied Disciplines is currently in what Cipra calls the soft launch phase. Articles are under review and there are plans to publish two times a year for the time being.

“An extra benefit is the opportunity for “early online publication,” explains Dr. Cipra. “Because the Journal is online and open access, we don’t have to wait for the whole issue to be ready before we make a paper accessible online.”

JAD is seeking manuscript submissions of empirical or theoretical original works and brief reports. To explore more information about this journal or submit a manuscript for review, please visit: