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The Journal of Neurotrauma open option: A tipping point in critical care medicine?

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., has decided to offer an open access option for publications like the Journal of Neurotrauma.  Most, if not all Liebert journals offer authors of accepted articles the opportunity to post their work  free online with immediate unrestricted open access for a $3,000 fee. Subsequent articles using the open access option will receive a 50% discount ($1,500). Authors from an organization that has an Institutional Membership (an e-license for the entire Liebert Online journal collection) also pay the reduced Open Option fee of $1,500 for all articles.  The open access option does not effect the author’s obligation to assign copyright for the article and its distribution to Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

So who chooses the open option?  Three articles in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma are marked for free access:

Juan Lu, Anthony Marmarou, Kate Lapane, Elizabeth Turf, Lindsay Wilson.  Journal of Neurotrauma. May 2010, 27(5): 843-852.

Haojie Mao, Xin Jin, Liying Zhang, King H. Yang, Takuji Igarashi, Linda J. Noble-Haeusslein, Albert I. King. Journal of Neurotrauma. May 2010, 27(5): 877-888.

Jason M. Hinzman, Theresa Currier Thomas, Jason J. Burmeister, Jorge E. Quintero, Peter Huettl, Francois Pomerleau, Greg A. Gerhardt, Jonathan Lifshitz. Journal of Neurotrauma. May 2010, 27(5): 889-899.

Twelve other original articles from the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma are regular subscription access, many destined for eventual NIH Public Access in PubMedCentral(PMC).  Liebert will deposit the final accepted article (after copy-editing and proofreading) to PMC  on behalf of the authors.
So in the first month of an open access option, 20% of the articles are providing a revenue stream to this publisher and delivering immediate knowledge to the public.  Liebert is undoubtedly experiencing a decline in library subscriptions related to reduced library budgets and continued escalation of institutional subscription prices.  In the gold open access future predicted future, authors will find institutional, foundation, and government support for author fees and replace the library institutional subscription model.
I will revisit the articles from this issue next year, in order to observe whether the open access boost selected by the three open access option articles  can be documented, at least for the subject of neurotrauma. In the meantime, I know by a check of Journal Citation Reports that the Journal of Neurotrauma is ranked fifth in the impact factor listing for the subject category critical care medicine.  Do any of the four journals ranked higher for impact factor in the critical care medicine category than the Journal of Neurotrauma have open access options?
#4:   Critical Care (BioMed Central) – All research articles published in Critical Care are open access.  The BioMed Central author fee is US$1630.

#3: Intensive Care Medicine (Springer) Springer provides an open access option called Springer Open Choice. In this model, authors do not have to transfer copyright, and immediate PubMedCentral deposit can take place. The fee Springer asks for is US$3000 (EU$2000).

#2: Critical Care Medicine (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins) There is no open access option for authors, and this journal is not represented in PubMedCentral.

#1: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (American Thoracic Society)  There is no open access option for authors; however, this journal is represented in PubMedCentral.

Out of these five top journals, three offer some degree of or provision for open access.  For critical care medicine, open access is certainly worth considering.

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Fri, June 4 2010 » Uncategorized

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