Thieme to launch 'pay what you want' open-access journal

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Thieme has announced a collaboration with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) of Munich’s School of Management and Department of Economics in a research project to examine authors’ perceptions of article processing fees (APC) and Pay What You Want (PWYW) as a business model for academic journals.

The LMU research department will be setting up the trial parameters so that the results can be analysed and ultimately published for academics, publishers and anyone else interested in open access publishing and PWYW as a business model.
Project co-leader Martin Spann, co-author of several highly cited papers investigating PWYW as a marketing strategy, said: 'We are excited to investigate how Pay What You Want is going to perform in the context of open access publishing. My colleague and co-project leader Klaus Schmidt and I are very much looking forward to the collaboration with Thieme.'
This collaboration coincides with the launch of The Surgery Journal, a new open-access, multi-disciplinary journal publishing original research and reviews on all surgical specialties. Following acceptance of a paper after peer review, authors will be given the opportunity to pay an APC fee that they feel is most suitable.
The Surgery Journal (TSJ) is an open-access journal for surgeons and trainee surgeons of all disciplines, as well as other medical professionals engaged in the support and surgical treatment of patients. Available online only, it will publish original articles, reviews, and case reports.
Graham Brumfield, associate publisher at Thieme, said: 'This new journal is important to Thieme as it bridges all surgical specialties, bringing together the expertise we have established across many journals in the field. In addition, by working with professors Schmidt and Spann, it allows us to contribute to the open-access discussion in a meaningful way, reaffirming Thieme’s growing reputation.'
Daniel Schiff, senior vice president at Thieme, added: 'In a field where many statements are made by many parties, we thought there was a need to hear the authors and gage how they value the paradigm shift to open access. What better way to gauge value than asking them to fix the price?

'By doing so on a major new launch, Thieme is demonstrating its commitment to the open-access movement and willingness to take a substantial risk to collect information in order to advance the debate on the basis of factual evidence.'