Wrap up warm STM publishers! The Royal Society has launched the journal “Open Biology“. As announced: “a fast open access journal covering biology at the molecular and cellular level”. Main topic of this journal will be cell biology, developmental and structural biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, immunology, microbiology and genetics. The makers intent to “publish research of the highest quality, ensuring a fair and speedy review process without recourse to unnecessary rounds of revision.”
An organization like the Royal Society launches an open access journal. Since they have set standards with “Proceedings A & B” and the “Philosophical Transactions A & B”, it will be easy for them to establish Open Biology as a “front row” journal. Hopefully this journal is not only established as a reflex to PlosOne or Scientific reports and the shift these mega-journals have triggered.
But this is apparently not the case: Open Biologies “Publishing ethics and other policies” are far from being revolutionary. For instance, papers are peer-reviewed “in a single-blind fashion (Author names are not concealed, but Referee names are)”. I’m sure this Open Biology will receive an Impact Factor above ten only due to it’s ‘family background’ and I’m excited to see if it becomes yet another journal or something special?
Plus, how will it fit into the plan of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust to establish their own open access biomedical and life science journal as announced in June?