European Heart Journal Announces Articles to be Available in Open Source Format

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July 3, 2007 by C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D.

Belgium: The European Heart Journal announced today that authors may now elect to publish their articles in an open access publishing model.

As part of the new open access publishing model, authors will have the option of paying an open access publication charge to make their paper freely available online at the time of publication (not months or years later). Open access allows those people without a subscription to the European Heart Journal to view all the contents of the article.

European Heart Journal's offering adds to the list of cardiology journals participating in the open source movement. The Journal of Thrombolysis and Thrombosis offers a similar option.

The Library of Science (PLOS) also provides open access to articles authored by scientist from around the world. The current website, www.wikidoc.org is similarly an open access and participatory model of academic advancement.

A closely related phenomenon is open source software development. The development of Linux software and the Mozilla browser are two examples of the success of the open source movement. A community of developers co-create software content through incremental individual effort or through collaboration. An open source culture allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, in contrast with more centralized models of development (i.e. command and control model) such as those typically found in corporations. The source code of the software is available to the general public with limited intellectual property restrictions (1)

In an open source culture, diverse perspectives are shared during development and are made available in the public domain. Examples of this model include Wikipedia and WikiDoc. This collective approach minimizes ethical concerns over conflict of interest since it is nearly impossible for one person or group to impose their point of view in so far as the material can be edited or commented upon be clicking on the discussion button. The material that is created is "copylefted" instead of "copyrighted", and can be distributed and adapted by others. For instance, some of the verbiage in this very article is closely related to that found on www.wikipedia.org (1)!

We here at WikiDoc applaud this forward looking approach adopted by the European Heart Journal and hope that other leading journals will follow suite. A tipping point may soon occur where authors will only submit to journals offering an open access option.

References 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source


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