Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

BMJ publishing director on OA

Siân Harris, Physicians and researchers have different needs, Research Information, June/July 2007.  An interview with Alex Williamson, publishing director at the BMJ Group.  Excerpt:

Do clinicians want open access?

There is a tendency to generalise with open access. We tend to be lumped into the category of biomedical research but doctors don’t treat rats. Biomedical research tends to be too far removed from the day-to-day activities in a hospital to be of practical interest to many practicing clinicians.

What’s more, clinical journals aren’t quite like pure science research publications, where the readers and authors are the same group of people. Journals like ours do appeal to researchers but, in the main, they are read by practicing clinicians, many of whom will never write a journal paper. And, if they do, they are often simply writing up work that they think will interest colleagues, without receiving any funding to do so.

We have a hybrid open-access model, which started in September last year. Uptake has been around two per cent of authors. I would be surprised if we moved to the open-access model. I think we’ll stay with the hybrid model. All our material is free after 12 months anyway....