Open Access Publication in Pathology – Advantages, Constraints and new Tools
Open access journals are financed by authors (i.e. research grants), rather than by readers or subscribers. This business model allows a world – wide uncontrolled distribution of medical information and scientific knowledge. The financial of shifting the finance and the opportunities for misuse raise significant concerns regarding non – scientific impact and article content integrity. Herein we report and discuss ideas and experiences of open access publication focusing on diagnostic pathology.
Material and Methods
Our experiences are drawn from an electronic communication network in pathology that includes the open access online journal diagnosticpathology.eu. The network includes a) the journal www.diagnosticpathology.eu, b) the Virtual International Pathology Institute (www.diagnomx.eu/vipi), c) several scholar atlases (a selection of common and rare lung diseases (Digital Lung Pathology), an atlas of fine granulate & natural and synthetic mineral fibers, a virtual slide atlas (in preparation)). The journal offers the opportunity to publish case reports “beside the microscope” and to submit data for “interactive publication”. Both tools are unique, and cannot be found elsewhere. For publication of suitable articles, we demand the submission of glass slides, which will become completely digitized (virtual slides, VS).
Results and Experiences
The journal is online since March 2015, and the only completely financially independent open access journal in medicine. We have published several case reports under the headline “How do I diagnose…?” The presented form offers a guide through the article and permits a complete publication “besides the microscope”, commonly in less than one hour. Automated links to reference search items are included as well as virtual slides. The strict publication format permits fast submission of unique or interesting cases, and, in addition, the implementation of the publication into a case – related open and flexible image date bank.
The mandatory inclusion of virtual slides is a unique quality control. The journal diagnosticpathology.eu is embedded in a cloud that will consist of an archive of published cases with virtual slides, an express review forum with a corresponding duty plan, an automated measurement system of histological slides, and open access atlases such as hazards of natural and artificial fibers (fine granulate) and a collection of all known pulmonary diseases. Diagnosis assistants and image databanks customized according to the needs of an individual user (reader, author, consultant, automated measurements, etc.) will be available in the near future too.
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4. In case of virtual slide publication the authors agree to copy the article in a structural modified version to the journal's VS archive.