Big Publishers Increasingly Experimenting With Free Academic Journals

from the about-time dept

For many years there's been a push to create free research journals in various academic and scientific fields. The reasoning was that the high expense of the traditional journals made new breakthroughs and research much more difficult and expensive, potentially slowing down important advances. There was also some concern about publicly funded research not being available to the public. For a while, the traditional publishers acted horrified at the idea of free journals, but it appears that they're finally realizing the idea might not be so bad. Publishing giant Reed Elsevier is launching a new free medical journal online for oncologists that it hopes to support with advertising. It hopes to sign up a bunch of doctors to use it and may launch other free journals in other medical areas. It's definitely an experiment -- and appears to be driven in part by the growing number of free sources online -- but it's still good to see the big publishing houses not just bashing the idea, but testing it out themselves.

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