During the last decade, advancements in the scientific publication industry led to strategic business improvements at The Texas Heart Institute Journal, beginning with online-only publication in 2014. Seven years later, we began continuous publication, a model that enables articles to be published within 6 weeks of acceptance.

As governance of the industry and best practices continue to evolve, The Journal is making pivotal changes to enhance author and reader experiences. Beginning 15 July 2023, The Journal will be fully Open Access (OA), allowing authors to retain copyright ownership under Creative Commons (CC) licenses.1  In the case of articles submitted before 15 July 2023, The Journal will retain copyright unless authors request a CC license when the paper is accepted.

The Office of Science and Technology (OSTP), a department of the United States government, delivered guidance in August 2022 for making the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public, without an embargo and at no cost. In a document known as the “Nelson memo,” Dr. Alondra Nelson, performing the duties of the Director of OSTP, detailed guidelines for federal agencies to set public access policies as soon as possible.2,3 

Open, transparent research will enable researchers to build more efficiently on others' studies and spur scientific breakthroughs. Ultimately, sharing research will benefit patients worldwide.

Building on a 50-year tradition of providing free access to all readers,4  The Texas Heart Institute is taking the next step to benefit authors and The Journal.

Until now, authors have been required to transfer copyright to The Journal when their papers are accepted for publication; consequently, The Journal has been responsible for reviewing requests and granting permission to reuse content, with restrictions. After the introduction of CC licenses in July, authors will retain copyright. Permission to share and use the published work will be outlined directly in the selected CC license, in most cases eliminating the need to request permission.1  While offering CC licenses opens The Journal to authors with funding from cOAlition S and others who require OA licenses, The Journal will also have the opportunity to participate in OA directories, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).5 

Two licenses with different stipulations on how the content can be reused will be offered:

  • CC BY: Allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

  • CC BY-NC: Allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

For the first time in The Journal's 50-year history,4  an article processing charge (APC) will be assessed on acceptance. Authors will be invoiced for $750.00 (USD), which will help to support The Journal's operations. This fee also includes webhosting and metadata maintenance, the latter of which ensures that each article is registered, linked, and distributed.

Applying CC licenses to articles will greatly simplify copyright matters. Individuals will know exactly how they can reuse article contents, without needing to request permission from The Journal or the authors, as long as they appropriately attribute the original article and the type of license. As a result of fewer restrictions on reuse, the original article may be cited more often, offering increased visibility.

Finally, implementing these important changes will make The Journal an option for authors who are required to submit their work to fully OA journals, enhancing our educational mission and broadening our ability to acquire high-quality original research articles.

Creative Commons. Accessed 5 June 2023. https://creativecommons.org
OSTP Issues Guidance to Make Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay. August 25, 2022. Accessed 5 June 2023. https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/08/25/ostp-issues-guidance-to-make-federally-funded-research-freely-available-without-delay/
Memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research
The Texas Heart Institute Journal archives. Accessed 6 June 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/92/
Directory of Open Access Journals Accessed 6 June 2023. https://doaj.org