Re: Nature launches web debate "Future e-access to the primary literature"

From: Nature Publishing Group <>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 20:29:41 +0100

New from Nature on the future of the electronic literature

As readers of Nature will know, there is currently considerable debate
about many aspects of the future of the electronic literature,
including ways to improve access to the scientific literature,
proposals for making research papers free, and changing the application
of copyright. We would like to draw your attention to new content
relating to these issues on Nature's website and to a new publishing
initiative by the Nature Publishing Group that will provide wider
access on the web to literature published by the group.

1. 18 September: update on Nature's web forum, "Future e-access to the
primary literature" (

2. Nature's own view of the future of the electronic scientific
literature, and the right and wrong ways forward: leading article.

3. Press release, 14 September: Nature Publishing Group participates in
E-Biosci website

4. Feedback

1. Update on Nature's web forum, "Future e-access to the primary

The debate over the future of the e-literature involves many players,
from the scientific community and institutions of higher education and
research, to libraries and publishers. Nature has led the way in this
debate by bringing the views of these groups before a broad audience,
and highlighting the publishing challenges and opportunities. Nature's
free web forum on "Future e-access to the primary literature" can be
accessed at .

New contributions scheduled for publication this week include:

* "Healthy warning: 'This journal supports full text, tariff-free
archives,'" by Colin Hopkins, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology,
Imperial College, London, UK

* "Evolution of scholarly communication 'impossible to plan,'" by
Andrew Odlyzko , Director, Digital Technology Center, University of

* "A view from the news industry," by David Allen, Managing Director,
International Press Telecommunications Council

* "A new value chain for scientific information," by Hans E.
Roosendaal, Peter A. Th. M. Geurts and Paul van der Vet, University of
Twente, The Netherlands

* "BioMed Central: a new business model for biomedical research
publishing?" by Fiona Godlee, Peter Newmark, and Matthew Cockerill,
BioMed Central Limited

* "When allegory replaces rational thought, science had better watch
out," by Richard T. Kaser, Executive Director, US National Federation
of Abstracting & Information Services

2. Nature's own view of the future of the electronic scientific literature, and the right and wrong ways forward.

Nature's 6 September issue carries a special two-page editorial, "The
future of the electronic scientific literature;" it is also available
on free access in the web forum (see

It outlines Nature's vision of a landscape of scientific communication
that will be much more heterogeneous and diverse than the journals
system with which we are familiar today. The article concludes that
"Getting there will require novel forms of collaboration between
publishers, databases, digital libraries and other stakeholders. It
would be unwise to put all of one's eggs in the basket of any one
economic or technological 'solution'. Diversity is the best bet."

3. Nature Publishing Group participates in E-BioSci website

Natures publisher, the Nature Publishing Group, has signed an initial
agreement with the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)
confirming their commitment to introducing NPG journal content on to
the E-BioSci central archive. (For a description of E-BioSci, see
article by its director Les Grivell in Natures Web forum, and

The EMBO-led proposal for a single global online resource covering all
areas of molecular biology, where data could be deposited and searched
using a single procedure, should have a significant impact on the
publication and availability of scientific research. The Nature
Publishing Group sees this agreement as a first step in enhancing
access across the scientific literature. Says Annette Thomas, Managing
Director, Nature Publishing Group. "We look forward to working with
E-BioSci to develop search and other functionality across the full text
of papers published in NPG journals and those of other collaborating

Nature Publishing Group has initially agreed to provide abstracts and
full links into Nature, the Nature Research and Review journals, and
the NPG specialist journals. Construction and maintenance of the
service will be funded initially by the European Commission for a
period of three years, with subsequent funding and/or commercial
development of the service to be evaluated during the course of the

4. Feedback
We encourage you to give us feedback on these issues, and to let us know what you feel are your, and your community's, major and most pressing needs with respect to the future of the scientific electronic literature. You may contact Declan Butler, the editor of the forum, directly on

Forum address:
Received on Tue Sep 18 2001 - 20:48:24 BST

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