There are many journals available on the Web site. Some of these journals have entirely free access. Others are not open access, meaning that their publishers wish to recruit subscriptions for access. Bioline has been experimenting with various models for providing access to the information, in accordance with our partner publishers’ desires. Bioline is trying to educate publishers about the importance of open access; one of the good examples of this work is the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine.
The Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (JPM)2 is a quarterly publication started in 1955. It is a publication of the Staff Society of the Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital in India and covers specialties from basic and clinical sciences.
As we all know, journals from developing countries are poorly represented in international bibliographic databases. This, along with low print circulation, adds to the poor visibility of research published in journals from developing countries. This in turn leads to lower citations for the published articles, so that journals with a low impact factor continue to remain less subscribed and poorly visible.
One of the most important problems with journals from developing countries is the poor visibility of the published articles. Electronic publishing offers a solution for increasing the visibility. However, the financial and technical issues of electronic publishing make it difficult for journals of developing countries, which are usually not supported by commercial publishers, to go online. Even if a journal succeeds in doing so, a single journal site fails to attract visitors, because it alone can provide only a few hundred articles. There is a lack of interactivity and hyperlinking, which makes it less attractive and less useful for visitors.
A collaboration with Bioline, or any other established portal, offers shared resources and technology that is already tested. Bioline acts for journals from developing countries as PubMed Central does for countries of the North by eliminating the technical difficulties. The crosslinking and hyperlinking associated with Bioline make full use of the publishing potential. Journals get the advantage of established reputation and greater visibility by linking to the Bioline site.
Apart from providing the full-text content to Bioline, the JPM has also helped to promote collaboration with the Bioline site. It provides linking from PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s largest database in the form of a LinkOut. JPM may also help in technology transfer to Bioline by providing tools that we developed, such as automated reference linking. JPM also encourages other journals from developing countries to join Bioline and provide open access. There is a symbiotic relationship between the journal and Bioline.
What has been achieved with JPM’s collaboration and Bioline’s provision of open access to the journal? The most important achievement was the archiving of JPM’s full text. This, along with the JPM Web site, has helped to increase the visibility and readership of the journal, which has had a direct impact on the number of citations of the published articles and on article submission from around the world. The journal has also gained an international reputation and now is included in a large number of bibliographic databases. Since providing open access two years ago, the number of submissions per month has increased threefold. Currently more than 40 percent of submissions are from other countries.
This means that the journal is becoming a popular publishing medium for scientists from other developing countries. How is this possible? The circle of accessibility (see Figure 14.1) has played an important role in increasing the popularity and visibility of the journal. The journal’s content is available in full text and is linked to a large number of resources to increase its visibility.
JPM encountered some problems in developing its partnership with Bioline. Initially JPM had difficulty transferring huge amounts of data from its site to Bioline’s technical team, but with use of file transfer protocol this has been solved. In addition, JPM is not able to update on a regular basis because the site is maintained by Bioline’s technical team. If such collaboration breaks, a journal that is associated with Bioline should be able to continue independently.