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

From: =?Windows-1252?Q?Gu=E9don_Jean-Claude?= <jean.claude.guedon AT>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:21:55 +0000

Threading: [BOAI] The Life and Death of an Open Access Journal: Q&A with Librarian Marcus Banks from richard.poynder AT
      • This Message

Could I, once more, ask Richard Poynder (and many others) not to confuse Gold 
OA and APC-Gold.

APC-Gold is uncovering problems that had not been anticipated at first. Poynder 
mentions one in his note, and assigns it to the whole Gold OA. Predatory 
journals exist only because the APC-Gold business model opens the door to this 
odious kind od polluting and parasitic behaviour. However, and I repeat, 
APC-Gold is but one subset of Gold OA.

Is it so difficult to understand?

Just to make things very, very clear: Gold OA is agnostic with regard to 
business plans, and it does not limit itself to one business plan. This is a 
form of thinking-in-a-box that requires the breaking of the box.

Jean-Claude Guédon
De : boai-forum-bounces AT [boai-forum-bounces AT] de la part de Richard Poynder [richard.poynder AT]
Envoyé : mardi 31 mars 2015 08:10
À : boai-forum AT
Objet : [BOAI] The Life and Death of an Open Access Journal: Q&A with 
Librarian Marcus Banks

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:

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