Re: Open letter to Congress from 25 Nobel Laureates

From: Matthew Cockerill <matt_at_BIOMEDCENTRAL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 14:52:54 +0100

Re: the moderator's note:

Given that the proposal, as it stands, relates to NIH-funded research, it is
rather natural that the requirement for archiving should be in NIH's own
institutional archive (PubMed Central). Institutional repository advocates,
as I understand it, would not object to a University requiring that its
authors self-archive a copy of their publications in the Universty's own
repository (though that doesn't prevent authors from archiving their article
elsewhere too). Similarly, it seems quite reasonable for NIH to consider
requiring its employees and grant recipients to lodge a copy of any
resultant articles in NIH's archive (while also encouraging them and
allowing them to archive it elsewhere).

Re: Donat's original point:

The remit of PubMed Central is sufficiently broad that it can easily
accomodate any research that is NIH supported, even if not directly
Certainly, ecology and conservation biology are well within its scope:

Also, PubMed Central already includes a significant amount of totally
non-biomedical content, which is not NIH supported.
e.g. It archives the whole of PNAS, including all the physical Science

"Ultrafast dynamics of many-body processes and fundamental quantum
mechanical phenomena in semiconductors"
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 March 14; 97 (6): 2437-2444
So there is certainly no technical obstacle to archiving non-biomedical
content in PubMed Central.

Matthew Cockerill Ph.D.
Technical Director
BioMed Central ( )

PS Note that BioMed Central has no formal connection with PubMed Central
except that our Open Access content is archived there.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Donat Agosti
Sent: 09 September 2004 14:17
Subject: Re: Open letter to Congress from 25 Nobel Laureates

Why is this initiative just one for the biomedical community? It seems
strange to me, that it doesn't cover science in general. For example, one of
the major problems in Conservation Biology is in fact access to the widely
scattered publications, and increasingly, a digital divide is being widening
between North and South (where most of the biodiversity is), as well as
between those being part of a wealthy university system and those not.

Donat Agosti

    [Moderator's Note: A simple way to extend the scope of the US/NIH
    initiative (to mandate the open-access self-archiving of all
    NIH-funded biomedical research) so as to cover all of scientific and
    scholarly research is to drop the stipulation that the self-archiving
    must be done in PubMed Central (PMC): Just mandate that it should
    be self-archived in an OAI-compliant archive, without stipulating
    PMC, just as the UK's proposed self-archiving mandate has done. If
    NIH authors self-archive in their own institutional OAI archives,
    the practise will propagate naturally across all the disciplines at
    their institutions. -- Stevan Harnad]

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