Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
Cogent Social Sciences is newly published by Cogent OA, an open access publisher with the mission to help scholars communicate with a global audience, as well as interact and make connections “with experts from across the social science community and beyond.” This peer-reviewed, open access journal is international in scope with articles in its premiere issue ranging geographically and thematically from “Using a community-driven approach to identify local forest and climate change priorities in Teslin, Yukon,” to “Economic value addition, employment and enterprise profiles of local authorities in the Free State, South Africa,” to “Unpacking the invisible knapsack: The invention of white privilege pedagogy.” The latter article examines a strategy designed to examine white privilege pedagogy and concludes that, “this pedagogy, though designed to fight racism, has the unintended effect of supporting white privilege.” The Information for Authors reveals the journal’s broad view of the social sciences, inviting papers from such areas as architecture, criminal justice, geography, international relations, planning, and social anthropology.
Cogent OA, which celebrated its first anniversary in 2014, has published a number of international peer-reviewed journals with the Cogent name, covering major research subjects ranging from the arts and humanities to business, education, medicine, physics and now the latest, Cogent Social Sciences. One reason for the rapid growth: Cogent OA is part of the Taylor & Francis Group, which has been in business for over 200 years, starting in 1798 when Philosophical Magazine, one of the first scientific journals published in English by an independent company, was established. In addition to drawing on the extensive Taylor & Francis experience with thorough peer review and its long association with the research community, Cogent OA is able to blend a well-established print tradition with the conveniences of the open access publishing environment.
The Cogent OA platform presentation of the journal is intuitive and responsive to reader and author needs. Navigational features include the table of contents for each issue with articles listed in reverse chronological order by publication date. There are links to view all articles published in all issues of a journal, to browse Cogent Social Sciences by volume and issue, to sort articles by most read, or to use an advanced search page. Authors retain full copyright of their articles while getting rapid online publication, global marketing and publicity, legacy preservation of the article and article-level metrics, such as download and citation data, which help measure article impact.
To support publishing in Cogent Social Sciences, authors may participate in the Freedom APC (article publishing charge) initiative, which allows individual authors the opportunity "to state how much they can afford to pay, if accepted for publication, during the submission process.” While APC supports the costs of open access publishing, this initiative recognizes “access to funds to support APCs differs across the range of disciplines and regions engaged in scientific and scholarly activity.” This option helps authors get published, while the open access promotes increased access and research activity.
Both the Freedom APC initiative and Cogent Social Sciences are open access entities worth keeping an eye out for.