Open access evolution: extinction and new models

In the current maelstrom of competing models for sustainable, affordable, or profitable publishing enterprises, an early pioneer of open access publication recently closed it doors. The Medscape Journal of Medicine (MJM), was a brave experiment, particularly in that the authors were not charged large fees as is done for many of the current open access journals. Most relevant for future scholarship is how the back issues of MJM will be kept readily accessible. Most encouragingly, it seems that copies of MJM will be archived with Pubmed Central which constitutes one of the wiser investments of our tax dollars.

Concurrently, we see the emergence of a new model of peer review from the Journal of Biology (hat tip David Osterbur). In this model, authors whose manuscripts were accepted for review can choose to not have their manuscripts re-reviewed but instead can appeal to the editors for publication without revision. Their appeal may not be accepted (in which case the manuscript is rejected) or it is accepted in which case it is published along with an editorial commentary. Regardless of the merits of this model, it does provide editorial added value to each publication, in contrast to many open and closed access journals.

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