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. Some criticisms stem from a defence of vested interests or the status quo, while others reflect the uncertainties surrounding what is a preliminary proposal. In any case, Varmus has achieved one of the goals of the proposal: " rdue, he says, adding that there is only a real need for the cream of journals, and in particular the best multidisciplinary journals. e current journal structure has served the biomedical community well for 300 years. "So the first question I ask is, if it has served us well for 300 years, why change?" says Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society, which publishes 14 journals and 36,000 pages of articles each year. "It [E-Biomed] is extremely cumbersome and is not going to be easily implemented," says Frank. "It is so unclear in terms of process that it's going fall under its own weight." ke some time to arrange and conduct. He also intends to post the proposal on his NIH web page for comment. e reluctant to give their time and energy free to a central structure. E-Biomed may undermine the journal revenues on which many of their other activities, such as fellowships and meetings, depend. are also uncomfortable with the prospect of public funding for scientific publishing, an activity currently dominated by for-profit and non-profit publishers in the private sector. At the same time, however, there is growing resentment among scientists and librarians at the spiralling inflation in journal subscriptions. forces. "Most scientific society publishers are already doing what Varmus is proposing," says Frank. "We are putting our journals on the web. We are linking our journals through PubMed to our sister journals on the web. We are developing interfaces for the submission and review of manuscripts on the web." et," he predicts. "Elsevier is not in the world to keep that profit margin high. We are in the world to stay in the market. If the web causes us to have to agree to lower profit margins, then so be it."