Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Former CMAJ editors launching a new OA journal

Helen Branswell, Medical journal should be free of editorial interference, panel recommends, CBC News, July 14, 2006.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal should be free of editorial interference from its owners, and its editor protected from being fired without cause, a panel of experts set up to draft a new governance structure for the journal recommended in a report released Friday. The Canadian Medical Association...posted the report on its website and immediately announced it would accept the 25 recommendations it contains....

The panel was set up in the wake of the controversial late February firing of Hoey and his senior deputy, Anne Marie Todkill....The firings were widely viewed as the culmination of a battle over editorial independence between the journal editors and owners. The CMA disputes that view but has not offered an alternative, saying it cannot comment on personnel matters. The dismissals led to a mass exodus of journal staff, including most of the editorial board. Hoey, who has since taken a position at Queen's University as special adviser on public and population health, said in an e-mail Friday that he had not read the report. Todkill saw it as an improvement over the conditions under which she and Hoey were working, but said she felt governance structures couldn't fully insulate editors from pressure to dovetail journal policies to match owner politics, if a journal is owned by a medical association. "No document is enough to make you fireproof," she said. For the sake of disclosure, Todkill revealed she is working with other former editors of the CMAJ to launch a new, independent, open-access Canadian medical journal.

Update. The new journal has a title and web site, Open Medicine, but no content yet. More later.