Resources for Editors of Scholarly Journals: Launching a Journal: Getting Started

Digital Publishing Services at the University of Kansas Libraries have created this guide to assist those thinking of starting a new journal or working with an existing journal. Contact Marianne Reed ( if you have any questions.

Launching a New Journal

Starting a new scholarly journal can be a complex process.  Many decisions have to be made before accepting submissions and publishing the first issue.   The resources on this page can help guide editors and boards through the process.  

Some things to consider when starting a new journal:

  • What is the journal's purpose?  What unique niche will it fill?
  • What is the administrative structure of the journal?  Editorial board?  Advisory board?
  • Who is going to manage the journal if you become unable to do so?  
  • What standards will you use to judge articles for inclusion?
  • Who will do copy editing and proofreading?
  • What is the format of the journal?  Print, online, or both?
  • Is the journal going to be Open Access, available only by subscription, or a combination?
  • Where is the journal going to be hosted/printed?  Is there a Memorandum of Agreement (or Memorandum of Understanding) that spells out expectations for the journal and the host/printer?
  • Who will obtain the journal's ISSN from the Library of Congress’ ISSN website?
  • What are the terms for the journal's publication agreements with authors?
  • How will the journal be funded initially?  How will funding for the journal be sustained?
  • How will you recruit peer reviewers?
  • How will you solicit content?  
  • How will you advertise your journal?

When starting a new journal, look at other journals for inspiration.  Take careful note of what you like about the information on the journal websites, the look and feel of the website, the way that issues are arranged and journal articles are formatted.  This information will be a great starting point for your new journal, so save links to be shared with your journal support team as examples. 

See the following for more detailed information about the process of starting a new journal: