Challenges in Sustainability | 2014 | Volume 2 | Issue 1 | Pages 2829
DOI: 10.12924/cis2014.02010028
Challenges in Sustainability: Another Brick in the Wall
Barry Ness
* and José A. F. Monteiro
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), P.O. Box 170, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Librello Publishing House, 4000 Basel, Switzerland
* Corresponding Author: E-Mail: barry[email protected]; Tel.: +46 462224809
Published: 10 October 2014
Dear reader,
We are proud of Challenges in Sustainability's (CiS)
fruitful start. A variety of quality research articles, edi-
torials and notes have been published on a range of
themes and topics, including sustainability governance
[1], improved cookstoves [2,3], the potentials of 3-D
printing in the global South [4], and the need for con-
siliences between the natural and social sciences and
the humanities [5], to name just a few. Furthermore,
despite the journal's short history, we are pleased
with its high visibility, where numerous articles have
been viewed or downloaded over 1200 times since
publication. The high exposure rate and the quality of
publications affirm our aspirations for stable growth
and development in the future.
Much of CiS's early success can be acredited to the
competent and devoted administrative, managerial and
editorial staff. We must first begin by thanking former
Editor-in-Chief, Jürgen Kropp, for his work in estab-
lishing and placing the journal on a solid footing for
the future. Much of the success can also be attributed
to the diverse, but impressive, editorial group with
competencies in a multitude of sustainability-relevant
areas, nor must we forget the devoted managerial
and administrative staff at the journal. Thank you all!
Pathway Forward
Notwithstanding our progress, we will continue to
work diligently to place CiS at the forefront of sus-
tainability knowledge dissemination, not as a highbrow
and inaccessible outlet for academic research and
discourses on sustainability; our intentions, rather, are
to promote the journal as an innovative forum for
cutting-edge research, opinions and notes on sustain-
ability (science).
The first step in this process is an updated
and scope
[6] which, we feel, better encapsulates the
changing nature and the
state of the art
of today's
sustainability research and the myriad debates and
discourses that surround it. In addition to the journal's
timely review process for knowledge prompt dissem-
ination to wider audiences, we will also work actively
to promote special issues on specialized cutting-edge
themes in the field. Discussions are already underway
on topic areas. Furthermore, we will work to promote
CiS as a novel instrument for the promotion of al-
ternative forms of knowledge dissemination, e.g.,
short films [3], forms that are likely to catch the
attention of the new generation of savvy multimedia
consumers and decision-makers, both in- and outside
of academia.
© 2014 by the authors; licensee Librello, Switzerland. This open access article was published
under a Creative Commons Attribution License (
Finally, we will strive to be an innovative forum to
link knowledge on sustainability to action. Because CiS
is open access, it has the potential to reach broader
audiences. Librello, our publisher, leads the change in
academic publishing where large scientific journals
and publishing houses historically played an important
role in science by creating a network for the cir-
culation of information. However, in the digital era,
the traditional network can actually work against the
exchange of information by means of high subscrip-
tion rates and pay-per-view barriers. As one reaction,
a boycott against Elsevier was started in 2012; it now
counts roughly 15000 scholars [7].
Open access publishers have increased in number
rapidly, contributing to the free-availability of know-
ledge. Nevertheless, the open access system has an
intrinsic problem: the revenue of a company is propor-
tional to the number of its publications. Several pub-
lishers of dubious reputation have been surfing on this
wave and taking advantage of an academic market,
which pressures the scholar toward productivity in-
dices based on the number of his/her publications
Librello is an environment sponsored and supported
by scholars and their institutions. Our membership
program allows us to keep the decision of publication
from any economic pressure, and we rely on our edi-
torial team of experts to take decisions impartially.
Our system also benefits the authors, since the annual
membership fee covers multiple submissions. We aim
at working closely together with scientists and experts
outside academia, creating and establishing this
community-based channel of science dissemination
and advocacy, postulating solutions towards a more
sustainable society.
[1] van Kerkhoff L. Knowledge Governance for
Sustainable Development: A Review. Challenges in
Sustainability. 2013;1(2):82–93.
[2] Lee CM, Chandler C, Lazarus M, Johnson FX.
Assessing the Climate Impacts of Cookstove Projects:
Issues in Emissions Accounting. Challenges in
Sustainability. 2013;1(2):53–71.
[3] Ness B, Akerman A. Publishing Sustainability
Research Visually: A film about the Opportunities and
Challenges of a Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative in
Kenya. Challenges in Sustainability. 2013;1(2):80–81.
[4] King DL, Babasola A, Rozario J, Pearce JM.
Mobile Open-Source Solar-Powered 3-D Printers for
Distributed Manufacturing in Off-Grid Communities.
Challenges in Sustainability. 2014;2(1):18–27.
[5] Farley J. Seeking Consilience for Sustainability
Science: Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and the New
Economics. Challenges in Sustainability. 2014;2(1):1–17.
[6] Librello. Challenges in Sustainability. Available
[7] The Cost of Knowledge. Available from:
[8] Bohannon J. Who's Afraid of Peer Review?.
Science. 2013;342(6154):60–65.
[9] Beall J. Scholary Open Access. Critical analysis
of scholary open-access publishing. Available from: