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P. Lawrence (2003)The politics of publication
BioMed Central Open Access Charter
T. Gura (2002)Scientific publishing: Peer review, unmasked
T. Edejer (2000)Disseminating health information in developing countries: the role of the internet
BMJ : British Medical Journal, 321
Haim Watzman (2003)Oxford professor accused of discrimination over e-mail
S. Lawrence (2001)Free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact
A new online Journal of Autoimmune Diseases is created as an independent open access journal. In addition to the obvious advantages of the open access, the Journal will practice a double-blind reviewing of the manuscripts, which means that both the reviewers and the authors remain anonymous to each other. We believe that such a policy will reduce the influence of personal and other non-scientific factors on the reviewer's decision making. Autoimmune diseases are common and can affect virtu- online-only journals which are proving extremely success- ally every organ in the body. They range from organ spe- ful. But it is not the magic word "internet' that makes the cific diseases such as thyroiditis or type 1 diabetes to life- difference. Two distinct features provided by, BioMed threatening multi-system diseases such as systemic lupus Central and the Editorial Board offer special advantages to erythematosus and the systemic vasculitides. Clinicians readers and authors. from every field of medicine may encounter these patients and both generalists and specialists need to keep up to Open Access date with clinical and experimental developments in The aim of publishing is to share information with the autoimmunity. The advent of targeted therapies for exam- community. Authors are also keen to know that their ple the anti-TNF-α agents for the treatment of rheumatoid work is being read. One of the syndromes of authorship arthritis exemplify the application of basic science has been the little card politely requesting a reprint. This research that can lead to effective therapies. card is sometimes forgotten or filed in the circular filing cabinet thus inducing considerable guilt both in the Inspired by the publisher, BioMed Central, a group of paper's author and the recipient. The era of reprint enthusiastic professionals gathered to launch the Journal requests may be drawing to a close since most of the jour- of Autoimmune Diseases. There are several journals devoted nals can now be found on-line. However, the access to a to autoimmune diseases already, with at least four having paper on-line often requires a subscription or a purchase the word "autoimmunity" in the title. In addition, a of an individual article ("pay-per-view"). The high publi- number of immunological journals and journals that spe- cation costs of printed journals deprive their publishers of cialise in particular diseases publish papers on autoimmu- the generosity of complete free access, but this tends to nity. So is there a need for yet another journal? limit the dissemination of research. An alternative approach provided by BioMed Central is to make access The Editorial Board of Journal of Autoimmune Diseases cer- totally free for everybody, as part of their Open Access pol- tainly thinks so. This Journal is one of the new breed of icy . It means that Journal of Autoimmune Diseases is uni- Page 1 of 3 (page number not for citation purposes) Journal of Autoimmune Diseases 2004, 1:1 http://www.jautoimdis.com/content/1/1/1 versally and freely available online to everyone, its Professor: Hm-m-m...I don't know any of these people. authors retain copyright, and it is archived in internation- What is the title there? ally recognised free repositories such as PubMed Central ; e-Depot ; Potsdam  and INIST . (Dorit reads the title) Journal of Autoimmune Diseases enables scientists from Professor: I don't remember even discussing anything like countries and institutions with limited funds to read the that or being consulted... same material as wealthier ones . This has become pos- sible because lower publication costs can be covered by Dorit: Should I ignore it then? the authors. The advantage for the authors is also obvious: access to their work is much more freely available Professor: Could you print it out for me? I will read it first. throughout the world . If the paper is good enough...Well, then I'll have nothing to do but to add it to my list of publications. Double-blinded peer review The Journal of Autoimmune Diseases aims to provide a high What are the remedies then? Two policies that could help standard of double-blinded peer review, in which the to overcome these difficulties are completely open peer reviewer's name is not disclosed to the authors, and the review and completely anonymous, or double-blind peer authors remain anonymous to the reviewers. A few jour- review. In open peer review , the reviewers' names are nals already use this system, so why do we believe that this disclosed to the authors and vice-versa, ensuring account- will benefit the scientific community? ability. Obviously, this might help against unfair rejec- tions, but not against unfair acceptance. In addition, there We have all come across situations where an honest, labo- is a danger that younger reviewers will be intimidated and rious piece of work was hard to publish. Some journals the political power of the established will be increased . reject up to 95% of manuscripts , and this includes We believe that a double-blinded review process will be good papers. The problem here is that the decision made much more effective in helping to avoid rejection of good by a reviewer is not always based solely on the scientific papers and acceptance of unsound manuscripts for sub- merit of the paper. This may cause either of two antiscien- jective, political or other non-scientific reasons. tific consequences, unfair rejection or unfair acceptance. Journal of Autoimmune Diseases It is the nature of human beings that if a reviewer does not We hope to attract clinical and basic science reports from like you personally, a good paper is rejected or additional leading and innovative authors. We call for established possibly unnecessary experiments are required which will authors to publish with us in order to be easily accessible take a year or two. Unfair rejection can occur due to a con- by all other scientists, to stop fighting with the windmills flict of interest, be it personal or financial. For instance, an of the elite journals, to write detailed and clear papers in individual may be rejected on the basis of ethnicity , so the unlimited space provided by internet. We would also may his paper be. strongly encourage more junior authors who are making their way in this field to consider publishing high quality An unfair acceptance takes place when the reviewer is science in the Journal of Autoimmune Diseases – we all need benevolent to a weak paper that has an outstanding name that important first paper to get going. The Editorial Board as the last author. Some authors may successfully exploit has been carefully selected from leading authorities in this weakness of a reviewer's human being by placing the their own fields to help achieve our ambitious aim of famous name intentionally. This results in a ghost author- developing a high class international journal that is acces- ship of which the celebrity may be unaware! One of us sible by all who have internet access and we look forward remembers an anecdotal conversation he heard a few to receiving your submissions. years ago in one of the universities: References 1. BioMed Central Open Access Charter [http://www.biomedcen Dorit (a secretary to the Professor): Robert? There is a new tral.com/info/about/charter] paper of yours I see on Medline. Do you wish me to 2. PubMed Central [http://www.pubmedcentral.org] update your publication list? 3. e-Depot [http://www.kb.nl] 4. Potsdam [http://www.uni-potsdam.de/over/homegd.htm] 5. INIST [http://www.inist.fr/index_en.php] Professor: Who are the other authors? 6. Tan-Torres Edejer T: Disseminating health information in developing countries the role of the internet. BMJ 2000, 321:797-800. (Dorit reads 20 last and first names) 7. Lawrence S: Free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact. Nature 2001, 411:521. 8. Lawrence PA: The politics of publication. Nature 2003, 422:259-261. Page 2 of 3 (page number not for citation purposes) Journal of Autoimmune Diseases 2004, 1:1 http://www.jautoimdis.com/content/1/1/1 9. Watzman H: Oxford professor accused of discrimination over e-mail. Nature 2003, 424:7. 10. Gura T: Scientific publishing Peer review, unmasked. Nature 2002, 416:258-260. Publish with Bio Med Central and every scientist can read your work free of charge "BioMed Central will be the most significant development for disseminating the results of biomedical researc h in our lifetime." Sir Paul Nurse, Cancer Research UK Your research papers will be: available free of charge to the entire biomedical community peer reviewed and published immediately upon acceptance cited in PubMed and archived on PubMed Central yours — you keep the copyright BioMedcentral Submit your manuscript here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/info/publishing_adv.asp Page 3 of 3 (page number not for citation purposes)
Journal of Autoimmune Diseases – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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