Internet Transforms Medical Journals
The Internet "is changing the multibillion-dollar medical journal business," partly by "forcing" many journals to put articles online, the New York Times reports. Researchers have been talking about "e-prints, preprints and postprints," which would allow researchers to make their own work available for free online before or after it appears in a journal. Additionally, services like NIH's PubMed Central and Biomed Central have the potential to host "vast electronic archives of new and previously published articles available ... at no charge." And some researchers, "disturbed" by journals that do not make their information freely available after a period of time, have threatened to boycott such journals. The Times reports that not adapting to the changes could mean "extinction" for some midlevel, specialized publications with "big price tags and small audiences." Richard Johnson, enterprise editor of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, called the Internet "a disruptive technology," adding, "it does sort of change all of the opportunities within the market" (Nagourney, New York Times, 3/20).