Intended for healthcare professionals


Giving something back to authors

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:6

Some changes to our copyright agreements

  1. Jane Smith, deputy editor
  1. BMJ

    For centuries scientific publishing has worked on a bizarre economic model: the real producers of the raw material, the researchers, have received no direct payment for their work. In return for publication they have received exposure, “findability” for their work (thanks to bibliographical databases provided by others), and the “imprimatur” of peer review. Since peer review is an imperfect process,1 exposure and findability are probably the more important benefits. For their part publishers have largely borne the costs of funding peer review systems and of providing the exposure and in return have controlled all the rights to their authors' work and taken all the cash. That has been as true of professional association publishers as it has been of commercial ones: the professional associations can argue that their surpluses have helped to support the work …

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