Questions
Answers

Q: Why should I invest my time in reviewing/submitting/reading JOSIS
papers?
Because JOSIS is run entirely by and for the benefit of the GIScience community. We do not charge for or profit from your submitted or published articles; we do not profit from your invaluable efforts as a reviewer; we do not charge you for reading JOSIS articles. The objectives of JOSIS are purely scientific, timely publishing of high quality scholarly articles as a service to the GIScience community.

Q: What are the top 10 reasons for submitting a paper to JOSIS?

  1. Rapid reviews and publication: At JOSIS we aim to provide the fastest possible high quality reviews. Currently, our average time from submission to decision on first round reviews is 67 days. Further, we have a a maximum of two rounds of peer reviews. Your article with either be accepted or rejected within two rounds of reviews (so no more "authoring by review"). Being an online journal, your accepted article can be published within weeks (rather than months or years) after acceptance.
  2. Increases access and citations to your work: Since JOSIS is open access, anyone---academic peers, research managers, journalists, the general public---can download, read, cite, and refer to your work any time, free of charge. Ultimately, using open access can help increase the impact of your work.
  3. Saves you and your institution money: Personal, library, and institutional access to commercial journals is expensive. Take a look at the costs of commercial journals in the field of GIScience (like IJGIS and Geoinformatica). JOSIS is free, leaving you and your institution more funding to spend on conducting (rather than reading about) research.
  4. Advantages for research funding: Open access academic publishing is a huge movement with broad social and governmental support. Research funding agencies, like the NSF, NIH, DFG, RCUK, and many more major funding agencies around the world support and promote research outputs that are publicly available. Our funding agencies understandably prefer not to pay twice for research---once to conduct research, and then again to read about the results of research.
  5. Allows you to retain copyright to your work: Most commercial publishers still require you to sign over to the publisher the copyright to your work. Authors of JOSIS articles retain copyright of their own material, while making it freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
  6. Highest standards of quality: At JOSIS we aim to be become acknowledged as the highest quality journal in the field of GIScience. We are being helped in this aim by an exceptional international editorial board, and by the highest quality expert reviewers.
  7. Full color, dynamic, and data content: JOSIS is full color online and in hard copy. Further, by being primarily online journal, we can provide direct access to and repository for additional content related to your paper, like simulations, software, high resolution figures, and data.
  8. Responsive, helpful, and knowledgeable editorial staff: Because JOSIS is community run, we know about the problems and pitfalls of paper authorship. With you help, we aim to provide the highest quality typesetting and presentation for your article.
  9. No page limits: JOSIS articles must be an appropriate length to their content. Articles that are unnecessarily long or short are unlikely to fare well in the review process. However, we have no arbitrary, set page limits, and no page charges---if the reviewers agree that your paper really needs to be that short/long, then it can be published in JOSIS.
  10. Become an agent of change! Things are changing in academic publishing---one only has to look at the now established norms in other pioneering fields, like physics. Now is the time to support open-access publishing in our field. There is no reason why we can't have academic journals that are both high quality and don't require high subscriptions or author charges.

Q: How can I be sure my article in JOSIS will be available in perpetuity? Articles in JOSIS are archived in a number of ways on independent servers including systems dedicated to archiving scholarly works. First, all JOSIS articles are stored on the JOSIS web site, professionally managed by Siteground, fully backed up, and available 99.9% server uptime. Second, published JOSIS articles are officially archived in an Institutional Repository at the University of Maine Library. This repository is based on the LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe) archiving system, which uses a high level of replication to ensure that articles continue to be accessible even if journals, publishers, and even libraries change or close one day. These archives can be searched independently of the JOSIS web site, and are maintained entirely independently of JOSIS.

Q: Will submitted articles be available to download while they are under peer review? A: Yes. The discussion forum hosts authors' original manuscripts during formal peer review. Members of the spatial information science community and the public are welcome to read articles currently under review in the discussion forum. The aim of this policy is to promote wider discussion and more open dissemination of the very latest research. Once a decision has been reached on a paper (accept or reject), it will be removed from the discussion forum.

Q: Why can registered users comment on submitted and published articles? Registered JOSIS site users used to be able to comment on articles, both under review and published. The objective of this was to encourage debate and more active community involvement, raise the standards of submissions, combat plagiarism, and provide useful links to related work for authors and readers. However, in mid 2016, more sophisticated spamming made comments impossible to moderate. As a result we have disabled commenting. You are still welcome to email editors with comments you may have, in particular if you believe an article may contain plagiarised material.

Q: Are JOSIS articles free to download and read? A: Yes.

Q: Does JOSIS charge author fees for publishing articles? A: No. JOSIS is entirely free for authors and readers of the journal.

Q: Are style files available for preparing articles for submission to JOSIS? A: Yes, Word and Latex style files are available for download from the author guidelines page.

Q: What file formats does JOSIS accept for article submission? A: Initial submissions are always in pdf format. However, if accepted, full Microsoft Word or Latex source files for articles must be submitted for publication. See the the author guidelines page for more information.

Q: Who publishes/owns/runs JOSIS? JOSIS is non-profit and is the product of volunteer work within the GIScience community. As such JOSIS belongs to and is run by the GIScience community. Starting JOSIS was an initiative of the current editors in chief, Matt Duckham, Jörg-Rüdiger Sack, Mike Worboys, but with substantial encouragement and assistance from the wider GIScience community. JOSIS is also not published by anyone in the traditional sense (i.e., JOSIS is not a title owned by any publishing house). However, The University of Maine is listed as the publisher of JOSIS by the ISSN Agency, which requires an individual or institution to be nominated as "the publisher". 

Q: Why does JOSIS prefer latex article submissions to Microsoft Word submissions? A: JOSIS issues are generated in latex, to ensure the most professional possible typesetting results within limited volunteer time resources. As a result, if you generate your article in latex, you are helping to support JOSIS by alleviating the need for time-consuming format conversions by volunteer copyeditors. At the same time, Microsoft Word continues to be a widely used document preparation system, and as a result JOSIS will continue to support Word submissions into the forseeable future.

Q: Can I post a JOSIS article on my own web site? A: Yes, as long as you obey the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License (essentially clearly attribute the work to the authors and acknowledge its publication in JOSIS).

Q: Why are JOSIS articles open access? A: Because open access improves the sharing of scientific research, helping to better disseminate GIScience research to academics, students, and the general public. JOSIS is the first open access journal to serve the broader GIScience community.

Q: What does "open access" mean? "By 'open access' ... we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Q: Who holds the copyright to a JOSIS article? A: The authors of the article retain the copyright to their work. However, by publishing their article in JOSIS, they also agree to make their work freely available to share or adapt, subject to adequately attributing the source in any derived works (see Creative Commons Attribution License).

Q: Is JOSIS ISI SCI/Scopus/... listed? A: We realize listing in citation indexes is an important criteria for many academics, often directly affecting an individual's performance indicators and even their promotion or employment. JOSIS is listed in Scopus and is ranked in SJR (Scimago Journal Ranking). We are also listed in DOAJ and DBLP. JOSIS is not yet listed in ISI SCI, but we plan to submit JOSIS for ISI listing soon.

Q: Is there a hard copy version of JOSIS? A: Each issue of JOSIS is available both as individual articles, and as a complete typeset issue, downloadable as a complete pdf document, which you can print yourself in its entirety. If you would like a hard-copy sent to you, you will be able to purchase one via an on demand online publishing site (details available after issue 1 is published). Hard copies are available at cost in a basic edition (i.e., purely the cost of printing on-demand , postage, and packaging). However, we also offer hard copies in a "supporter" edition, which is almost identical to the basic edition, except it cost $10 extra, and comes with the warm feeling of knowing that your extra $10 will go towards defraying the costs associated with running JOSIS (e.g., such as web site hosting costs, domain name registration, DOI registration, etc).

Q: Can I become a reviewer/join the editorial board/get involved in JOSIS? A: YES! We rely entirely on volunteer help from those academics, students, in government, and in industry within the GIScience community to run and maintain JOSIS. If you want to get involved, the first step is to register as a JOSIS user, which helps us keep track of the community. If you wish to help with reviewing papers, please contact any of the editors, who will discuss with you your areas of expertise and availability. The editorial board provides leadership for the journal, and is comprised of many of the most respected researchers in the GIScience community. Editorial board members are expected to make an ongoing active contribution to the journal (for example through article submission, reviews, or other activities).  Editorial board membership is reviewed annually, so if you would like to be considered for editorial board membership, please contact one of the editors in chief or existing editorial board members. However, in addition to reviewing and editorial activities, there are many other ways you can help support JOSIS. In particular, we welcome support from GIScience students at any level, especially those with good web programming (e.g., php), latex, or word skills. If you think you have any time or skills you could contribute to maintaining or improving JOSIS in any way, get in touch.

Q: Can I post an announcement on the JOSIS web site? A: Yes. Simply contact any of the Editors in Chief with your annoucement. See the annoucements page for more information.

Q: What can I do if I don't agree with a comment posted in relation to my article under review? A: Since 2016 comments have been disabled (see "Why can registered users comment on submitted or published articles?").

Q: How can I submit my article to JOSIS? JOSIS article submission is online. After reading the author guidelines, you should register as a JOSIS author, and then proceed to the article submission page.

Q: How do I submit a comment on an article? Since 2016 comments have been disabled (see "Why can registered users comment on submitted or published articles?").

Q: How long does it take for a submitted article to be published? A: JOSIS aims to have all first reviews returned within 3 months of submission, with no paper taking longer than 8 months from submission to publication. Unlike many commercial publishers, we have no page limits or page charges, and so we have the flexibility to always publish your accepted paper in the next issue.

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Articles in JOSIS are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.