More Open Access in the Sciences: Metal-Based Drugs and Hindawi Publishing

October 26, 2006

A recent article discussed chemistry-related journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). In going through some of my bookmarks, I stumbled on an Open Access journal that DOAJ doesn't have: Metal-Based Drugs.

Unfortunately, the last available issue of Metal-Based Drugs is from 2002. It's not clear if this journal is defunct or not. The journal's Author Guidelines link points to the publisher's general manuscript submission system. There's no mention of publication terminating, so the status of this journal is still a bit of a mystery.

But something interesting appears on the right-hand side of the journal's homepage. It's a sidebar listing news from the publisher, Hindawi Publishing. One of the items reads simply: "Retrodigitization of back volumes of Metal-Based Drugs is completed."

Hindawi Publishing runs a few dozen Open Access scientific journals in addition to Metal-Based Drugs. Their Open Access work has been covered many times in Peter Suber's Open Access News. From a report on Hindawi by Electronic Publishing Service's Majied Robinson:

... In an interview with EPS, Hindawi's Senior Publishing Developer Paul Peters said that the company was looking to acquire more titles to digitise and make freely available .. as well as the establishment of new journals in new fields.

At least one publisher is actively buying the rights to existing journals for the purpose of running them with an Open Access model. Are there any other companies doing the same? What new business models might emerge from these activities to recover their costs - or even turn a profit?