The Economics of Medical Hypotheses and Its Successor (part 2 of 2)

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. So a journal trying to do something rather new, enabling those with good ideas but little power to be heard, fitted with their approach.  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 we discuss everything from philosophy to web page design. This is the sort of immediacy you do not get with a big publisher.

Part 1 (Bruce Charlton). Bioscience Hypotheses, a similar journal founded by Bains.

2 Responses to “The Economics of Medical Hypotheses and Its Successor (part 2 of 2)”

  1. Robin Clarke Says:

    I applaud William Baines’s initiative with this new journal. My main reservation about it is that it explicity disowns “peer review”. The problem with “peer review” is not the peer-review system per se, of referring to reviewers (actually PREviewers). It would work fine if employed in a positive mode rather than a nitpicking closedminded mode. But by saying “we don’t use peer review”, this unnecessarily opens a wide door of opportunity for the deceitful Forces of Darkness to pretend that the journal lacks legitimacy.
    Also I dislike the word “Hypotheses” in the title. All my own published theories are developed structures that are far beyond mere hypotheses and attachment of such a word would demean them. I myself put forward a new title of “Biomed Ideas” but was too ill to develop it. I fervently hope the new journal will change to that far superior name as soon as possible; please consider any copyright I have on it transferred to yourselves!

  2. Robin Clarke Says:

    In the previous I should have mentioned the case of my own autism theory publication. It was accepted by editor HJ Eysenck (most cited scientist ever) via a process of peer-review. Just his use of peer-review was an honest, open-minded one rather than the hostile sloppy bigotry that I had encountered from other journals (as explained in my letter in Nature http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9121540 ). There’s a link to the paper at top of http://www.autismcauses.info , which also has some indications of the update review I’m preparing.