One of the most prominent Open Access journals in Cardiology is “openheart“, an offshoot of BMJ (the British Medical Journal) and sponsored by the British Cardiovascular Society. As one of the oldest general medical journals in existence, BMJ is a very well-reputed journal within my field. The goal of openheart is to be as transparent about the research and publishing process as possible. All articles are free to read, all are given “open” peer review (meaning the review is unblinded), and all authors are encouraged to share their data so as to make that open access as well. Ultimately, openheart wants to expedite research progress with the aim of eventually benefitting patient care. The journal publishes both basic science and clinical investigations, and, refreshingly, encourages publications on controversial topics as well as discussions with conflicting opinions. By maintaining an entirely online publishing process, openheart aims to expedite the dissemination of research while maintaining top quality with rigorous peer review as well as running its own statistical assessment of each manuscript.
While openheart does not give a description of how it sees itself relative to either traditional journals or the open access movement itself, it does clearly define its own views of what open access should entail. Personally, I believe free articles, unblinded peer review, and shared data are very respectable standards to have for the title of “open access”. These standards, alongside such highly reputable sponsors as BMJ and the British Cardiovascular Society make openheart a leader in the open access journal community.