Applied Economics Research Bulletin is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the Berkeley Mathemarketics Group. The about page describes some of its unconventional policies. I especially like their ideas on accelerating the process of peer-review, and their view on whose journal this is:
- Immediate dissemination : While readers want to have immediate access to the latest research, it typically takes years before an article can appear in a journal. Even an outlet like Economics Letters takes several months to a year. At the Applied Economics Research Bulletin, the manuscript gets published in days, sometimes even within hours of submitting the manuscript. Our publication lag is limited only by the time it takes our AEs to read your manuscript and convey an accept/reject decision. We strive to give you a decision in 24 hours (however, given that we intend to publish manuscripts of very high quality, we expect only a small proportion of submitted papers will be accepted).
- Review process: We are a selective outlet with a unique review process that facilitates rapid acceptance/rejection of submitted manuscripts. The Associate Editors immediately put the papers you submit into the hands of eminent researchers who serve as what we call Article Editors (AE). The function of the AE is to assess the contribution of the manuscript and convey an immediate accept/reject decision. The AE assumes complete responsibility for the manuscript. In many cases, we will adopt a three-tiered review process, with the first AE checking for obvious flaws and errors in the manuscript, the second AE assessing the probability of the research being subsequently published in other leading journals (or assessing the paper's contribution) and one of the Associate Editors signing off on it. The manuscript will not be accepted for publication in the Applied Economics Research Bulletin unless both AEs give it a thumbs up and one of the Associate Editors ratifies it.
- Public record: We expect that manuscripts published in the Applied Economics Research Bulletin will form the foundations for more refined works that will subsequently be submitted to other leading journals. However, immediate publication of your manuscript in the Bulletin helps create a public record of when and where the research idea originated. This limits plagiarism that can plague working papers and also impedes unintentional duplication of research by fellow academics. At the same time, it opens up opportunities for dialog and collaboration with other researchers.
- No manuscript style: All journals have specific requirements on manuscript length, format, style in which references or tables are laid out, etc. Even the Economics Bulletin has very specific requirements. This can be very annoying to researchers. We trust your judgment and in the interest of prompt dissemination of ideas, we have absolutely no such requirements. No 6- or 8-page limits either. The manuscript can be as long or as short as you want and in whatever style or format you wish.
- No subscription costs: Most academic journals are controlled by commercial publishing houses and institutional subscription to the journals costs several thousand dollars. This is not only unaffordable to universities in developing nations but also is in direct conflict with wide dissemination of research. The Applied Economics Research Bulletin, since it is an electronic journal, is completely free and is committed to be free to our readers in the future. The journal is committed to remaining a non-commercial undertaking.
- You retain the copyright: Journal publishers insist that authors transfer copyright of accepted papers as a condition of publication. It is illegal for authors to post their own published articles on their own websites or give copies of their published papers to their students. Journals also make researchers give up all commercial interest in their work as a condition of publishing. In contrast, the Applied Economics Research Bulletin allows authors to retain all rights and we merely ask that we be permitted to disseminate your research as widely as possible.
- This is truly your journal: This is a very unique journal in that the Applied Economics Research Bulletin does not intend to have an Editor! The objective is to have a community of researchers who are interested in disseminating their research, rather than having egos and personalities to contend with. Instead, manuscript acceptance or rejection is determined by highly competent Article Editors (AEs) who, like all reviewers, volunteer their services anonymously. The AEs assume complete responsibility for the manuscript. And we are always looking for eminent researchers to serve as volunteer Article Editors. Since you are the AEs, this is truly your journal.