Re: BioMed Central and new publishing models

From: Alexei Koudinov <>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 18:02:33 +0000

Dear Colleagues,

Let me reciprocate the response by Stevan Harnad:

I do not agree with Stevan Harnad "no need to specify the possibility
of subsidy and volunteerism" while stating "e.g., by instead charging
the author-institution for each outgoing article they publish".

Are subsidy and volunteerism (A) the key elements of academic science
(B) that need to be published (C)? As this ABCs' major goal is Public
Interest will it be correct to mention in the S. Harnad letter proposal
only the statement that imply interests other then public (at least in
case of the BMC?): "e.g., by instead charging the author-institution
for each outgoing article they publish"?

To make sure: It is the voluntarism (or more precisely activism or
dedication) of individual scientists and assembled editorial groups who
committed themselves to run the BioMedCentral specialist journals,
(representing today NEAR HALF of all BMC journals,
<> ).

To run these journals editors had to accept the following BMC Conditions:
BioMed Central is the sole publisher and owner of the journal (although
this is negotiable for journals proposed by scientific societies).

BioMed Central will pay the journal and its officers no monies, except for
the possibility of a payment relating to the number of published articles.
(quoted from: <>)

The question is: Will the public (not BMC corporate) interest be better
served when these journals are published by Editorial Groups, perhaps with
modest support of a grant or a library/communication technology expert
at their Institution, so, there will be no [profiting BMC or covering
the cost of the PLoS Biology launch parties] article publication cost
at all? If so, why not to include grant or other funding mechanisms for
Open Access in the proposed letter?

Please note that as I stated in my earlier letter of today ( see letter
archived at: <> )
the low cost (or even free for not-for-profit usage) end user technology
is available to ensure no technical compromise for such titles, reserved
to be published (not only editorially managed) by those who need them
to communicate with peers, not make profit or have an office package in
a not-for-profit "charging the author" publishing setting. The missed
is the community education that one need to initiate. The educational
follow up for this letter will be forthcoming.


Alexei Koudinov, MD, PhD
Received on Fri Dec 26 2003 - 18:02:33 GMT

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