Just when you thought that the publishers had ran out of combinations of shortened discipline names – PhysChemOrgPhys, ChemCommPhysChem, CommPhysOrgGeoAstroChem (You know who you are!), BioMedCentral(!) is yet to launch another – PhysMath Central. PMC, an open access publishing platform, goes live today with a call for papers for its first journal is officially accepting papers for publication in its first journal, PMC Physics A, B, and C.
My former colleague on ChemWeb(!) Chris Leonard who is now heading up PMC tells me about why this endeavour is so important to the scientific community and publishing in general. “Global access to peer-reviewed research is as essential in the physical sciences as it is in the life sciences,” he says, “The same benefits apply, namely; increased readership, increased citations, decreased access barriers and the retention of copyright by the author.” Leonard is on record as saying that his move from the world of traditional publishing to the OA end of the spectrum represented an epiphany. “I started off at ChemWeb.com and subsequently moved to Amsterdam to work for Elsevier,” he explains, “I have now seen the light and am very happy to be developing physics and mathematics journals for the Open Access publisher BioMed Central.”
BMC explains the rationale behind the launch as being aimed at meeting the increasing demand for open access journals from major research institutes (such as CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and other funding organizations and government bodies. PhysMath Central could make research in physics, mathematics and computer science more widely available and increase access to this research to all institutes and individuals, without the burden of subscription charges. “The demand for open access is growing constantly as all scientists from all disciplines become aware of the benefits of open access publishing,” adds Leonard. Success will hinge, as with any new journal launch, on whether or not the putative authors feel the return on investment of submitting to the new journal will pay off in terms of readership and impact factor.
If the existence of yet more journals in the literature is not enough, PMC is also launching a blog, be sure to add it to your blogroll to keep up with developments and impact factor evolution. Oh, and one more thing, for their British authors: they deliberately missed off the “s” from “maths”.