Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Editorial from a new OA journal

Danny N. Dhanasekaran, An open access journal of molecular signaling: a critical need at a critical time, Journal of Molecular Signaling, November 2006.  JMS is an OA journal from BioMed Central and recently published its second issue (December 2006).  This is the editorial from the inaugural issue.  Excerpt:

"The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of life." (Albert Einstein, 1952).

At a time where new theories and discoveries are being made almost on a daily basis, it is essential for the scientific community to have free and ready access to these new findings in order to accelerate further progress. It is also important to make sure that the dissemination of scientific information transcends the geopolitical as well as economical barriers so that it reaches all in the far corners of the world. A forum for such a free and rapid flow of scientific information is acutely needed for the molecular signaling area of research....Therefore, rapid publication of results from these endeavors and, more importantly, free access to such publications can truly accelerate the progress in this field leading to the development of novel targeted drugs....

The open access model of publishing has several advantages over the traditional subscription-based access (both print as well as online) to research information . The immediate benefits to the authors are 1) the free and universal visibility of the publication 2) author retention of copyright privileges for the work along with the license to allow anyone to reproduce and disseminate the published article provided due attribution is given to the author and 3) the archival of the published articles in the repositories such as PubMed Central of the US National Library of Medicine, University of Potsdam in Germany, INIST in France, and e-depot of National Library of the Netherlands. Likewise, the key benefits of open access to the scientific community and the general public can also be enumerated. First, open access allows authors to reach a large number of targeted readers immediately and irrespective of their locations. In fact, such an enhanced readership in the open access model has been correlated with the progressively increasing impact factor of these journals. Second, open access readily eliminates the economical disparity in accessing vital scientific information. Third, the central archiving that has become inherent to the open access journals, allows enhanced literature search and meta-analyses of data. Fourth, considering the fact that most research endeavors are funded by the tax-payers, open access journals strive to make sure that the outcome of these research efforts are accessible to the public free of cost....