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Monday, July 30, 2007

Another society journal explains why it is OA

S.S. Izquierdo, L.R. Izquierdo, and J.M. Izquierdo, Publishing science in the digital age. The case of Neurocirugía, Neurocirugía, June 18, 2007.  Neurocirugía is the official journal of the Sociedad Española de Neurocirugía (Spanish Society of Neurosurgery).

Abstract:   Neurocirugía publishes a printed edition for subscribers, and also an electronic edition which is available online free of charge. The coexistence of these two formats raises some issues regarding their justification and their future evolution, e.g. why does a subscription- based journal offer free online access? Would it be wise to charge for -or somewhat limit- the electronic access to the Journal? How is the Internet changing the benefits to society that the Journal provides? Will the printed and the electronic edition of the Journal continue to coexist? This paper provides some answers and reflections on these questions. Many of our considerations are based on ideas that have been presented and discussed in a series of editorials in Neurocirugía (see Neurocirugía 17 (2), 2006); in this paper we reconsider, complement, and rearrange previous arguments to address the issues mentioned above. Based on an analysis of economic costs and of all the stakeholders involved (authors, readers, the Journal, the Spanish Society of Neurosurgery, and society as a whole), we justify the present coexistence of the two publishing formats, defend free online access, and provide our view on the expected evolution of the Journal. While we focus primarily on Neurocirugía, most of our reflections can be carried over to other scientific journals.