Gaining impact, readers and authors through fee-less-free dissemination: an experiment with open access
Sahu, DK (2008) Gaining impact, readers and authors through fee-less-free dissemination: an experiment with open access. In: Brainstorming Meet on Open Access, FLOSS and Copyright Law for Scholarly Communication and Literary Work, 26 April 2008, New Delhi, India.
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Most journals in India and other developing countries face the challenges of shortage of quality articles, poor international recognition, maintaining publication schedule and managing the finances. Many of these problems are inter-linked and are related to the journal’s visibility. Most of these journals have limited circulation beyond their own country. The limited visibility and accessibility of the journals leads to poor citation and impact factor, which in turn repel the authors and subscribers. Free online access to the journal’s content has to potential to solve this long standing problem of journals from the developing world. Medknow Publications publishes 60 open access journals from six countries. The journals published by Medknow provide immediate free access to the full text articles. None of these journals charge the authors or authors’ institutions for the submission, processing or publication of manuscripts. Yet, over last 6 years the journals have not lost print subscriptions and in fact, have improved the finances due to increase in the paid subscriptions to the print editions and additional revenue from the advertisement on the electronic versions. The journals have also benefited from the increased visibility through the web presence. The journals get more number of articles and the contributions from overseas countries have increased. With increase in submission of articles, the journals are now being published regularly with more number of articles than before. As many as six journals could even increase the publication frequency in the last 3 years. The citations received by the articles have also increased. The citations and Impact Factor for most of the journals published by Medknow have increased by many folds. A good example of this is Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, which has been online since 2001, and has shown an increase of nearly 3000% during the period of 2000 to 2006. The journal is ranked at number 1 amongst the medical journals in India by SJR (http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?area=2700&category=0&country=IN&year=2006&order=sjr&min=0&min_type=cd). Compared to other non-open access journals the OA journals published by Medknow have shown higher increase in citation as can be seen from the SJR’s journal compare tool (http://www.scimagojr.com/compare.php?un=journals). It could be said that these by providing free online access, journals from the developing world can gain readers, attract authors and improve the citations. The non-fee model can attract authors from other developing world. The improved quality of the journals from developing world could also help improve the research output of the nations.
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