About Journal Publishing

What kind of journals does USF include in Digital Commons?
The USF Libraries hosts peer-reviewed, fully open access journals with a global and interdisciplinary focus. Our current support focuses on projects with direct links to the University of South Florida through its faculty, students, programs, centers, or institutes as well as align with the strategic initiatives of the USF Library. Scholar Commons does not host journals with embargo periods. As a service to the research community, the USF Libraries' commitment to true open access to scholarly information extends to authors. This means that there are no article or submission charges for journals hosted or published in Digital Commons.

How can I get started publishing an Open Access journal with the USF Libraries?
We are currently not accepting new applications for Open Access journals. Please contact us at to discuss alternative OA publishing options.

What are the current strategic areas of interest for the USF Library?
Beginning in 2020, the USF Libraries focuses on the topics of  Environment and Natural History  and local Tampa history. For other topical areas, contact us to discuss alternative OA publishing options.

What does it mean to publish an open access journal?
Readers with access to the Internet can access your content at no cost to themselves or to their institutions. It allows researchers from any organization to participate in scholarly activities without barriers.

How will people find your journal?
Digital Commons is on the bepress Digital Commons platform (https://www.bepress.com/products/digital-commons/) and is optimized to provide higher results through search engines. Once your journal has published enough content to qualify for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the USF Libraries will complete the application to have your journal listed there. If provided with the username and password for a journal in DOAJ, the USF Libraries will load content for each article to ensure that the journal is fully indexed.

In addition, the USF Libraries is a member of CrossRef and assigns DOIs for journal articles. CrossRef is a citation-linking network and the official DOI link registration agency for scholarly and professional publications.

Will the library get copyright permissions for images and other material that authors include in their articles?
No, authors must obtain those permissions themselves. However, if they need guidance from the library, we are happy to answer any questions that we can.

Who retains rights to the journal content?
We encourage editors to allow authors to use a Creative Commons License, specifically a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. This license allows anyone to reproduce or disseminate articles for non-commercial purposes, so long as the original authors and source are cited. After publication, authors have the right to post pre-print or post-print versions of their article online, including on their personal, departmental, or institutional repository pages.

Is the journal content backed up anywhere? USF retains a backup copy of the journal content, and because the Scholar Commons journals reside on the Digital Commons platform, bepress duplicates and backs up the content both on and offsite from their side. Once the journal has begun publishing in earnest, we work with LOCKSS and Portico to have your content archived. Additionally, a full site backup is maintained with Amazon Web Services S3.

What if I want print copies of my journal?
Digital Commons does not provide printing or mailing services. We suggest that you use a Print on Demand service for these materials. Rather than estimating how many copies of a particular item should be printed in a print run, a journal issue/book/proceeding/etc. is only printed upon request. This method eliminates problems including the burden of paying for unsold inventory or printing too few items.

Print on Demand takes the guesswork out of printing. You simply prepare a single file (usually PDF), submit it to the Print on Demand publisher, and it is stored until an issue is ordered by a customer. It is only at this point that ink touches paper. Contact the for more information.