Averting the crisis in medical publishing – open access journals


Scientific and medical publishing is in turmoil. The current system of distributing research papers in a vast number of journals, which are increasing in price, is unsustainable. Some subscription prices have increased by as much as 140% over 10 years leading to cries that publishers are restricting the communication of medical research. Little is being done by the big publishers to address the crisis in scholarly communication. However, a range of organisations and initiatives are trying to change things for the better. These include PubMed Central, the Public Library of Science, the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative. In addition, the online publisher BioMed Central stands alone as the first commercial publisher to adopt a business model that aims to deliver open access publishing to the biological and medical research communities.

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