The world of medical journals is broken. After 25 years of active engagement in academic medicine, I have come to this inescapable conclusion. This dysfunction is manifest in the fact that over 85% of peer reviewed journals including the most prestigious journals, remain locked up behind pay walls — inaccessible to a majority of physicians and nearly all patients. As both an author and reviewer I have learned firsthand how political and slow the existing method for scholarly review and publication can be. Interesting but controversial research papers can take years to get published.

The glacial pace, with which many medical journals publish important research, contrasts with new physics journals like ArXiv which enable instantaneous publication of cutting edge research and lively post publication scientific discourse. Although the protectors of the status quo argue that this inefficiency is necessary to ensure quality, ever more frequent scientific misconduct is being reported in even the so-called “best medical journals”. In an otherwise rapidly accelerating world of communication that is enabled by the internet, standard peer review processes have become an antiquated practice largely sustained by centuries of tradition.

John R Adler M.D.

What perpetuates the status quo? Money, and even more money. Modern peer reviewed journals exist to maximize revenue for sponsoring medical societies and the international corporate publishing conglomerate.

Medical journals are a primary source of revenue for nearly all medical societies. The largest publisher of all, Reed Elsevier, routinely reports annual profits in excess of a billion dollars. The scientific journal industry has become rich off the backs of societal funding of medical research AND the hundreds of thousands of “volunteered” hours that are contributed annually by physician authors and reviewers. Arrogant self-serving medical publishing complex, is willfully neglecting their societal duty to efficiently disseminate scientific truths.

Frustrated and thoroughly unimpressed with the existing world of medical publishing we are challenging a 200 year old system with the launch of And not a moment too soon.

Our story is a little like David vs. Goliath. Having offices in Silicon Valley we are constantly reminded of the power of technology, and the advantages of being small and agile. That agility coupled with precise aim gives us an edge over the giant(s).

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