Hybrid open-access, or still closed? Yongsong Guan, West China Hospital of Sichuan University 27 January 2013 Hybrid open-access, or still closed? Yong-Song Guan 1 Department of Oncology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China; 2 State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China Correspondence should be addressed to: Yong-Song Guan, email@example.com Dear Editor, I read with interest the article written by Elisabetta Poltronieri et al (1) published in Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research on comparison of traditional with open-access journals in oncology. The authors classified all the surveyed journals into full open access, subscription-based and hybrid categories and compared the contributors¿ preference to impact factor ranking, cost options and copyright retainability. Actually, the hybrid open-access journals are not open. These journals are subscription-based with a paid service using facilities of the Internet. Only the title or abstract of the article is for free, or some outdated articles are open-access. The door is closed and will open with a key from the manager because you can access the full text immediately after you have subscribed online. Contributors should aim their writing at the reader. Open access is important for its availability of free full text. Just as the authors cited, that it is ¿available online to the reader without financial, legal, or technical barriers¿. To remove the barriers to access to global research for the promotion of health improvements, the first step must be open access (2). Apart from the advantages stated by the authors, open-access journals provide more benefits for both the reader and the contributors. For example, electronic publication offers new features of scientific communication that cannot be obtained by conventional paper based journals, particularly in pathology. Open-access journals are of value in increasing confidence to and reputation of authors in giving the specifically presented information to the reader (3). References 1. Elisabetta Poltronieri, Elena Bravo, Tiziana Camerini, Maurizio Ferri, Roberto Rizzo, Renata Solimini and Gaetana Cognetti Where on earth to publish? A sample survey comparing traditional and open access publishing in the oncological field. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 32:4. 2. Chan L, Arunachalam S, Kirsop B. Open access: a giant leap towards bridging health inequities. Bull World Health Organ. 2009 ;87(8):631-635. 3. Kayser K, Borkenfeld S, Goldmann T, Kayser G. Virtual slides in peer reviewed, open access medical publication.Diagn Pathol. 2011;6:124. Competing interests Competing interests The author has no competing interests.