Dear Readers and Contributors,
It is with great pleasure we announce to you that, as of today, Global Politics Review has become an Open Access journal. There will be no more paywalls, subscription fees, transfer of copyrights, or restrictive licenses. GPR will be available for free, for everyone, at anytime.
Our previous business model based on subscriptions was, simply put, short-sighted. As a young non-profit journal, we were short on funding and hoped to be able to cover our expenses by charging the readers a fee. Subscriptions were, at least we thought, a fair compromise. We were wrong. Hiding our articles behind a paywall damaged the dissemination of the journal and discouraged new authors from submitting their manuscripts. At the same time, the paywall did not generate any meaningful financial return since most of the revenue was held by intermediaries and distributors.
We offered a subscription waiver for students enrolled in universities worldwide, but only a few dozen of them ended up applying to our waiver program. Looking at the user behavior flow on our website, we noticed that most users, even those eligible to the waiver program, were simply leaving the website after visiting the page listing the subscription fees. We also noted that the articles outside of the paywall were the most read, with, on average, five times the downloads of those published within our paywall.
Despite all the limitations and obstacles caused by our paywall, we still experienced dramatic growth over the past two years. The number of monthly visitors to our website continues to grow, downloads of our articles via university libraries are on the rise, and submissions of abstracts and manuscripts have sharply increased since the introduction of our online submission form for peer review. Most importantly, our articles are cited more frequently and have proven to be a vehicle for new ideas and perspectives in the academic community.
By becoming an Open Access journal, we hope to reach an even broader audience that transcends the boundaries of academia. We want our work to be available to everyone, everywhere—regardless of their affiliation or geographical location. We want Global Politics Review to nurture new generations of scholars, deepen how research is practiced across disciplines, and mobilize knowledge on relevant public issues. Most importantly, we want the ideas and findings of our authors to spread and be a source of social innovation.
We believe social science still has an important role to play in informing citizens and scholars alike. Too often it is ignored and misused by practitioners. Too often it is used to justify policies behind a pretense of neutrality and scientific rigor. Development projects, foreign policies and defense budgets will always find a social science study to justify themselves. And also for this reason, it is important that we are all aware of the multitude of studies and academic debates that validate or contradict the foundations on which policies are made. Free open access to academic publications is not only a necessity to academics across the world, but also a necessity to all those who want to make conscious civic decisions and participate in the public debate. Information is, indeed, power.
We only see one viable future for our publication. One in which GPR is available to everyone, everywhere, for free. It took us a while to understand this, but as we say here at our secretariat in Italy: meglio tardi che mai.
The Editorial Board