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BMJ Open. 2011 Jun 18;1(1):e000057. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000057.

The process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka: an economic evaluation.

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  • 1Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, Sri Lanka.

Abstract

Objectives Medical journals have contributed to the advancement of medicine by helping to disseminate scientific knowledge and providing a forum for medical communities to debate issues in depth. To the authors' knowledge, there are no studies examining the process of medical journal publication in developing Asian countries. The authors analysed the process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka, a developing country in South Asia. Methods Data were collected by interviewing the editors and perusing the records at the editorial offices of the respective medical journals. Articles published in 2009 (or 2008 for journals not published in 2009) were analysed by perusing the respective journals. Results A total of 44 medical journals were published in Sri Lanka's history, of which only 28 journals remained in publication after 2007. A majority (54%) of the journals published after 2007 were published once per year. Seventeen journals in publication after 2007 were published in paper version only, and 11 journals were also available online. The mean cost of printing one issue was Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) 97 720 (US$888) (range LKR 28 000-270 000). The cost of distribution ranged from LKR 2000 to 140 000 (US$18-1273). The mean cost of publishing one article was LKR 6646 (US$60). A total of 456 articles were published in 2009 (/2008). The total number of pages published was 1723. Conclusion The infrastructure for medical journal publishing in Sri Lanka has many good qualities such as free access, minimum charges for authors and potential for online availability. The journals are solely academic (non-profit), but the costs remain high.

PMID:
22021741
PMCID:
PMC3191407
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000057
[PubMed]
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