Thanks to Richard Smith (former editor of the BMJ) and HIFA 2015 for alerting us to this. It seems that five publishers have withdrawn free access to 2,500 important journals. See: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d196.full Apparently this has happened to other countries, though as far as we know it has not happened in Africa. There is next to no explanation but it appears that:
- “the decision to withdraw free access was not unusual practice once publishers start to secure “active sales” in a country.”
- “The reason given was that publishers fear that we may cancel the few journals we subscribe to.” – from Jamaica.
Barbara Kirsop reminds us that there are over 6000 Open Access journals and open access depositories. She gives a full list of finding this material; I shall add just two of them here and add the others (if they are not there already on) to the resources list on the PHI website :
Directory of Open Access journals – http://www.doaj.org/
Directory of Open Access Repositories – http://www.opendoar.org/
These withdrawals are little publicized and highly damaging to science and medicine. Let us know if it happens to you, which we hope it won’t.
Jean Shaw – Partnerships in Health Information