A large number of scientific journals are in operation based on some variation of a model where individuals and/or institutions spend time and other resources on journal operations.
This covers a lot of possibilities:
- A hosting institution allocates man-hours and money to ensure operation of a journal that they see as beneficial to the institution.
- A hosting institution knowingly accepts that employees use working hours on the journal, and occasionally also supplies direct financial support to enable the journal to outsource some functions
- Employees use working hours and other resources on the journal, without any explicit knowledge of the institution
- Employees use their free time to operate the journal
There are no sharp divides between these possibilities, they are more points on a scale. These models may also be combined with some of the more commercial models, or external funding.
Pros and cons
The positive side of these models could be:
- The journal is operated by someone very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about it
- The model ensures a low per article cost
Among the drawbacks are:
- Little knowledge about the more technical sides of journal operation, and of the income possibilities
- Dependence on relatively few persons, often resulting in journals dying with their enthusiasm
- Single-journal operations only, no possibility of creating or exploiting a larger pool of competence(s)
A 2008 survey indicates that 10 out of 12 journals were mainly operated under a co-operative model.