Open-access publishing finds official favor

UK government backing for open-access publishing while proponents move to promote it more widely

Helen Gavaghan
Jun 29, 2003

Open-access publishing received official support this month when UK funding bodies agreed on a deal with BioMed Central (a partner of The Scientist).

And in an effort to stimulate discussion about the steps needed to promote open access more broadly, an international group of scholars, funders, librarians, editors, and lawyers—both scientists and nonscientists—released a draft definition of open-access publication on the Web on June 20. The definition is part of the "Bethesda statement on open-access publishing," drawn up as a result of a meeting held in April at the headquarters of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Md.

In a separate development last week, US congressman Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives (June 26) that would prohibit copyright protection for any works stemming from substantially federally funded research.

Under the terms of the deal with BioMed Central, the Joint...

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