Yale University ditches BioMed Central

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The Cushing/Whitney Medical and Kline Science Libraries of Yale University, US, have dropped support for BioMed Central's Open Access publishing effort.

The libraries previously covered 100% of the author article charges which allowed these papers to be made freely available worldwide via the Internet at time of publication.

According to David Stern, director of Science Libraries, their experiment in Open Access publishing proved unsustainable; while the technology proved acceptable, the business model failed to provide a viable long-term revenue base built upon logical and scalable options.

‘BioMedCentral has asked libraries for larger and larger contributions to subsidise their activities,’ said Stern. 'Starting with 2005, BioMed Central article charges cost the libraries $4,658, comparable to a single biomedicine journal subscription. The cost of article charges for 2006 then jumped to $31,625.'

'Article charges have continued to soar in 2007 with the libraries charged $29,635 through June 2007, with $34,965 in potential additional article charges in submission,’ he added.

BioMedCentral publisher, Matthew Cockerill, says the open access publisher is disappointed by the library’s decision.

'Looking at the rapid growth of BioMed Central's journals, it is not difficult to see why [publication costs have increased],' said Cockerill. 'BioMed Central's success means that more and more researchers are submitting to our journals each year.'

'An increase in the number of open access articles being submitted and going on to be published does lead to an increase in the total cost of the open access publishing service provided by BioMed Central,' he added. 'But the cost per article published in BioMed Central's journals represents excellent value compared to other publishers.'