Why did we start publishing open access journals and not the traditional subscription based journals?
Let us consider a hypothetical situation:
If you go to your library today you can freely browse as many journals and as many journal articles as you like. You can skim over any number of articles and whichever article catches your attention you can read it for free. You can read one article or you can read ten articles or may be even twenty, if you yourself are in the process of planning a study or writing a manuscript. Now, how would you feel if the librarian in your university, institute or hospital library started charging $30 for every article you read in the library? Would you read every article you are interested in? You will definitely become choosy, you will think twice before reading an article as it will cost you $30, you may skip reading an article even if you liked the title as it will cost you $30 to read it and you may have already spent $150 in reading five articles; a number of good articles will not receive any citations because no one ever read them as price to read was $30 (your article might be one of those unread articles); since no one read those articles, no one will build upon the research reported in them, and some great research will be denied to the scientific community and its results to humanity.
What if, it was not your librarian charging you $30 to read an article, but it was the journal publisher who charged $30? This is the average price for purchasing one article from the the traditional subscription based journal publishers. Again, would you read every article you are interested in or would you become choosy, think twice before reading an article as it will cost you $30; and may be skip reading an article as you have already spent a lot of money in purchasing other articles. Perhaps the worst part is that you will come to know whether an article is really useful to you or not only after paying $30 to purchase it. The title or the abstract of the article may not always give a correct overview of the article. So, it is just like a game of luck in which you have to pay to test your luck. You may pay for some articles but majority of the articles you will read or cite in the manuscripts you are writing, will be the articles which are freely available in the journals in your library or on the internet. It was the institutional library which subscribed and purchased the articles from the publisher and gave them to you for free to read and use as you like. These free articles are the ones you will use. You did not have to pay anything to your library for reading and using these subscribed journal articles.
So the crux of the matter is - "The articles you will read and cite will be the articles which are freely available, either in your library or on the internet."
Won't it be great if you could read thirty articles for free instead of just five articles available in your library journals (subscribed) and another two for which you paid $60? If your library subscribes to 300 journals, do you think the research published in rest of the approximately 18,700 journals, which your library does not subscribe to, is not useful or worthy of being read by you? Can your library subscribe to all 20,000 journals published every year? If it cannot, aren't you being deprived of reading other's work and being given a very myopic view of the world's research?
Let us look at it in another perspective. If your library subscribes to 300 journals there will be about 5-10 journals of your specialty. If we go by proportions, there will be about 40-60 journals in your specialty being published in the world every year. So do you restrict your reading to about 5-10 journals of your specialty which your institutional library purchases by paying subscription price or would you like to have free, unrestricted access to all 40-60 journals and have a choice about what you want to read? What if a good article is published in a journal not subscribed by your library? Will you pay $30 to read it? You can, but why should you, when by changing the publication model you can have free access to all 40-60 journals?
How many journals, in which you have published your own research, are available in your institutional library? If you cannot access your own published research in your institutional library, how many researchers in the world can access it in theirs? Who is going to read your research and further advance the concepts you have proposed? Is your research not worthy of being freely disseminated, read by everyone and advanced upon. Don't you wish your research to be freely available to everyone in the world with access to just an internet connection?
What will give you more happiness and academic satisfaction, i) just to see your article published in a journal, or ii) to see your article published in a journal; to see other authors cite your article in their articles; and knowing that your work was given the academic recognition it deserved? Which article do you think will have more chances of being cited by other authors — one for which authors will have to pay $30 to buy from a subscription based publisher or the one that is published in an open access journal and is freely available on the internet for anyone to download, print and cite.
You give your research for free to subscription based journals, then you and others pay to access it, and in the process only few individuals and institutions can use it. Oh, wait! Do you really give your research for free to subscription based journals? Don't you have to pay page charges and fees for color illustrations amounting to hundreds of dollars, before your article is published? As all libraries cannot subscribe to all the journals published every year, this deprives readers like yourself from accessing your own research in your own library.
Almost all the open access journals publish articles under Creative Commons Attribution which allows anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the article, provided the original author and original publisher is given due credit. In contrast to this, almost all the traditional subscription based journals require the authors to transfer the copyright of their article to the publisher, before the article is published in the journal. What will happen if you want to use your article published in such a journal? You will have to write emails or letters to the publisher to ask for permission for using your own article. What if you are denied the permission? You will not be able to use your own published article. So in the end, after spending months and years doing your research; after spending many days writing the article and revising the drafts; after paying hundreds or thousands of dollars as page charges and color charges; you can not use your own article published in a traditional subscription based journals, as freely as you want to. Why do you want to go down this path? Why not remain the owner of your hard work by publishing your work in open access journals?
Do you really want another subscription based publisher who takes your research and publishes it free (?) but restricts and controls its dissemination? Won't it be much wiser, if libraries and institutions instead of paying millions of dollars for purchasing journal subscriptions of a tiny fraction of journals published in the world every year, use a small portion of the same money to help you in publishing your research in open access journals. In this process your research will be freely available to every single scholar, physician and scientist in the world who wanted to use it and further advance it.
When we had our discussions we realized that free access to knowledge is the only foundation on which great work is possible. Our firm belief in free access to scientific content was one of the reasons which motivated us to adopt an open access model of publication rather than a subscription based one.
We promise that we will provide free access to all the content published in our journals, without any obligations or restrictions, to all reader, in any part of the world. We also promise that as a publisher of scientific content we will always adhere to the highest ethical principles of scholarly publishing.
We will be very candid in requesting you to understand that we are not doing charity by publishing scientific journals. We are doing a service to science through our work which involves a lot of expenses which will be meet by the individuals and institutions in different ways. However, we will reiterate that the cost of our service will be very less than what you have paid in the past to others and the benefits to you will be much greater than what you have received in the past from others.
Thank you for reading this and we hope you will support us in this endeavor.
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|The core principles adopted by Edorium Journals
To publish scholarly journals in medical and biomedical specialties and sub-specialties.
To nurture these journals to make them the most authoritative journals in their respective specialties.
To follow highest ethical principles in all processes and at all steps in publishing.
To make published research freely available to scientific community without restrictions.
To keep the publication charges as low as possible by adopting low cost innovative methods.
To disseminate the research in multiple ways, immediately on publication.
To work with honesty, integrity and have an unwavering commitment to Open Access.
Click here to read about the contemporary issues in open access publishing.
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* The facts and figures given on this page have been taken from publicaly available resources. We request you to do an independent research for any facts you are interested in. You are also welcome to contact us for any questions.