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Case study: Medknow Publications

Medknow Publications

Based in Mumbai, Medknow publishes journals in all areas of medicine. The business model for this publisher is simple. The journals are sold on subscription in print form and the contents are made Open Access online as soon as each issue is published. The founder and managing director of Medknow, Dr D K Sahu, prepared data to examine the effect of the decision in mid-2005 to make the online version of his journals Open Access. The data are for one of the journals in the Medknow portfolio, the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine. The graphs below are from Dr Sahu’s presentation at the 93rd Indian Science Congress in 2006.

Effect of Open Access on usage

Usage began to rise as soon as articles were available free online. Moreover, usage was from around the world, unlike previously when the journal’s audience had primarily been in India and its region.

Sahu - JPMG downloads and visitors graph resized

Effect of Open Access on submissions

Article submissions also began to rise as the journal became better known through being Open Access. And again, submissions, which had previously been mainly from India, rapidly became international in nature.

Sahu - JPGM submissions graph resized

Sahu - JPGM international submissions graph resized


Effect of Open Access on subscriptions

Subscriptions also increased as the journal became important on the international stage, and the subscriptions, which previosuly had been largely confined to India, now came in from libraries across the world.

Sahu - JPMG effect of OA on subscriptions graph resized



Sahu also calculated the impact factor of the journal (it is not covered by the Web of Science service but he used the same formula) and predicted the impact into the future based on existing citation patterns.

Sahu - JPMG effect of OA on subscriptions graph resized (1)


The overall outcome of the Open Access venture has therefore been greater visibility, increased readership, increased submissions and subscriptions, both from international sources, and better impact.


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