As part of our our #OAWeek series we caught up with the Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacy, Hamid Merchant, to find out why he is so passionate about open access in healthcare research and what some of the challenges and achievements have been for the journal in its first year.
Why is open access important in healthcare?
Open access is the future of research! Think about a fantastic piece of research that cannot be accessed and read freely across the globe, how this could benefit society?
The more we would like patients and carers to get involved in their treatment, the more access to reliable scientific resources is needed. The inability to access scientific literature freely by the public can be a major obstacle.
Let’s take an example. Malaria is a massive public health issue in African countries, and the top research in Malaria is published in journals which are far beyond the reach of those nations. Open access publishing bridges this gap and allows anyone to access recent advancements in science and literature which are particularly for the benefit to the public health, safety and their well-being.
Bringing accessibility and credibility together
Many open access journals in the field lack credibility and a rigorous peer-reviewed process, and may accept poor quality publications if authors agree to pay their fees. The reputable journals offering optional open access incur a substantial upfront payment to cover their publication costs, and hence many authors cannot afford to publish open access in a journal with a credible reputation. The BJPharm bridged this gap in reputation and quality, yet offered a free service to authors and readers across the globe. The next month also marks the first anniversary of the journal.
The first year of BJPharm
The fee free model for Open Access publishing is not easy. No income from publication means the journal would need an incredible level of voluntary support. The success of the BJPharm lies behind the honorary team of editors, peer reviewers, and the University Press. The journal would not have been possible without invaluable contribution from the whole team.
BJPharm has successfully published two issues over the past year. We have been proud to maintain the integrity of the quality peer review process BJPharm and have attracted good quality submissions across the globe over the past year. The journal has also teamed up with the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Great Britain to publish the proceedings of the 8th International PharmSci meeting held in September 2017 at Hertfordshire in a special issue. For the first time, this will enable a fee-free access to the research presented in this prestigious meeting of pharmaceutical scientists in the UK.
You can access all of the BJPharm content online via the University Press