As an editor of two open access journals , I often find myself taking a deep look at our editorial practices as well as the general perception of OA journals by those who are either too invested in controlled content journals or do not understand the philosophy behind open access.
How can we run our journals with no institutional support and without any subscription or publishing fees is the questions that most of my colleagues ask. My answer simply is that we rely on the limitless generosity of our volunteer editorial staff. From our section editors to reviewers, copyeditors and proof readers a whole team of committed international volunteers makes it possible to publish our journals and make our content available to the readers all over the world.
This is the key: An open access journal must have a team of dedicated volunteer editors in order to produce a good quality journal and as the quality of published content improves the quality of submissions improves as well.
Over the last five years I have seen Pakistaniaat transformed from a start-up open access journal to one of the most established journals on Pakistan. All of this has been made possible through the selfless efforts of countless volunteers.
So, to answer my own question: it is the generous labor of our international team of volunteers that makes our journals successful!!