Minimally Invasive Surgical Oncology (MISO), an open-access journal, is making an unusual offer to the authors publishing in the journal. The journal’s site states: “For each accepted original or review article, Minimally Invasive Surgical Oncology pays $500 in royalties to the corresponding author.” Usually, to get published in open access journals, authors have to pay article processing charges (APCs) to the journal. However, MISO journal’s model is contrary to the conventional one. The “royalties” are further extended for those authors who are interested in becoming members of the journal’s editorial board: “If any of the authors of an accepted original or review article is willing to become a member of our editorial board, the royalties will be increased to $600.”
MISO is a peer-reviewed, international journal, published by Hong Kong Medical Publishing Corporation Limited. It launched in 2016 and the royalties program was rolled out in January 2017. According to the journal’s editor Wenyuan Chen, till date, the journal has paid $7200 to authors. Explaining the reason behind the unusual program, Chen told Retraction Watch that, “Quality manuscripts being scarce, the editorial board solicits manuscripts from well-known scholars and pays them honoraria in appreciation of their efforts.” Therefore, the journal does not charge any APCs to the authors.
So how does the journal fund itself? Chen states that the founders of the journal are three doctors who are donating 30% of their fees. Going forward, they hope that the journal will be able to gain money through advertisements by medical instrument manufacturers on minimally invasive surgery. It remains to be seen if the scholarly community embraces this new model and whether more journals would adopt this.