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Why Pledge an Open Access (Community Supported Journal) share?

JAFSCD vol. 6, issue 4 coverTo financially support JAFSCD becoming an open access (OA) journal in 2018, we are asking stakeholder groups, programs, and other entities around the world to pledge to join our JAFSCD's OA Shareholder Consortium. The Community Supported Journal concept is a publishing model JAFSCD has developed in response to the growing need for affordable and equitable research-based information in support of the good food movement. The benefits to shareholding member groups are outlined below. 

Direct benefits to Open Access Shareholding Members of the Consortium

  1. Free listing in the Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook, an online directory of academic programs, nonprofit groups, funders, and other resources related to food systems. The Sourcebook will increase the visibility of your program among students and practitioners — and you can update your listing throughout the year.
  2. Article Publishing Charge is waived: The JAFSCD APC of $500 is waived for all authors affiliated with the shareholding program, including all faculty, staff, and students of the host institution.
  3. Program acknowledgment on each issue's tables of contents (both online and in PDF) and throughout the JAFSCD website.
  4. Membership in our Community Supported Journal Shareholder Consortium, a group of shareholders who complete an annual survey on the content, and impact of JAFSCD; the editorial staff may also solicit input from the Consortium on editorial policy topics for special issues.

JAFSCD cover of vol. 5, issue 4 (2015)

JAFSCD's OA Shareholder Consortium will benefit the food movement

Purchasing an OA Share increases the discoverability and use of JAFSCD content and will support a number of innovative programs that only JAFSCD offers to scholars and practitioners in the food movement.

  • Eliminating the disadvantage of a paywall, and maximizing the broadest distribution of research-based content of JAFSCD.
  • Bolstering our outreach to HBCUs, Tribal Institutions, and Hispanic-Serving Institution and reaching communities of need with research-based information.
  • Developing an author mentor program for new scholars and nonacademic authors to maximize their chances of having a paper accepted for publication.
  • Expanding our JAFSCD Food Systems Research, Policy, and Practice Briefs series (two-page summaries of papers that provide a quick read for busy food systems professionals and policy-makers).
  • Creating an outreach and impact program, including sending our press releases for each paper to wire services, green alternative media, and food and farming listservs.
  • Supporting our new richly featured open access publishing platform hosted by the Public Knowledge Project, which will increase JAFSCD discoverability through Google Scholar and other often-searched sources.
  • Purchasing an annual subscription to Altmetric to measure JAFSCD's reach into communities of need via social media such as tweets, blogs, mentions, downloads, etc.
  • Expanding our Consulting Editor Program that assists non-native English speaking authors.
  • Creating a free index of open access research papers on food systems to aid practitioners in finding research-based material to support their work or funding proposals.
  • Conducting an annual survey of our authors and nonprofit stakeholders to gather stories on how JAFSCD is assisting in their work.
  • Supporting the long-term preservation of JAFSCD content through Portico and LOCKSS.

Creating an OA Shareholder Consortium that is diverse and with broad geographic representation

JAFSCD's OA Shareholder Consortium will provide input on editorial policy, special topic calls for papers, and shareholding members can submit an annual commentary that will be published each year. We aspire to have a Shareholder Consortium that is culturally diverse, and international, with at least one pledge/shareholding entity from all U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and U.S. and Canadian territories. We encourage shareholders to represent their states or provinces in the consortium to the extent they are able, serving as a liaison or conduit for all their good food and farming organizations and research initiatives. This will give the consortium broad geographic representation and also serve as a networking and sharing opportunity at this broad level.

If resources are limited in a state or province, several entities can consider teaming up on a group share. They would then also team up to represent their state or province's good food and farming work. Read details on group pledges and shares below

Shareholder Pledge Categories

Type of Consortium Member  Examples        Suggested Annual
            Share Pledge*
Any of the below that largely serve people of color, or other underserved communities HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving, or Tribal institutions $0
University of College-Based Program Degree program, institute, research center, integrated research and extension/outreach program $1,500***
National Nonprofit 501(c)(3) with national purview $1,000
State Extension Program Stand-alone outreach program affiliated with the APLU** $750
State Nonprofit 501(c)(3) with state purview $500
Foundation or Progressive Food Business Private, green/good food for profit


* We will not limit participation in JAFSCD's OA Shareholder Consortium to entities based on their ability to purchase a share. Prospective Consortium members can pledge and pay any amount they deem as fair and affordable.

** Association of Public and Land Grant Universities

*** If your institutional library currently subscribes and will continue its subscription even as we become open access, the amount of its subscription may be deducted from the share payment that is invoiced. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if your library subscribes.)

Group State Membership Pledges and OA Shares

We encourage multiple entities per state to collaborate on a "Group State Pledge."

Guidelines for Group State Pledges:

  • Any number of entities may make up a group share.
  • However, a Group State share may have only one representative to the Shareholder Consortium. The representative will be listed in the masthead of the journal as “representing Entity 1, Entity 2, and Entity 3.”
  • Group shareholders are eligible to submit one commentary per year. They must be submitted by the representative to the Shareholder Consortium.

Groups pay the share fee of the highest pledge category represented in the group.

How to pledge as a group: The lead contact for the group completes the pledge form on behalf of all the group members and includes the other group members' information in the Additional Info field on the pledge form (including full entity name, contact name, and contact email address). If the pledge threshold is reached by September 30, 2017, we will invoice the lead contact for the total amount due unless other arrangements are made with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All group pledge members receive a premium listing in the Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook.

See the FAQs for details and examples about group pledges.

Payment is not due until we reach our goal in the Fall of 2017JAFSCD cover of vol. 1, issue 4 (2011)

We are now accepting pledges for Open Access Shares to leading academic programs in food studies, food systems, and sustainable agriculture, as well as nonprofit organizations and foundations that share our interest in the broadest distribution of applied food systems research.

Once we meet our pledge target, we will eliminate individual subscriptions. Along with our founding partner institutions, the shareholding organizations will constitute our "Shareholder Consortium," which will meet annually and provides advice on upcoming journal topics and editorial policy. 

Some background on why JAFSCD would like to become Open Access (OA)

JAFSCD is published by the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, in concert with four partner institutions: the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of Vermont, and North Carolina State Extension and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (as a joint partner).

In a recent survey with 403 respondents, JAFSCD stakeholders on the whole expressed broad support for JAFSCD becoming open access (subscription-free to all). The respondents generally agreed that open access (OA) maximizes the distribution of scholarship by making it much more accessible, especially to practitioners in the field who benefit directly from applied research.

In consideration of their feedback and the mission we defined at our launch, we have developed an innovative funding model to become the world's first community supported scholarly journal.

Since the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development's launch in 2010, our vision has been to provide applied, peer-reviewed research to practitioners who work on agriculture and food system issues to support their efforts to transform communities through food and agriculture–based community development. Many JAFSCD papers are written by practitioners in collaboration with scholars, researchers, and students in academia.

To further JAFSCD's transformative impact on the ground, we are launching a campaign to become open access: freely available, without a subscription, worldwide.

We are modeling our open access campaign on a model familiar to those involved with food systems — community supported agriculture (CSA) — to become a community supported journal.

Have any questions? See our FAQs.

We Are Ready to Pledge!