Why Cambridge University Press is allowing free viewing of FirstView articles (at least until February 16)

Cambridge University Press is temporarily allowing free viewing of FirstView articles  because it makes good business sense.

Publishers of conventional paper print journals now recognize that early views and downloads contribute to journal impact factors (JIF), which is so crucial to the prestige and profitability of journals. JIFs are determined by the average number of times articles appearing in the journal are cited in a two-year period. And it is also known that a strong predictor of citations are views and downloads of articles in the first six months of their becoming available. Views and downloads may even be more important that a JIF in predicting the number of times that an article will be cited.

So, it becomes important to promote views and downloads. The first innovation that open access, web-based journals foisted on the conventional paper journals was a move to close the gap and availability of articles by creating early release mechanisms. Early release articles can require payment and thereby increase the attraction of purchased subscriptions. However, readers are more likely to download articles they don’t have to pay for. So this gives rise to publishes a paper journals journals experimenting with granting, on a limited basis, free access. presumably the experiment by Cambridge University press will provide the press with data as to how free access determines views and downloads.

You can take advantage of The Cambridge University Press experiment by going to the website athttp://journals.cambridge.org/action/trialRegistration, registering using a short form, and the code psychiatry122.