Nils-Lennart Johannesson is Professor of English Linguistics at Stockholm University and has worked with language and research since the 1970s. Nils-Lennart is an advocate of Open Access and encourages other researchers to make their research more accessible. He is also the chair of the editorial board of Stockholm English Studies at Stockholm University Press (SUP). SUP has so far published two titles in Stockholm English Studies. SUP is a non-profit Open Access publisher (CC-BY is strongly recommended) hosted by the library. Interview by Anna Visuri.
What benefits do you see with Open Access as a researcher?
My research gets a more efficient channel of communication and it reaches more people. It is quicker and easier to share research through the internet. With Open Access you do not have to wait for the printed version but if you should need a physical publication the publisher, Stockholm University Press, does have a Print-On-Demand service.
How has the English Department worked with earlier publications?
I have supported research colleagues with the layout but also with peer review. On several occasions I have been the whole production team. It is, however, a huge strain on resources that a professor should sit and organise the entire publication himself.
Since 1937, the Department of English has published 104 volumes that have been authored or edited by us. A few years ago I realised that the publications were given no ranking in the Norwegian bibliometric system. I found this very unsatisfactory and I did not want to work with a series where researchers did not choose to publish because of the publication’s low status in the system. I wanted to work with change, and this coincided very well with the former Vice-Chancellor Kåre Bremer’s decision to phase out the old ACTA series and form the publisher Stockholm University Press.
My research gets a more efficient channel of communication and it reaches more people. It is quicker and easier to share research through the Internet.Since it took time to form the new publisher, I continued to work in the background. I was, for example, in contact with two professors in the United States, Richard Begam and James Soderholm, who wondered if we wanted to release their new book in Stockholm. I found reviewers for the manuscript and I made sure we got an editorial board in place for our new series Stockholm English Studies. The book Platonic Occasions – Dialogues on Literature, Art and Culture was the first book to be published in our new series.
The major difference between the previous ACTA series and Stockholm University Press is partially Open Access but mainly the degree of professionalism in the production by the editors.
What is your advice to those who wish to develop their publishing activities at other departments at the university?
I have always thought that quality is the best kind of advertising and that it is all about making others discover quality publications. My first advice is that the department should decide on what they want to accomplish, what they want to do with their series and what subjects it should cover.
My second advice is to contact an existing editorial board at some other department to find out how they have worked with their publishing and what pitfalls to avoid.
My third piece of advice is to contact Stockholm University Press to get the help you need.
If you would begin research in an area which was new to you, which area would you choose?
This is, of course, an unrealistic question at my age, but if I get the opportunity to indulge, I would like to devote myself to medical research to make myself useful to my fellow human beings.