International Health to go fully open access from January 2020

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Friday, 19 July 2019

At the moment International Health is a hybrid journal – you need to have a subscription to access some of the content (members receive this as part of their membership benefits) and there is no cost to the authors when publishing their paper, but other content is open access where anyone can access the article and authors (or more likely their funder or institution) cover the cost of publishing by paying an article processing charge.

In 2018 we asked for members’ views on open access and our journals as funders are increasingly mandating open access and we have seen an increasing number of authors choosing this option in recent years, particularly for International Health.

As a result, we have decided to make International Health fully open access from January 2020. This means that all previously published content will become free to view and all new content will have an associated article processing charge.

From 15 August all submissions to International Health will be considered as open access as we expect that following peer review and production these will be published in 2020.

Higher article downloads and citations

Open access articles have higher article downloads and citations so have a bigger impact. A report from the Wellcome Trust showed open access articles they funded were accessed 89% more than non-open access articles. Some of the big global health funders, like Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have joined PlanS and are mandating their funded researchers submit to fully open access journals.

As many of the submissions to International Health come from funded researchers, by moving to a fully open access model we will be able to continue supporting publication of their research.

Removing barriers to access

Much of the research we publish has been carried out in low and middle-income countries and by moving to an open access model we remove any potential barrier to researchers in these countries accessing these articles.

We are aware of some concerns about article processing charges for open access articles, particularly for early career researchers and those working in low- and middle-income countries. So that we can continue to support researchers from developing countries, we will be offering them full waivers of these charges so they will not have to pay a fee to publish. A full list of countries where a waiver is available can be found here.

Opportunity to publish more research

As a print subscription journal we are limited in the number of articles we can accept and publish because of page budgets. We are seeing increasing numbers of submissions to International Health and because of space restrictions we cannot publish all of the good quality research we receive.

Moving to a fully open access model provides an opportunity for us to grow the number of article published because the journal will no longer be restricted by page budgets.

International Health will continue to publish in partnership with Oxford University Press and all articles will undergo the same rigorous peer review process as they do now.

Members will still be able to access International Health online but will no longer be able to opt to receive print issues as the journal will become online-only. RSTMH members will be eligible for a 5% (£100) discount on the article processing charge when publishing in International Health.

We welcome your feedback

We will continue to monitor funder mandates and the welcome feedback from our members on open access, particularly from early career researchers as we would like to know how we can better support them in publishing.

Transactions will continue to publish as a hybrid journal with the option to make your article open access. RSTMH members will continue to receive a subscription to Transactions as part of their membership benefits.

Download our open access FAQs

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