Das Ende von Open Medicine: Idealismus alleine reicht auf Dauer nicht

Nach 7 Jahren mit 31 Ausgaben schliesst das kanadische Journal Open Medicine. Das Journal entstand 2007 nach Streitigkeiten des Editorial Boards zur inhaltlichen Unabhängigkeit des Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, CMAJ.

Im Editorial der letzten Ausgabe erwähnen die Herausgeberinnen die fehlende finanzielle Nachhaltigkeit als Hauptgrund.

Had we a crystal ball in 2006, what would we have done differently? There is no question that financial sustainability has been foremost in our minds. Although we have attempted to pay modest stipends for journal operations, neither our scientific editors nor our editors-in chief have been compensated, and most of our administrative and production staff have volunteered much of their time. For fear of turning away authors, we delayed instituting publication charges until quite late in the game. As researchers, we struggled to be good fundraisers, communication specialists, information technology and web developers, and public relations experts. As busy doctors, we struggled to create space in our lives to accommodate our enthusiasm for what was possible.


Launching and running a medical journal is more work than it might seem. Based on our previous experiences, we thought we might need operational funding of about $3 million dollars per year. Ultimately, by dint of optimism and volunteerism, we were able to run the journal and publish articles for a tiny fraction of that. We built upon the Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal System, the open source platform whose development was led by our friend and publisher John Willinsky, and which now hosts over 7000 open access journals in 105 countries. We were also accepted for indexing in PubMed after three short years; this was no small achievement We had immense support from Canadian research libraries, thanks to their own commitment to making knowledge freely available and their frustration with ever-escalating fees for bundled journal subscriptions. We also had contributions from our own colleagues and institutions to build on in our early years. Finally, thousands of volunteer hours were generously given to journal logistics, technical support, and web design, not to mention what accrued from the editorial and communications expertise of team members and the contributions of our valued bank of peer reviewers.


Despite everyone’s best intentions, it was challenging for a small team to keep stoking the interest and engagement of the general academic community, and it was difficult to recruit members to our editorial board and board of directors who could provide the kind of hands-on involvement that our small but ambitious operation required. Academic medicine has been slow to recognize the importance of stepping out of the comfort zone of traditional publishing: unfortunately, the benefits of disseminating information freely still takes second place to the allure of publishing in a prestigious forum, however difficult that forum may be for readers to access. .

Die Inhalte des Journals sind weiterhin über die Journalwebsite oder PubMed Central zugänglich.

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2011 in Berlin

Das Public Knowledge Project, bekannt unter anderem durch die Entwicklung von Open Journal Systems, wird 2011 zum ersten Mal außerhalb von Kanada seine jährliche Konferenz abhalten, und zwar in Berlin. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem CeDis werden vom 26-28 September 2011 an der FU Berlin internationale Projekte und Initiativen zu den Themen Open Access und wissenschaftliches Publizieren vorgestellt. Man kann desweiteren vermuten, dass die Weiterentwicklung von OJS eine zentrale Rolle spielen wird. Aus dem Call for papers:

The Third International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
Building and Sustaining Alternative Scholarly Publishing Projects Around the World

The Public Knowledge Project is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Third International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference will be held from September 26 – 28, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. This is the first time that the PKP Conference is being held outside of Vancouver, Canada, and we look forward to meeting more members of the growing, international PKP user community. Given that the landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative, launched in December 2001, will be celebrating its first decade, the conference invites explorations of the lessons learned, successes achieved, and setbacks overcome in our shared attempts to increase and open access within scholarly publishing. The first and second PKP conferences brought together a remarkable array of presentations and participants from around the world, and we anticipate an equally valuable experience in 2011.

Proposals that address one or more of the following topics are especially encouraged:

* New reading and publishing technologies, e.g., integration of Web 2.0 features;
* Reports on national and regional open access policies and initiatives;
* Alternative publishing and funding models;
* National and international collaborative projects;
* New roles and partnerships for libraries, scholarly publishers, and others;
* Sustainability for open access publishing and open source software.

The conference will consist of a mixture of plenary presentations, panel discussions, brief „lightning talks,“ posters, workshops, a hackfest, an exhibitor hall, and parallel conference sessions in the following streams:

* Editors, publishers, and librarians
* Researchers and members of scholarly/scientific societies
* Software developers and system administrators
* Community/User groups

Parallel sessions will each be up to 20 minutes in length. Lightning Talks and “Ask a Developer” presentations are limited to 5 minutes each. Sessions may consist of a case study, a research report, a „big idea“ in publishing, as well as other options.

Proposals (500 word maximum) should be submitted by March 15, 2011, using the submission guidelines and form available on our web site. All proposals will be subject to peer-review and you will be informed of a decision by June 1, 2011. Due to the strong interest in this year’s conference, only a limited number of sessions will be accepted.

Submission Formats

1. Papers (20 minutes)
Standard conference papers, to be presented at the conference, with the paper posted to the PKP Conference web site.

2. Presentations (20 minutes)
Standard conference presentation, without an accompanying paper. The presentation file (e.g., Powerpoint) will be posted to the Conference web site.

3. Panels (20 – 50 minutes, depending upon number of panelists)
Standard conference panel session, with the time length determined by the number of panelists. All presentation files will be posted to the Conference web site.

4. Posters
A poster to be displayed in the common space. The poster file will be posted to the Conference web site.

5. Lightning Talks (5 minutes)
Very brief presentations: 5 slides in 5 minutes.The presentation file (e.g., Powerpoint) will be posted to the Conference web site. Topics could include a new feature development, or a case study of a current project (local, regional, national, international) using one or more of the PKP software applications.

6. “Ask a Developer” Presentations (5 minutes)
Very brief (5 minute) presentations illustrating a particular problem, issue, or need with one or more of the PKP software applications, made to an open audience, but also to members of the PKP development team. PKP Team members will respond to each presentation with suggestions, recommendations, or opportunities for further collaboration.

The Public Knowledge Project is a research and development initiative directed toward improving the scholarly and public quality of academic research through the development of innovative online publishing and knowledge-sharing environments. Located at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Stanford University, PKP has developed free, open source software for the management, publishing, and indexing of journals and conferences. Software such as Open Journal Systems, Open Conference Systems and Open Monograph Press increase access to knowledge, improve management, and reduce publishing costs. Over 6500 online journals worldwide are currently using the OJS software.