A successor to Medical Hypotheses, called Hypotheses in the Life Sciences, will be edited by William Bains and published by Buckingham University Press (BUP).
ROBERTS Does BUP hope to eventually make money from the successor journal? Or do they merely hope the subsidy required will decrease with time?
WILLIAM BAINS BUP is a small operation, and does not have the resources to subsidize Hypotheses in the Life Sciences beyond its start-up stage, so we hope to make enough money to break even fairly soon. Ultimately the aim is to be profitable. I for one am determined to put scientific quality first, and I have emphasized to BUP that I only want the journal to grow (and hence generate more revenue) when the quality of submissions allows it.
ROBERTS What led BUP to decide to publish the new journal?
BAINS I think a combination of similarity in philosophy and being in the right place at the right time. They thought it was an exciting project which would both raise their profile (in a good way) and make them money. Buckingham University is the UK’s only private university, and as such takes a heterodox, even iconoclastic view towards what the academic establishment says is writ in stone. The Chancellor has a robust approach to academic and individual freedom.Â So a journal trying to do something rather new, enabling those with good ideas but little power to be heard, fitted with their approach. Â For me, an added advantage is that I deal directly with the man at the top. There are no intermediate layers of management to take decisions about the journal, and weÂ discuss everything from philosophy to web page design. This is the sort of immediacy you do not get with a big publisher.