If you think there are too few journals on Alzheimer’s research, take heart. Two open-access companion publications of Alzheimer’s & Dementia, The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, make their debuts this spring. Published by Elsevier, DADM, which stands for Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, hit the virtual newsstands last month, while TRCI, short for Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, will publish its first issue in April. DADM will detail research about biomarkers for progressive dementia, that is, markers that detect disease, track its severity, and reflect treatment response. TRCI will focus on clinical therapeutics for dementia and other aging processes that impair cognition, memory, or behavior.
These online-only publications take their names from two of the seven areas of AD research outlined in the “common Alzheimer’s disease research ontology” (CADRO) classification system proposed by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institutes of Health, and the Alzheimer's Association to help coordinate funding efforts around the world (see Refolo et al., 2012). Ara Khachaturian, who heads Alzheimer’s & Dementia, said that his journal has seen an explosion of important papers in these two areas, but many were of interest to only a subset of readers.
“There’s a feeling, especially in the area of biomarker development, that there aren’t sufficient outlets yet in which to publish,” said Peter Snyder, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, DADM's editor in chief. Scientists interviewed for this article, including Terry Goldberg, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, agreed that these new niche journals provide an outlet for papers that are too technical or specialized for a broader audience. “There really aren't any AD specialty journals that are willing, and have the expertise, to get into important nuts-and-bolts methodologies or conceptual issues,” Goldberg, who published an article in the inaugural edition of DADM, wrote to Alzforum. For instance, negative Phase 2 results, or the validation of a new cognitive test, might be valuable for the TRCI-specific audience, but not to all readers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Simon Lovestone, University of Oxford, U.K., also co-authored a paper in DADM. He chose the journal because it deals directly with the subject matter on which he published, saying “There’s an argument for putting all of that information in one place.” Lovestone strongly supports open-access journals. Not only does he want his work to be widely accessible to scientists, he also thinks the general public deserves access to the research, most of which they fund through their taxes.
Neither of these new journals will charge readers. Instead, they will charge author fees. Authors pay $2,000 to publish a research article, though members of the Alzheimer's Association professional society, ISTAART, pay half that. Shorter articles cost less, and letters to the editor or brief perspectives are free. These fees are similar to those charged by other open-access journals. In addition, DADM and TRCI promise fast peer review, and publication within a month of acceptance.
Following a trend in scientific publishing, both journals will post research papers on a rolling basis as they are accepted, rather than having a fixed publication schedule. Each will publish reviews, meeting abstracts, and theoretical reports as well. Snyder said the editors will take advantage of the electronic platform to post slide presentations, videos, and images. Other AD specialty journals include Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, and the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. —Gwyneth Dickey Zakaib
- Refolo LM, Snyder H, Liggins C, Ryan L, Silverberg N, Petanceska S, Carrillo MC. Common Alzheimer's Disease Research Ontology: National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association collaborative project. Alzheimers Dement. 2012 Jul;8(4):372-5. PubMed.