E-Publication Bias

As you might be aware some journals enable immediate free online access for a fee to the publisher. This fee can amount to a large sum of money. Other publishers use a hybrid model allowing authors to choose between subscription access and author paid open access. This is an opportunity for pharmaceutical or other biomedical companies to fund authors and researchers to publish their results in open access.

Recently a published study in the BMJ looked at publications in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and Rheumatology during the period of October 2007 until September 2008 for access through subscription and open access. A significant higher proportion of industry funded study were published open access.

Of 216 extended reports, 71 had received funding from an industrial sponsor. A significantly higher proportion of industry funded studies were published unlocked (12/71 (17%) v 11/145 (8%))

Author paid open access publishing increases accessibility to studies funded by industry.

Jakobsen AK, Christensen R, Persson R, Bartels EM, & Kristensen LE (2010). Open access publishing. And now, e-publication bias. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 340 PMID: 20427450