Re: Wellcome Trust statement on open access

From: Terry ,Mr Robert <r.Terry_at_WELLCOME.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 16:07:38 -0000

Research publishing and Open access Latest developments from the Wellcome
Trust: November 2004

The Wellcome Trust has been a strong advocate for funding agencies to
provide the means and incentives to facilitate greater open access to
the research literature. This includes providing financial support for
publishing in open access journals, and encouraging deposition of a
final version of a peer reviewed manuscript in public access archives,
such as PubMed Central (PMC).

The Trust is now working in partnership with the National Library of
Medicine (NLM) to establish a European site for PubMed Central (the
free to access, digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal
literature, wholly funded by the National Institutes of Health in the
United States). In the future, we are proposing that Wellcome Trust
grantees will be required to deposit an electronic version of their
peer reviewed research articles in PubMed Central (or the European PMC,
once established) no later than six months after the date of publication.

In addition, the Trust will provide grantees with additional funding
to cover the costs of page processing charges levied by open access
publishers, such as Public Library of Science and BioMed Central. There
will also be additional funding to cover the cost of converting files
into the metadata schema required for deposition in PubMed Central. These
initiatives were set out in a letter to all UK university vice-chancellors
[see] on 1 November 2004
and a question and answer sheet provides more information on them [see]

For a press release on this see []

The Wellcome Trust is actively promoting the 'open access' model of
science publishing, to help ensure that scientific research findings
are shared as widely and as rapidly as possible.

The findings of medical research are typically communicated through
specialist publications. Journal publishers arrange for articles to be
checked by experts in the field ('peer review'), then publish papers
in print and on the web. To access the papers, other scientists need
to take out a subscription to the journal or pay a fee to access an
individual article.

The major drawbacks of this system are that subscriptions can be very
expensive and represent an obstacle to the timely sharing of information
through the scientific community and more broadly.

An alternative approach is 'open access'. All articles are freely
available on the web, either by being deposited in an open access
repository or by being published in an open access journal with income
being derived from contributors, who would pay to have articles published,
rather than subscribers. Overall, we believe these approaches are
beneficial for medical research: quality can still be preserved through
peer review and the overall costs of publishing could well be cheaper.

We have commissioned two reports examining the pros and cons
of open access, and its potential financial implications. We
have also developed a position statement, now under review, [see] which formally sets out
our views. An article which first appeared in the Times Higher Education
Supplement summarises the key issues from a funder's perspective [see].
Received on Thu Nov 04 2004 - 16:07:38 GMT

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