ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING: New Kid on E-Journals Block

Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 7c

Another Internet venture that aims to shake up traditional scientific publishing made its debut last week. The Scientific World promises a slew of online resources for researchers, including an articles database, chat rooms, lab-supply shopping, and its own peer-reviewed paper publishing arm.

There is no charge to search the site's database of over 11 million article titles drawn from the British Library, or to sign up for e-mail alerts to new papers. But full-text articles cost $12 and up. The 20,000 journals are said to span physics, chemistry, life sciences, and environmental science, although there's no list of titles. The site also intends to publish papers in all disciplines for free, making money by charging for full-text downloads. Publishing chief Graham Lees says he's sent e-mails to over 200 potential editors and the response has been “very positive.”

The Scientific World has $8 million in financing and a slate of prominent scientists as advisers. But it's got competition—such as BioMed Central, another e-publishing site—and it's not yet clear whether many scientists will send their manuscripts to unknown, electronic-only journals.

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