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  SUMMER 2012

   Society for Developmental Biology

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The Evolution of Journal Publishing – Let the Author (and Reader) be Aware!

By Jasna Markovac, SDB Publications and Communication Committee Chair

Over the past decade, we have been rethinking the ways we publish the results of our research. The journal publishing landscape continues to evolve, with new journals taking their place alongside traditional and well-established titles. Open access and compliance with funding bodies’ requirements continue to be an important factor in many authors’ decisions regarding publishing venues.

As we all know, there have been some notable entries into the journal publishing arena, many of them, the Open Access (OA) journals, inverting the traditional subscriber model into one in which the author pays publications fees. In addition, many existing, well-established journals now provide open access options for authors who would like to make their work freely available to everyone upon publication. And, most life science journals will routinely open up content for public access 12 months (or less) post-publication.

These OA options and choices provide important alternatives for scientists who feel strongly about having their work be publicly available either immediately on publication or shortly thereafter.

However, in recent years, there has also been a sharp increase in new “open access” journals that have come to be known as ‘predatory’. These ‘journals’ often solicit manuscripts using email blasts to various lists of scientists, including authors of papers published in established journals. They ask for payment of hefty publication fees, many of them publish very few papers and some have yet to publish even a single article. And very often, the titles of these journals are very similar to those of established journals, so much so that it can cause confusion for potential authors.

If you are interested in reading more about these ‘predatory’ OA journals and seeing a list of questionable titles (compiled by Jeffrey Beal, librarian at University of Colorado, Denver), please take a look at this blog post from a medical librarian

Please note that the official journal of the Society for Developmental Biology is Developmental Biology (published by Elsevier). We are not associated in any way with any other primary research journals no matter how similar their titles may be to DB.

We are very proud of our association with DB and we are working closely with the Publisher to ensure that DB continues to represent the interests and the mission of SDB.

While the decision where to publish is yours and yours alone, SDB encourages all its members to consider submitting to Developmental Biology.

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