1 March 2006
Open access for the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Beginning this month, Sections of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, will be made available on its website for free.
JRSM is the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and has been published continuously since 1809.
From March all research and original articles, as well as issues more than three years old, will be available for free at www.jrsm.org. By early 2007 complete issues of the JRSM dating back to 1809 will be available online for free.
The digitisation of the JRSM was supported by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with the Joint Information Systems Committee.
“This is an historic issue for the JRSM,”said Editor, Kamran Abbasi.
“The open access debate has been raging among authors, readers and publishers of medical journal for years and the Royal Society of Medicine is to be commended on its decision.”
Writing about the open access debate, Dr Abbasi, argues that a middle ground can be reached between those who argue for full access and the rights of publishers to protect their financial interests.
“While many advocates of open access find anything less than full open access repulsive, there is an emerging consensus that for any journal to legitimately claim to be an open access publication the original research articles should be freely available on the journal’s website from the moment of publication. This is exactly what the JRSM will be now doing,”writes Dr Abbasi.
“Our ambition is that this initiative will allow the JRSM to champion the best principles of science while ensuring that we can derive enough revenue to safeguard the journal’s future.”
Acting Executive Director of the Royal Society of Medicine, Peter Richardson, said open access was an important initiative.
“I am very pleased that we are making all original research in JRSM free on publication. This is one of a number of innovations by Dr Abbasi that will help our Society’s journal to influence a wider audience,”said Mr Richardson.
Mr Richardson said the RSM’s approach to open access was a balanced one.
“It is too early to say whether full open access for subscribers funded by author payments is a viable economic model, especially for clinical journals where many published studies have no clear source of funding. Nonetheless, this is an important development and one where the JRSM is leading the way,”said Mr Richardson.
“The Royal Society of Medicine is also very grateful for the support received from the Wellcome Trust and the JISC for digitising the back issues of the JRSM.”
JRSM is published at the beginning of each month. The journal’s new open access will mean all research articles, the editor’s column and one other selected article from each issue going forward will be made available online for free. All articles will be free to access three years after publication.
Issues published 2000 to 2003 will be available at www.jrsm.org. Editions prior to 2000 will be hosted on the PubMed Central site run by the US National Institutes of Health (www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/).
Dr Abbasi’s editorial [PDF 34k]