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[BOAI] The Life and Death of an Open Access Journal: Q&A with Librarian Marcus Banks

From: "Richard Poynder" <richard.poynder AT cantab.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:10:36 +0100


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             [BOAI] Re: The Life and Death of an Open Access Journal: Q&A with Librarian Marcus Banks from jean.claude.guedon AT umontreal.ca
             [BOAI] Re: The Life and Death of an Open Access Journal: Q&A with Librarian Marcus Banks from t.d.wilson AT sheffield.ac.uk


Despite their high profile advocacy for open access, many librarians have
proved strangely reluctant to practice what they preach. As late as last
year calls were still being made for the profession to start "walking the
talk".  

 

On the other hand, many librarians have embraced OA, particularly medical
librarians. In 2001, for instance, the Journal of the Medical Library
Association (JMLA) began to make its content freely available on the
Internet. And in 2003 Charles Greenberg, then at the Yale University Medical
Library, launched an open access journal with BioMed Central called
Biomedical Digital Libraries (BDL). One of the first to join the editorial
board (and later to take over as Editor-in-Chief) was Marcus Banks, who was
then working at the US National Library of Medicine.

 

Four years later, however, BDL became a victim of BMC's decision to increase
the cost of the article-processing charges (APCs) it levies. This meant that
few librarians were able to afford to publish in the journal any longer, and
submissions began to dry up. Despite several attempts to move BDL to a
different publishing platform, in 2008 Banks had to make the hard decision
to cease publishing the journal.

 

What do we learn from BDL's short life? In advocating for pay-to-publish
gold OA did open access advocates underestimate how much it costs to publish
a journal? Or have publishers simply been able to capture open access and
use it to further ramp up what many believe to be their excessive profits?
Why has JMLA continued to prosper under open access while BDL has withered
and died? Was BDL unable to compete with JMLA on a level playing field?
Could the demise of BDL have been avoided?  What, if anything, does the
journal's fate tell us about the future of open access?

 

These and other questions are discussed with Banks in a Q&A interview here:

 

http://poynder.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-life-and-death-of-open-access.html

 


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