Live-blogging the 2009 Vancouver PKP Conference

10 Years Experience with Open Access Publishing and the Development of Open Access Software Tools: The Session Blog

Presenter: Gunther Eysenbach

July 9, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

Gunther Eysenbach

Gunther Eysenbach


Gunther Eysenbach is editor/publisher of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), which has presently been established as the top peer-reviewed journal in the field of ehealth.

Eysenbach is also an associate professor with the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (HPME) at the University of Toronto.  In addition, he is a senior scientist for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation.  The JMIR boasts an impact factor of 3.0 which is highly ranked within other journals of health and sciences (Eysenbach2009).

Session Overview

Eysenbach have a condensed version during his session discussion due to time constraints but he managed to give the audience the key elements of where JMIR began to its present developments.  He referred to the main concepts of JMIR being described as triple ‘o’ (open access, open source, open peer-reviewed).  The basis of his talk was to explain the evolution and modifications that JMIR uses to continue to develop and publish online medical journals.

JMIR has developed a system that allows many facets of the publishing of journals to interface with online Web based technologies.  JMIR’s structure uses the concept of OJS but also has adapted the business model to keep up with the ever changing structures of the Web.  For example, JMIR has developed a system that re-bundles the topics of the journal collections called eCollections to place common topic journals together.

There are three levels of membership/subscription.  Individual membership, institutional membership and institutional membership B (Gold).  The online business model supports complex innovations such as the generating of electronic invoices for members, automatic word check for plagiarism of author submissions and fast track editing options.

JMIR also experimented with open peer-review systems and found that approximately 20% of the authors want open peer-review but JMIR continues to look at this issue and currently has a section on the submission form for authors to be self assigned or editor assigned.  The editors can view what is called the Submissions Dashboard to get a visual charting of the various submissions and the status whether it me a fast track edit or not and the editor can track the submissions status.

JMIR’s system also integrates XML into OJS with conversion scripts and the system can edit XML files online.  Also, there is WebCite which is an on-demand archiving system used so that readers and authors can have the same version of file.

Audience Input

Questions arose around copyright issues which Eysenbach addressed that JMIR uses “fair use” policies and that submission forms invite authors to inform the journal if they want their work archived or not.

Costs of membership for developing countries was also a question from the floor and Eysenbach responded to inform the audience that various models are currently being looked at – possibly increasing membership fees to subsidize developing country authors but the issue around subsidizing criteria has yet to be worked out.  This was recognized as a dilemma.


Eysenbach, G. (2009). Open Access journal JMIR rises to top of its discipline. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from

Related Links

Research at University Health Network