Open Access Week at the Society for General Microbiology

open-access-logo-113314998_300This week is Open Access Week, a global scholarly event that is now in its eighth year. Its main purpose is to promote open access in research scholarship, raise awareness of new developments, and to encourage the academic community to come together to discuss the current state of play. Open Access Week has inspired us to take stock and look at the work that we’ve done around the topic in 2014.

The year has been a busy one in terms of open access (OA) at the Society for General Microbiology. Our open access policy statement was published in March (and can be read in full on the Society website) and expresses the Society’s desire to champion financially-sustainable models of open access through its journals. The Society’s Gold Open Access option, available on all Society journals, allows authors and their funding bodies to make the final published version of their article freely available online upon payment of a publication fee. As well as raising awareness of Gold Open Access at the Society for General Microbiology, from the 1st of January 2014 we introduced discounts for new submissions. We offer a 15% discount on the Gold Open Access fee to authors who are either members of the Society for General Microbiology or are based at an institution that holds an active subscription to the journal.

We have put together a comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions about publishing research open access in a Society journal. These FAQs give full information about our Green and Gold Open Access policies and our compliance with various funding body mandates.

Finally, and perhaps most excitingly of all, 2014 saw the launch of our first fully open access journal, JMM Case Reports. This is a peer-reviewed, Gold Open Access, online-only journal publishing original case reports on medical, dental, and veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases. We were delighted to have received over 100 submissions to JMM Case Reports just one month after full launch.

We are constantly monitoring developments in OA in order to give our authors the best possible options and to ensure that the Society takes a forward-thinking approach to sustainable open access. We’re glad to report that open access submissions for Society journals have increased in 2014, and we hope that our on-going work to promote open access at the Society will see this trend continue next year.

Simon Hagan

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