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Transforming our Journals business

From 2021, all IET journals will become Open Access. This approach builds on a strategy that began in 2012 when the IET launched its first open access journal, The Journal of Engineering. The IET now has 15 wholly open access journals with open access publication routes in the remaining 27 journals.

The decision to make this transition is in response to market conditions which have seen open access transform the process of research and scientific publishing. This decision brings with it changes in the IET’s publishing partnerships and from January 2021, we are pleased to announce that IET journals will be published and distributed by Wiley, a major society publisher that supports over 220 societies.

Wiley has over 200 years’ experience in disseminating knowledge and has developed a respected reputation for helping both small and large learned and professional societies achieve brand awareness and market engagement. Today, Wiley publishes more than 1,600 journals and distributes content to more than 17,000 institutions worldwide.

Read our full statement here.

What is the rationale behind the IET’s decision to make this move?

Developments in engineering technologies evolve at pace and so too has the publishing landscape. Over the last 10 years there has been an increasing shift in the way academic research is both published and consumed.

Open Access is a movement driven by funding bodies who are increasingly mandating that research paid for by public monies must be made freely accessible. The impact on publication and business models is that instead of selling journal content to institutions through a subscription model, the emphasis is now on the author to pay to publish in a journal, using funds from their research grant. This payment is referred to as the Article Processing Charge (APC).

All over Europe and increasingly in the US and Asia Pacific, whole regions and countries are adopting the Open Access mandate. Institutional funding previously set aside to pay for subscriptions to journal content is now being used to support the payment of APCs. This growing trend has led to fundamental changes to existing publication and business models, with many publishing organisations re-thinking their strategies and processes in order to adapt and thrive in the new Open Access world. 

The IET’s ambitious programme to launch new open access journals in key topic areas over the last few years has already helped to achieve an 18% increase in Impact Factor, the quality measure for academic journals. Completing the transition to Open Access will help the IET continue this trajectory, positioning it as a leading promoter of open research and putting the organisation on the right side of the market transformation.

Why did the IET choose Wiley?

The IET looked for a partner who not only had the experience to support the transition to fully open access but would also share the IET’s cultural values. After exploring a number of options, the IET selected Wiley.

As a leader in open science, Wiley has pioneered the delivery of content solutions in new and innovative ways. One such example of innovation is the rise of “publish and read” initiatives which seek to enable large scale transition of scholarly journals to open access. Wiley has been at the forefront of negotiations with leading consortia and institutions around the world, providing thousands of researchers with open access to journals and enabling them to publish their own work open access, at no cost to them. The IET can be included in such initiatives, gaining access to Wiley’s extensive networks of authors, libraries and institutions to further its own mission to promote the general advancement of science, engineering and technology.

This does mean that the journal distribution arrangement with the IEEE will come to an end. However, the IET continues to work closely with the IEEE in other areas and will explore new opportunities to enhance the relationship.

Is the IET selling its journals?

The IET is not selling its journals and will retain full ownership and editorial control of both the current portfolio as well as new journals that will be launched in the future. What we are looking to do is to complete the transformation of the journals from a subscription-based model to an open access model.

How will the move to Open Access demonstrate the IET’s mission to inspire, inform and influence the engineering community?

Open Access is part of a broader movement towards Open Research, a broader cultural phenomenon promoting a greater engagement of science and research in society. Becoming an open science and open research institution will allow the IET to fulfil its mission in a number of ways, including:

  • Inspire (globally) – no research papers behind a pay-wall means equally available access to leading research for developed and developing environments 
  • Inform – as science becomes more multi- and inter-disciplinary, the Wiley relationship will provide access to national open access transitional deals all around the world that will further the reach of the IET brand and help the research community to engineer a better world
  • Influence – the IET will rapidly move into a leadership position in open access and will have a better platform to talk about access to information and the role of research in driving social change.

Will the move to Wiley affect my member benefits?

The move to Wiley will not affect member benefits. As IET journals will now be Open Access, they will be freely accessible via the new IET Engineering and Technology hub on Wiley Online Library.  At the same time, articles published from 2013 onwards will also be made free to view online, increasing the volume of research accessible to members.

Members will still be able to use Knowledge Packs to download book and technical information from the IET Digital Library and resources available through the Savoy Place library and the Virtual Online Library, including IEEE Xplore, will continue to be available.

We hope that you will agree that this is an exciting next step in the evolution of the IET’s publishing strategy, one that will further enhance the IET’s mission and vision.