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Open access movement gaining ground in STM publishing

The "open access movement", which is rapidly gaining ground in the area of STM publishing, stresses the free use of online medical research. As commercial publishers set high prices for medical periodicals and libraries struggle to sustain amidst shrinking budgets, a debate has flared up on the need for open access. Clinical and basic researchers point out that as these studies are funded by the government, the publishers must make them available for free. The increasing use of electronic format of journals has induced independent publishers, such as ASCO and JCO, to host e-journals as an extension of their respective membership programmes and educational missions.
   
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Publishers opening up to Open Access archiving

Researchers have voiced their support to Open Access (OA) that makes their works available to anyone free of cost. While commercial publishers have given a subdued response to OA, scientists welcome OA archiving, wherein institutions or academics maintain an electronic format of the studies submitted by the scientists. Amidst disapproval from publishers and scientific groups, OA archiving is gaining acceptance from developed nations. Economic factors, existing subsidised but limited free content supported by publishers and an inclination to traditional publishing are a few reasons that impede support for OA archiving from developing countries.
   
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Questioning the drug firms-scientists nexus

The US Center for Science in the Public Interest has questioned medical journals for not revealing the financial relationship the authors hold with drug companies for the studies that may potentially benefit the companies. . Scientists whose researches are funded by drug companies often publish their reports in prestigious scientific journals. Drug companies who fund the reports claim the results of the study while marketing the product. Publishers of the journals are left clueless about the funding agreement.
   
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Study analyses pricing trends of scientific journals

Allen Press had conducted an annual study to identify the pricing patterns of scientific and medical journals. The research covers the 2004 pricing of US journals and gives recommendations on the pricing structure for 2005. It carries comparisons between the pricing structures of non-profit society journals and discusses general pricing trends in the US. The author also ranks the journals based on the subscription charges and science categories with higher prices. The paper also forecasts the pricing strategy of science journals in 2005.
   
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