JAFSCD logoMake JAFSCD the World's First Community Supported Journal! 

Pledge to Become a Member of Our



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.

SJAFSCD vol. 6, issue 4 coverome background

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 are proposing an innovative funding model to become the world's first community supported scholarly journal.

About pledging for a share

To become open access we are requesting pledges to become members of JAFSCD's OA Shareholder Consortium. The benefits to shareholding member organizations are outlined below. The membership share pledge is not paid unless our aggregate share pledges reach our goal by September 30, 2017. The actual payment for the share will be due by October 31, 2017.

If your library subscribes and will continue its subscription even as we become open access, we will deduct the amount of its subscription from the pledge amount due. (You can reach out to your e-journals librarian to inquire about this. Some libraries have funding to support open access journals. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if your library subscribes.)

Reaching our pledge threshold will allow us to eliminate all individual subscriptions and institutional licenses for 2018. Like a CSA, we will conduct an annual shareholder campaign to maintain our open-access system. We hope you will consider supporting JAFSCD on an ongoing basis (and budget accordingly)!

Pledge Categories

Type of Consortium Member  Examples     Minimum Suggested
     Memhership Pledge*
Foundation or Progressive Business Private, nonprofit, green/good food for profit $2,500
Academic or Research/Extension Integrated Program, or Institutional Library Degree program, institute, research group, outreach program program, university/college library $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
Any of the above that largely serve people of color HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving, or Tribal institutions


Local entities (e.g., nonprofits, CBOs, and agencies) are encouraged to collaborate on a pledge under the umbrella of a state or national organization. See more below.

* For pledges of 2 or more years, reduce the rates by 10% per year! (For example, for a foundation, a 2-year pledge is $4,500 instead of $5,000.)

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

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 and institutional licenses. 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. 

Direct benefits to Open Access Shareholding Members

In addition to benefiting the food movement, we offer the following financial and promotional benefits to our OA Shareholders:

  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)Your share benefits the food movement

Purchasing an OA Share will not only increase the discoverability and use of JAFSCD content but also will support a number of innovative programs that only JAFSCD offers to scholars and practitioners in the food movement, including:

  • Supporting the food movement and reaching communities of need with research-based information.
  • Developing an author mentor program for 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 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.

The OA Shareholder Consortium

Our aspiration is for the Shareholder Consortium to include 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.

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 Tate 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, plus $250 for each additional member.

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.

Have any questions? See our FAQs.

I'm Ready to Pledge!