Interview with Sang M. Lee, Founding Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Quality Innovation

The Editor-in-Chief Sang M. Lee provides insight on International Journal of Quality Innovation, open access, and its impact in Asia.

What made you consider open access for International Journal of Quality Innovation (IJQI)?

It is quite simple. Open access is the trend and the future of scientific publications. The speed of scientific and technological advances is almost like the speed of light. This is especially true for fields like medical science, ICT, new apps, and the like. Open access, like open source for collective intelligence, became imperative for publications in biotechnology, nanotechnology, mobile technology, et cetera; then, many business fields began generating new value innovations in organizations through streamlined value chains, new business models (e-commerce, mobile-commerce, social-commerce, and so forth), the co-creation of new products and services with customers (such as customer-dominant logic), the global flow of SoLoMo (social networking technology-locale technology (GPS-based)-mobile technology), and the enabled sharing economy (Uber, airbnb, 99dresses, etc.). Thus, many business-related journals have been forced to process articles that are based on multi-disciplinary innovations rapidly to a wide audience. That is open access. It is quite parallel to cloud computing, the current and future trend of ICT.

How did open access help you to promote your journal?

From my perspective as the Editor-in-Chief of IJQI, open access enables the speedy publication of authors’ time-sensitive studies while using a rigorous peer review process. Once a paper is accepted, our continuous publication schedule lets us publish it online within several weeks rather than several years. Also, we can reach a more targeted audience as those who are inclined toward fast-evolving scientific topics are searching through open access journals.

How do you think open access has impacted academic publishing across Asia? What are the challenges faced in publishing open access in this region?

I believe open access has yet to create a major impact in Asia. The primary reason is that universities and the scientific community in Asia put so much value on publications in indexed high-quality journals. Most world-class journals are well established with a relatively long history (like Nature, Science, the American Economic Review, and the Academy of Management Journal). Some universities in Asia pay a lot of money to faculty members who publish in top scientific journals. Thus there are definitely incentives toward publishing in established non-open access journals. This trend is slowly changing as open access journals have begun to be indexed as SCI, SSCI, and SCIE journals. However, it will take a little more time for open access journals to achieve the impact they deserve.

What are the difficulties encountered in handling/promoting open access journal, especially in Asia?

In Asia, junior faculty members are very research active. However, for their own career development and also financial benefits, they tend to focus on established and indexed journals. Thus open access journals need a fast maturing strategy to get indexed as respected journals in a relatively short period of several years. Also, many open access journals require a processing/publication fee which is quite exorbitant for many junior faculty. This is a real challenge.

What are the difficulties faced in working with the editorial members/society/peers?

Our editorial board members are well-known experts in the field. It is valuable to receive good advice or occasional submissions from them. However, they are also very busy people. Many of them also manage their own journals. Thus we cannot expect a great deal of support time from them. However, they have been great in promoting the journal and also encouraging many young scholars to submit their research papers to the journal.

What do you see as opportunities for growth here?

I believe it will take a little more time before the journal catches the attention of the quality management community. We should accelerate our promotion efforts, not only through professional conferences but also through social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. Once we receive SCOPUS indexing, it will take off I am sure.

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