Cell Press has launched a new journal, Cell Stem Cell. It’s the official affiliated journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). To introduce the journal, access to all the content is currently free.
I didn’t see any information about when free access to all content will end. At the Information for Authors page, it’s stated that:
Cell Stem Cell content is freely available online 12 months after publication.
On this same page, under Authors’ Rights, it’s stated that:
As an author, you (or your employer or institution) may do the following:
* post a revised personal version of the final text (including illustrations and tables) of the article (to reflect changes made in the peer review and editing process) on your personal or your institutional website or server, with a link (through the relevant DOI) to the article as published, provided that such postings are not for commercial purposes …
There’s no mention of an embargo on such Green OA (provided that an “institutional website or server” is used). In contrast, to obtain Green OA via PubMed Central (PMC), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has made an agreement with Cell Press to pay a fee. See: HHMI and Elsevier Announce Public Access Agreement (March 8, 2007), and, Paying a fee for Green OA.
In the inaugural issue, Cell Stem Cell 2007(June); 1(1), there’s a “Featured Article” that, like the rest of this issue, is currently freely accessible. It’s a remarkable article, Directly Reprogrammed Fibroblasts Show Global Epigenetic Remodeling and Widespread Tissue Contribution, by Nimet Maherali and 11 co-authors, including Rudolf Jaenisch. This article is one of three mentioned in Simple switch turns cells embryonic by David Cyranoski, Nature 2007(7 Jun); 447(7145): 618-9 (the other two articles were published in Nature). Excerpts from David Cyranoski’s article:
Technique removes need for eggs or embryos.
Research reported this week by three different groups shows that normal skin cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic state in mice1, 2, 3. The race is now on to apply the surprisingly straightforward procedure to human cells.
Last year, Yamanaka introduced a system that uses mouse fibroblasts, a common cell type that can easily be harvested from skin, instead of eggs4. Four genes, which code for four specific proteins known as transcription factors, are transferred into the cells using retroviruses. The proteins trigger the expression of other genes that lead the cells to become pluripotent, meaning that they could potentially become any of the body’s cells. Yamanaka calls them induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). “It’s easy. There’s no trick, no magic,” says Yamanaka.
Reference 4 is to the article published last year by Takahashi K. & Yamanaka S, Cell 2006(25 Aug); 126, 663-76. It’s also currently freely accessible, via: Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Mouse Embryonic and Adult Fibroblast Cultures by Defined Factors.
This particular advance in research on stem cells has attracted a good deal of attention. See, for example: Art Caplan on MSNBC: Does Stem Cell Advance Provide an Ethical Out? An excerpt:
The big science news of the day — and maybe the year — is that researchers have, in mice, managed to transform skin cells into what seem to look and act like pluripotent stem cells. (There’s coverage everywhere, including: NYT, WP and Nature.) This development opens the possibility that maybe we can bypass many of the ethical questions that have surrounded research into human embryonic stem cells.
While this is exciting news, there’s one phrase we shouldn’t overlook: in mice. …
So, the inaugural issue of Cell Stem Cell has contributed (see above) to this exciting news.
Meanwhile, another journal for the publication of research on stem cells has recently been announced. (See: New journal from Elsevier, First Author, June 5, 2007). The new journal is Stem Cell Research, which will be launched in August, 2007. The Journal authors’ home section of the website provides access to an Author’s Rights section, which includes an item, What rights do I retain as an author? This, in turn, leads to an item: Can I post my article on the Internet? The answer:
You can post your version of your journal article on your personal web page or the web site of your institution, provided that you include a link to the journal’s home page or the article’s DOI and include a complete citation for the article. This means that you can update your version (e.g. the Word or Tex form) to reflect changes made during the peer review and editing process.
Again, Green OA on personal or institutional web page or web site is permitted.
Why have both Elsevier and Cell Press (the Elsevier premium imprint for life science research) both launched journals that may compete with each other for high-quality articles about research on stem cells? Probably, because it’s a hot field at present, and can be expected to become even hotter.
The implications for OA? One is that Green OA is feasible for both Elsevier and Cell Press journals. Another is that, at present, no Gold (fee-based) or Platinum (no-fee) OA journal has a primary focus on research on stem cells.
However, another aspect of research on stem cells that’s currently quite hot is studies on cancer stem cells. Maybe there’s still an opportunity to establish a Gold or Platinum OA journal that has a focus on cancer stem cells?
Some references about cancer stem cells:
Stem Cells That Kill, by Alice Park, Time.com, Apr. 17, 2006.
Researching stem cells, CBC News Online, May 3, 2006.
Colon cancer stem cells identified, by Jeffrey M. Perkel, The Scientist, November 20, 2006.
Canadian researchers ‘create’ leukemia stem cell, watch disease unfold, CBC News, April 27, 2007.
Governor Schwarzenegger Highlights California-Canada Partnership on Life-saving Stem Cell Research, Press Release, May 30, 2007.
John Dick (scientist), credited with first identifying cancer stem cells in certain types of human leukemia.