FRAME moves to secure the future of its scientific journal
Rising production and distribution costs and increasing financial demands mean that ATLA, first published in 1969, is facing changes that could see it leaving FRAME’s control if new sources of income are not found.
In an editorial in the latest edition, Chairman of FRAME Trustees Prof Michael Balls said: "Firstly, we have not succeeded in establishing a number of subscribers large enough to cover the costs of producing the journal. That does not surprise me, since I have long been aware that individuals and institutions, faced with an ever increasing number of journals with ever increasing costs, must make difficult choices.
"Secondly, FRAME’s financial base has weakened very severely, so the Charity can no longer subsidise ATLA on the scale which has been possible over the past 38 years."
ATLA is a valuable publication in the field of alternatives research and is particularly important in countries where awareness of the need to replace laboratory animal experiments with more humane, but scientifically valid, methods is in its infancy.
FRAME circulates a considerable number of copies free of charge or at a subsidised rate in countries which would otherwise have little or no access to alternatives research information. The Trustees are currently reviewing a number of possibilities to ensure that FRAME can continue to produce the journal and maintain its current circulation around the world.
Among the options are ways to increase awareness of ATLA in developed countries in order to boost circulation, and more efficient production methods that will reduce costs. Another possibility is to transfer production to a commercial publisher, but that would probably involve a significant change in the style and content.
Prof Balls said: “Co-ownership and sponsorship by organisations committed to the Three Rs is the preferred long-term option, as Reduction, Refinement and Replacement are crucial, if the otherwise unavoidable ethical and scientific dilemmas inherent in animal experimentation are to be overcome.”
Last year, ATLA was awarded the William and Eleanor Cave Award for achievements in developing alternatives, by the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation of America.
The Three Rs concept embraces the replacement of animal procedures with alternative methods, the refinement of procedures so that the suffering of any animals necessarily used is minimised, and reduction of
the number of animals used to an unavoidable minimum.
- publishes peer-reviewed scientific articles on the latest research relating to the development, validation, introduction and use of alternatives to laboratory animals
- is published six times a year and is read in more than 50 countries
- reports on the latest news and events
- has been a leading journal in the field for over 25 years
- encourages informed debate through its editorials and comment section
- regularly publishes conferences proceedings and workshop reports, including those from workshops
held by ECVAM
The full editorial can be found here.
Archived February 25, 2011