The Impact of Open Access for the Journal of the Medical Library Association
Librarian, University of Alabama at Birmingham - USA
Many scholarly societies are hesitant to embrace open access for fear that it will have a negative impact on membership and finances. The Medical Library Association is, organizationally and financially, typical of many small scholarly societies. It’s premiere journal, the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) has been made available as an open access publication (mounted on PubMed Central) since 2001. This presentation, by the editor of the JMLA, examines membership and financial data over a ten year period in order to identify trends that may be attributable to open access. It reports the results of an opinion survey of the JMLA readership regarding the move to open access, and analyzes PubMed Central statistics to identify changes in readership. The data available to date indicate that open access has had, at most, a very limited negative impact, while it has greatly expanded the audience and reach of the JMLA. This should be encouraging news to other small scholarly societies that are structu red similarly to the Medical Library Association.