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Another open access predator, or just a social way of doing business?

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At first this blog from iMedPub or oMedPub (take your pick, they seem to be used interchangeably) seemed attractive, at first glance,  and also seemed to be highlighting promising articles from a new open access publisher.

My skepticism began to grow as I conducted an excruciating search for a real person behind “a social publishing house which has been developing services for the international medical community since 1997.”   There was consistent use of a social networking ID representing  iMedPub or oMedPub, but it was not obvious where the list of real staff lived. The blue eyes of those stock photo physicians began to look too blue.

There were only a few articles for the few journals this publisher launched, none indexed in PubMed yet.  At some point  I found the author instructions that eventually mentioned the very reasonable $200 U.S. author fee.  There were editors for these fledgling journals.  There were also some discussions of hybrid open access publishing models that compared unfavorably in the personal economic sense with iMedPub or oMedPub‘s very reasonable $200 U.S. author fee for all the benefits of open access.  The authorship and much of the interlocking websites seems to be aiming at a Spanish-language audience.  There is a social networking site Medicalia.org, an “exclusive next generation social networking service for Medical Students, Residents and Doctors.”  More of those stock photos with very brown eyes.

The numbers attached to the Medicalia.org social networking units seemed anemic.  Well, maybe they are just the new physician social network on the block.

Finally, I went down to a couple of the journal table of contents.   The first, Archives of Medicine, turned out to be a hybrid journal, and when I clicked on an article about low back pain in several Mexican communities, I was asked for a payment of $40 for the privilege of reading it. Whoops.

I tried another journal table of contents that seemed to be open access. the Archives of Clinical Microbiology and an article on listeria bacteria.  Well, if I wanted to download or print this open access article, I would first have to log in with my Facebook ID, leading me to conclude that they were harvesting my identity for their own advertising purpose.

Is iMedPub or oMedPub a predator, or is it just a way of doing the business of medicine for the Spanish-speaking world? I finally clicked on an “About iMedPub” link from an info button and found some names associated with editing:

Maybe something is just lost in translation, but I am obviously not impressed.

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Sun, August 15 2010 » Uncategorized

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