open-source scientific journals

Michael Eisen on open-source scientific journals.

I heard an interesting story/commentary [RealAudio] on open-source scientific journals on Marketplace yesterday. I’m glad that they are willing to report on business models that are not focused only on monetary gain. I liked Eisen’s midwife analogy, too.

Scientific and medical research is funded through taxes, and print and online subscriptions to scientific journals are very expensive. Commentator Michael Eisen, co-founder of the Public Library of Science, explains the reasoning behind the launch of two new online biomedical journals and the unusual decision to make the sites available at no charge. “We’re upending the business model,” says Eisen. “Let the publishers become what they should be naturally: midwives to our research publications.” That way, he says, a thriving scientific publishing industry is maintained, but it has a free system of access that benefits all.