Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More on the launch of Open Medicine

Helen Branswell, New open-access medical journal, offshoot of CMAJ firing fight, is launched, CBC News, April 17, 2007.  Excerpt:

A new Canadian open-access medical journal is about to be born.

Open Medicine, to be officially launched Wednesday, was conceived in the bitter aftermath of the February 2006 firing of the editor and deputy editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The publication's business model differs greatly from standard medical journals. It will be available online only, will have no subscription fees, and no corporate or medical association ownership.

It won't accept advertisements for medical devices and drugs - the major advertisers in traditional journals. And in the first year at least, it won't charge authors the publication fees on which other open-access journals rely.

That all adds up to a modest, at best, potential revenue stream. Co-editor Dr. Anita Palepu admitted Tuesday that the word "utopian" has come up when she talks about the project with her husband.

She insisted, however, that the Open Medicine team is committed to producing a high quality, independent journal that is available to anyone who wants to read it, a journal that can't run afoul of the interests of corporate owners or the politics of an organization like the Canadian Medical Association....

Many of the people who had made the CMAJ one of the world's top five general medical journals, including Hoey and Todkill, are involved in Open Medicine.  The reason for the firings was never made public....But it was widely known Hoey and his team had had a series of run-ins with the holding company that published the journal for the CMA, including over a news article that was critical of the way pharmacists were selling the emergency contraceptive drug Plan B....

Most traditional medical journals only make their material available to subscribers, or for a per-item reprint fee - and both types of fees can be steep. Proponents of open-access journals argue that is a barrier to the dissemination of science, much of which is generated using public funding....