Open access publishing in pharmaceutical research

Open access publishing in pharmaceutical research

As part of our blog series for Open Access Week 2018, we caught up with Hamid Merchant, Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacy, to chat about how important and revolutionary OA publishing can be in the sciences.

A fantastic piece of research can only be appreciated fully if it can be accessed and read freely across the globe.  Often healthcare issues of developing nations are published in journals which are far beyond the reach of those nations, for instance Malaria and HIV. Open access publishing bridges this gap and allows anyone to access recent advances in science and medicine. In recent years, the ability to access scientific literature instantly using portable devices has made research more accessible, and open access publications can dramatically enhance this readership. Moreover, a great proportion of research is funded through research councils, non-governmental and charitable organisations, in other words, from public money; and it is unfair if it is not freely accessible by the public.

Thinking about impact and open access publishing

One of the major obstacles in open access publishing in science, however, is the poor quality and reputation of many open access titles, as many would compromise in quality if authors pay their publication fees. Another major factor is the ‘impact-centred’ research assessment in academia, which drives researchers to steer away from new but reliable open-access journals where a typical impact factor has not yet been established. However, the evolution in impact assessment and emergence of new open-source impact metrics is likely to strengthen and support ‘newer’ open access titles.

BJPharm is a fee-free open-access initiative to support the science and research in pharmacy supported by the University of Huddersfield Press. The fee free model for Open Access publishing is not easy. No income from publication means the journal needs an incredible amount of voluntary support. The success of the BJPharm lies behind the honorary team of editors, peer reviewers, and the invaluable support from the university press. The journal would not have been possible without invaluable contribution from the whole team.

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