- Emeritus Professor, Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands
OBM Genetics 2019, Volume 3, Issue 1 doi:10.21926/obm.genet.1901059
Recommended citation: Geraedts J. A healthy and happy 2019. OBM Genetics 2019;3(1):6; doi:10.21926/obm.genet.1901059.
© 2019 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is correctly cited.
At the beginning of a new year it is a tradition to wish each other that the year to come will be healthy and happy. In case of our journal OBM Genetics this is likely to become true because the future of scholarly publishing is in open access. That is clear from the developments in the past year.
On 4 September 2018 an initiative for open-access science publishing was launched by the European Research Council and major national research agencies and funders from twelve European countries. It requires scientists and researchers who benefit from state-funded research organisations and institutions to publish their work in open repositories or in journals that are available to all by 2020.
Currently national research funding organisations and three charitable foundations from 13 countries have agreed to implement the following 10 principles:
1. Authors should retain copyright on their publications, which must be published under an open license such as Creative Commons;
2. The members of the coalition should establish robust criteria and requirements for compliant open access journals and platforms;
3. They should also provide incentives for the creation of compliant open access journals and platforms if they do not yet exist;
4. Publication fees should be covered by the funders or universities, not individual researchers;
5. Such publication fees should be standardized and capped;
6. Universities, research organizations, and libraries should align their policies and strategies;
7. For books and monographs, the timeline may be extended beyond 2020;
8. Open archives and repositories are acknowledged for their importance;
9. Hybrid open-access journals are not compliant with the key principle;
10. Members of the coalition should monitor and sanction non-compliance.
This so-called Plan S is perfectly suited for OBM Genetics. It was not a surprise that it was met with opposition from a number of publishers of non-open access journals. However, on 4 December 2018 a statement of support was signed by 113 institutions from 37 nations in 5 continents, affirming that there was a strong alignment among the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call for Open science and bibliodiversity, and others to facilitate a full transition to immediate Open Access. One day later it emerged that the Ministry of Science and Technology of China would support Plan S and the goal of immediate Open Access for publicly funded projects. By the way, in 2018 China has become the world's largest producer of scientific articles in terms of volume (See Wikipedia)
Therefore, one can conclude that the start of OBM Genetics has been just in time to be ready for this major shift in academic publishing that will take place next year.
Many developments in the past year show that our journal is on its way to become a high quality, high impact open access journal. First of all, our Editorial Board was very active, as a result of which, in 2018, OBM Genetics hosted 7 Special Issues. Thereinto, 63 papers have been submitted and 34 papers were successfully published. The total number of manuscripts published in 2018 was 47.
Almost half of these were review articles:
Figure 1 Distribution by article type.
Figure 2 Region distribution of the authors.
Furthermore, a higher efficiency and quality of calling for papers was realised and the period from peer review to publication was greatly shortened compared with last year. In addition, the staffs at the Editorial Office of LIDSEN were not only committed to the efﬁcient production of the journal but also to its promotion.
In this respect it is interesting to note that the online readership, measured as the total number of visits to the website of OBM Genetics through Google was not less than 45,203.
Figure 3 Distribution of online readership.
In 2018 the ISSN number for OBM Genetics has been assigned: ISSN 2577-5790. Early this year we will be ready to apply for DOAJ and PMC. At the end of the year we hope to apply for PubMed.
All these developments are very positive and could not have been achieved without a very active Editorial Board (see all members in addendum 1), many colleagues who have provided high quality reviews (see addendum 2) and the continuous support from Julie Jin, Managing Editor and her staff at the OBM Genetics Editorial Office (LIDSEN Publishing lnc.)
We hope that the year to come will be even more productive and look forward to the contributions from many new authors, the reviews from a growing group of referees, the renewed support from the Editorial Board members and the staff of the Editorial Office and last but not least the continued interest of the readers.
Joep Geraedts, Editor in Chief
Addendum 1 List of Editorial Board Members 2018.
Addendum 2 List of Reviewers in 2018.