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issues, special content (reviews, tutorials, forums), “JASA Reflections,” and technical area picks all are made freely available for significant periods. This is premium content, and so a reader without subscription access is certainly not totally shut out.
JASA-EL becoming a separate OA journal, together with it being a quicker, short-format journal with a lower-than- average article-processing charge (APC), makes it more attractive to funders and institutions that insist on dealing with fully open access operations. JASA-EL just transitioned in January 2021 so we will be monitoring its performance metrics very closely, and we have high hopes for its success.
JAC: Do you feel any pressure from either the movement or competitors about OA?
JFL: No, not really. I think the OA movement has tem- pered a little due to realizing that not one business model fits all. Although OA is a good thing for readers, it can be harmful to technical societies and publishers, which would, in the long run, hurt the supply of good quality journal papers available to readers.
TFD: What are your thoughts on new subject areas for JASA? And have you considered starting an “applied acoustics” journal?
JFL: JASA’s subject area selection is determined by what is of interest to the ASA as a Society. Groups like the Techni- cal Council and Task Force A of the Strategic Plan generally determine these directions. We can contribute input and opinions, but we can’t charge off in our own directions with- out Society buy-in. Yes, you’ll find an occasional paper that is a bit “out of area” here and there but that is more to add some spice and variety than to alter our course.
As to an “applied” or “practice” journal, we have recently added that as a section to JASA called “Acoustic Stan- dards and Practice.” This works well as a JASA section but going to a full new journal would not be justified.
JAC: What about breaking up JASA into separate subject areas, similar to Tim’s question?
JFL: Basically, we’re too small both in terms of the number of papers we would receive in any given tech- nical area and in terms of the Society supporting many
separate journals. Big societies, like the American Physi- cal Society (APS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), can split the Physical Review and the Journal of Geophysical Research, respectively, into half a dozen sub- journals and make it work because they have very large memberships and staffs. That’s just not an option for us.
And furthermore, there are now many specialized jour- nals in the areas we might split off into. Gone are the days near JASA’s birth (1929) when we were pretty much the only journal specializing in acoustics and the results (in various sciences and applications) that you could derive with acoustics. We have many very good competitor jour- nals that are in focused areas, and, in fact, we all publish in them as well as in JASA. For instance, you and I would most likely publish a good oceanography result derived with acoustics in the Journal of Physical Oceanography or the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. That’s just life in 2021. I don’t see any gain in trying to compete with them by going to more focused subjournals.
Finally, our being “broadband” in our technical interests and having them all in one journal is a source of strength because it facilitates cross-pollination between fields. If you never see the other field, you’ll never know that there is an interesting technique or result that could help you with your own work.
TFD: Do you foresee a need for different editorial poli- cies and processes for the different technical committees (TCs) in the ASA?
JFL: We don’t have different rules or different policies for the different TCs that JASA and the other ASA publica- tions deal with nor do we envision going in that direction in the future. There are two basic reasons. First, there is the practical reason that we don’t have adequate staff to support the extra work that would be entailed in doing that. And second, disputes would quickly arise from one or another of the TCs complaining that others were receiving “preferential treatment.” This isn’t disparaging the TCs; it’s just natural that people and groups worry about being treated fairly. Doing things the way we do currently avoids opening the door to any such disputes.
JAC: Do you think there is any TC specific interest in JASA versus JASA-EL versus POMA? Are the different publications the way you take care of specific needs?
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