Some members may wonder why the board has chosen to establish the Journal of Vascular Anomalies (JoVA) as an open access journal. In particular, you may wonder why authors should have to pay an article processing fee to publish their hard work in the journal. This is not a decision which was taken lightly by the board but is in line with the direction of medical publishing worldwide and some background may be useful for those who are not aware of recent changes in medical publishing.
Publishing any journal incur costs. An ‘online only’ journal is less expensive than a paper journal due to elimination of print costs, but it still costs money to produce. There remains a requirement for submission platforms, Editorial overview, production and formatting, creating and maintaining digital presence, and marketing and promoting the publications. With the elimination of institutional and individual subscriptions alternative funding mechanisms are adopted, such as authors pays, funder pays, or institute/hospital provides support for article processing fees.
Traditionally costs for non-open access journals are derived from institutional and individual subscriptions. The disadvantages of this model are that ownership of the article rests with the publisher and not with the authors, and access to subscription content is not available to those who cannot afford the cost of subscriptions, such as doctors working in resource poor countries.
The principal of open access publishing is that since the institutions are funding the journals anyway (by paying the bulk of the subscriptions), it would be better if they funded publication up front as the articles are published and the knowledge generated made available to all who can benefit from it, not the few who can afford it. Many research funding bodies and institutions have embraced the principles of open access publishing, and open access is widely recognized as the future of scientific publishing. Almost no new journals established today are founded on a subscription funding model, and ISSVA has no choice but to embrace this new direction.
There are some obvious difficulties with the open access model. Academic institutions still maintain subscriptions to a range of journals, and only some have made funding available to their staff for open access publishing; it is hoped that this will improve with time. Authors who do not work in academic institutions must pay their own publishing costs, which they understandably seen as unfair. The waters around open access publishing have become muddied by the actions of some unscrupulous individuals who have taken advantage of open access publishing as a way to extract money from unsuspecting doctors and scientists. Many of you have received emails from such ‘predatory’ journals in your inboxes which you should rightly ignore. JoVA will never engage in such behavior.
This atmosphere makes it more difficult than it used to be to establish a new journal, but we believe that if JoVA publishes quality articles and is supported by members of ISSVA it will flourish. Discounts to publishing fees are available for members and for those who live and work in environments where resources are scarce. If this applies to you, please feel free to contact us to discuss your situation. We encourage you to consider submitting your work to JoVA where it will be freely read by an audience with the most direct interest in vascular anomalies. If we all participate, JoVA can become the single location where everything we need to keep up to date with the latest in vascular anomalies can be shared.