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What information should I include in my publishing proposal?

Publishing with Oxford Journals

If you are the owner of a journal and are considering an alternative publishing arrangement, Oxford Journals would be happy to provide information on the service we can offer you. Below is an outline of the sort of information to provide when requesting a proposal. This will enable us to give you a clear picture of the benefits of publishing with Oxford Journals.

Preparing a Request for Proposal (RFP)

General information

  • Describe the Society’s and the journal’s main priorities. For example:
    • increased dissemination
    • increased sales
    • better profit margins
    • increased Impact Factor
    • improved online presence
    • services to members
  • Describe the journal’s current editorial system, editorial office set-up and staff roles. Please include details of the peer review system process (e.g. single, double or triple blind peer review) and any online submission and peer review system you may use.
  • Indicate any features that the journal does not currently have which would be important or desirable.
  • Be specific about any aspects of the publisher or publishing service that you would like to be addressed in the publisher’s proposal. For example, you might want to know what personal contacts you would have, the publisher's policies on pricing, consortia, archiving of electronic content, perpetual access, copyright, and so on.
  • If you are consulting with a number of publishers, be as specific as possible about the parameters (e.g. subscription prices, number of subscriptions) that the publishers should use in their financial projections. This means that you will be able to compare the projections more easily. You may also want to consider providing a template

Detailed data

Please try to provide as much of the following information as possible. More detail at this stage means greater accuracy in the financial projections that we will send you.


  • Number of institutional subscriptions in the past three years, including current subscription figures to date, if available, plus geographical breakdown, for example, US, UK, Europe, Japan, Rest of World.
  • Whether these subscriptions are print, online or both (how many in each category).
  • Number of personal subscriptions and subscription type, as above, for past 3 years.
  • A list of consortia sales: the institutions involved and whether they are full price or discounted subscriptions.
  • Number of member subscriptions (if applicable) and subscription type, again with a 3 year history.
  • Any other subscription categories.
  • Number and type of gratis copy subscriptions (e.g. abstracting and indexing agencies, copyright libraries, journal staff etc).


Please supply three or four copies of the journal (different issues if possible) to use as a basis for cost estimates.

  • Current frequency and the number of pages published per volume.
  • Any special requirements for copy-editing or figure re-drawing.
  • Does the journal publish supplements? How many per year?
  • Average number of pages of colour per issue.
  • Is there an author charge for colour images?
  • What proportion of pages in a given issue are subject to page charges, if applicable?
  • Do authors receive free print offprints, and if so how many? Are they sent automatically, or on request only?
  • Are there any views about current design and possible re-design?


  • Is the archive of all back issues available online? Is this available to subscribers or sold subject to a separate charge?
  • Does the journal have an Open Access policy?
  • What perpetual access policy is in place?


  • Number of manuscripts submitted per year for a period of three years.
  • Rejection rate.
  • Editorial policy regarding supplements and advertising


  • Current Editorial office costs and breakdown (if the publisher contributes to these).
  • Are there any other costs paid for by the publisher or by the Society (e.g. conference/prize sponsorship)? What sort of financial arrangement (commission, profit share, or royalty) does the Society prefer?
  • What level of income does the Society expect or currently obtain from the journal?
  • Are there any secondary rights arrangements (e.g. with JSTOR, Ovid, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc) and if so would any of these contracts continue after the change of publisher?
  • What are the current subscription prices?
  • Do members receive the journal as a benefit of membership of the sponsoring society? Please indicate how much revenue the journal receives from these memberships.
  • Are membership dues (and member subscription charges if applicable) collected separately by the Society?
  • Revenue for the past 3 years broken down into the following categories:
    • Institutional subscriptions
    • Personal subscriptions
    • Membership subscriptions
    • Consortia
    • Advertising
    • Supplements
    • Commercial Reprints
    • Secondary rights/permissions
    • Colour charges
    • Page charges
    • Open Access charges
    • Other income
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