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Operating a Student Academic Journal

A guide for student editors of academic journals

Getting Started

When starting up a journal, there are many factors to consider. This guide provides an overview of some of these issues, and links to other resources to help you with planning and operating an academic journal. The following questions are intended to guide you in developing the direction of your journal. It is not necessary for you to have an answer to all of them from the outset, but they are useful to consider as your journal is developing.


What will your journal publish? Will you focus on research articles, or include reviews and other works? Is your journal focused on a single discipline? A specific topic within a discipline? What level or levels are you publishing work from (undergraduate, graduate)? How many articles will you publish a year?


Will you publish online, in print, or both? What platform(s) will you use? Will you use Open Access publishing? What expenses will you need to cover, and how will you cover them? How long will the publishing process take?


Who is your journal for? Academics of a certain discipline, or a more general audience? What can you do to appeal to and reach this audience? How will you promote your journal?


Who are your editors? What skills do each of you have, and how can they be used to serve your journal? How much time are you able to contribute? How will you train new editors?


What platform will you use for your website? What format will you use to publish? Will you publish in print, online, or both? How will you make your journal easy to find online? How will you keep your data secure?

Who to contact for support?

If you have questions or need help, there are several resources at UBC that are available to support you.

Publishing and Copyright

Scholarly Communication and Copyright Services

Academic Writing and Research

Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication at UBC

  • Offers writing consultations by appointment and workshops about elements of academic writing

UBC Research Commons

  • workshops and assistance with the research process

Open Journal Systems Support