Scientific commitment, motivated members and a wide network of contacts
As for the scientific part, an “active” editorial board is a key factor: it means that an Editor in Chief (EiC) able to gather a good group of people who are not only names is essential.
Some scientific studies have been published that have evaluated the Open Access journals in terms of quality and organization: some of these point out that a new journal does not go through the first 2-3 years from launch if the initial thrust is no longer supported and the journal itself is not alreadywell-established.
Given this, the Open Access approach requires a high level scientific content to produce a reliable journal, and the support of advertising to allow the publisher to maintain high standards of editing management.
PAGEPress asks EiC to take care of scientific contents but the publisher and the scientific board must work together to increase the visibility of the journal in order to make it more attractive to potential authors (from Universities, Laboratories or Research Centres) and to future sponsor partners.
Readership and visibility
As for the readership and the visibility, an Open Access journal enters a worldwide circuit of referencing and harvesting in which the spread of the new journal acquires a level of visibility incredibly higher compared with the traditional journals.
Just as an example, the Italian Journal of Agronomy (published by PAGEPress at the beginning of 2011) used to print about 400 quarterly copies, which were distributed to libraries and to about 40 subscribers. From 1st January 2015 to 31th December 2015, the articles published online by the Italian Journal of Agronomy have been downloaded/read a total of more than 88,000 times. In 2016 this journal reached its first impact factor: 0.955 (40th ou of 83 agronomy journals in JCR).
The Italian Journal of Agronomy example can illustrate the impact on the international visibility of an Open Access journal and how the future journal could be organized.