Scientists Are 'Less Inclined To Do The Tough Experiments' For Open Access Journals

Zulfikar Abbany | DW | May 2, 2013

As chief editor of the journal "Nature Medicine," Juan Carlos López knows his company has to change as the open-access model of publishing research papers takes hold. But he questions the quality.

DW: "Nature Medicine" is a subscription-based journal and only those who can afford it get access to the research you publish when it's fresh. But as you'll know, there's a growing push towards the open access model for scientific publishing. Open access means new research is available to almost everyone, almost immediately. Do you feel you will have to change your business model?

Juan Carlos López: Yes. This is not just my view. I think "Nature" is quite active in discussing open access. The first phase was about eight years ago when the public library of science was created and they wanted all information to be available as soon as it was published. For profit-publishers like "Nature" and many others, we're concerned about that because that's our core business. "Nature"'s strategy was to accept that this was important to all kinds of stakeholders, and we decided to have a conversation with those who were most actively pushing for open access. We put [our case] - the fact that we do a lot of filtering, so what we publish is of the highest quality.