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RE: Monopolies in publishing: defining quality

I would say that this new publishing model is going to give an opportunity
for much quality, but highly specialized or perhaps local, research to be
published and made widely available rather than becoming part of the mass
of "grey literature" out there.  In Michigan, we're beginning to talk of
collaborating for a BioMed Central e-journal devoted to Michigan public
health issues, sponsored (I hope) by the state Dept. of Community Health,
Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan Public Health Association,
Michigan Association for Local Public Health and the School of Public
Health and the University of Michigan.  For some student, for instance, at
UM, this may be their first opportunity to have research go through a
refereeing process.

Harvey Brenneise
Michigan Public Health Institute

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Velterop [mailto:jan@biomedcentral.com]
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 5:28 PM
To: 'liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu'
Subject: RE: Monopolies in publishing: defining quality

Heather Morrison raised the problem of providing adequately for the
publication of research in fields with relatively few workers, and David
Goodman suggested that in the future these publications would be
essentially published as open archives.

I agree. It would be best if such open archives were using a proper
peer-review procedure administered and maintained independently of one
particular institution active in the field. If so, they would be quite
indistinguishable from the kind of open access online-only journals BioMed
Central is operating (e.g. the Filaria Journal, www.filariajournal.com).
Such specialised fields have indeed not been adequately provide for in the
past, because it would have been difficult to get enough paying
subscribers. In an input-paid open access journal environment, it is
possible to reach economic viability very much earlier. In such an
environment journals are essentially virtual and distinguished by little
more than their title and editorial identity (editors, editorial boards,
peer-reviewers), as the technical and operational economies of scale can
be shared with many other esoteric and small areas/journals. As a result,
such small journals can viably survive with no more than 25 or so papers
per year or even less.

Jan Velterop
BioMed Central