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<nettime> Wellcome Trust statement on open access publishing
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<nettime> Wellcome Trust statement on open access publishing

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From: James Love <james.love {AT} cptech.org>
To: random-bits {AT} lists.essential.org
Subject: [Random-bits] Wellcome Trust statement on open access publishing
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2003 12:43:47 -0400

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Ip-health] Wellcome Trust statement on open access 
Date: 	Wed, 1 Oct 2003 17:38:56 +0100
From: 	Tim Hubbard <th {AT} sanger.ac.uk>
To: 	ip-health {AT} venice.essential.org

Position statement and Press Release below:



A position statement by the Wellcome Trust in support of open access

The mission of the Wellcome Trust is to "foster and promote research
with the aim of improving human and animal health."  The main output of
this research is new ideas and knowledge, which the Trust expects its
researchers to publish in quality, peer-reviewed journals.

The Trust has a fundamental interest in ensuring that neither the terms
struck with researchers, nor the marketing and distribution strategies
used by publishers (whether commercial, not-for-profit or academic)
adversely affect the availability and accessibility of this material.

With recent advances in Internet publishing, the Trust is aware that
there are a number of new models for the publication of research results
and will encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities
for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed.

The Wellcome Trust therefore supports open and unrestricted access to
the published output of research, including the open access model
(defined below), as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a
public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.

Specifically, the Trust:

       welcomes the establishment of free-access, high-quality
   scientific journals available via the Internet;

       will encourage and support the formation of such journals
   and/or free-access repositories for research papers;

       will meet the cost of publication charges including those for
   online-only journals for Trust-funded research by permitting Trust
   researchers to use contingency funds for this purpose;

       encourages researchers to maximize the opportunities to make
   their results available for free and, where possible, retain their
   copyright, as recommended  by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
   Resources Coalition (SPARC), the Public Library of Science, and
   similar frameworks;

       affirms the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the
   work, and not the title of the journal in which a researcher's work
   is published, that should be considered in funding decisions and
   awarding grants.

As part of its corporate planning process, the Trust will continue to
keep this policy under review.

Definition of open access publication1

An open access publication is one that meets the following two conditions:

   1.   The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a
   free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual (for the lifetime of the
   applicable copyright) right of access to, and a licence to copy,
   use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly and to make
   and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any
   reasonable purpose,  subject to proper attribution of authorship2,
   as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for
   their personal use.

   2.   A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials,
   including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable
   standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial
   publication in at least one online repository that is supported by
   an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or
   other well-established organization that seeks to enable open
   access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term
   archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a


1. An open access publication is a property of individual works, not
necessarily of journals or of publishers.

2. Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to
provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and
responsible use of the published work, as they do now.

The definition of open access publication used in this position
statement is based on the definition arrived at by delegates who
attended a meeting on open access publishing convened by the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute in July 2003.




A new report published today by the UK's leading biomedical research
charity reveals that the publishing of scientific research does not
operate in the interests of scientists and the public, but is instead
dominated by a commercial market intent on improving its market position.

Conducted by SQW the report, An economic analysis of scientific research
publishing, is one of the most comprehensive analyses of its kind and
provides an insight into a publishing industry which generates some 22
billion annually.

The report is published by the Wellcome Trust which plans to use this as
a first step in facilitating a dialogue between various players in the
scientific publishing field to address the concerns which the Trust has
regarding current publishing practices.  The ultimate aim of this
dialogue would be to develop a publishing system that meets the needs of
all publishers, authors, academics and funders, and best promotes the
public good of scientific work  that is, disseminate research outputs to
all who have an interest in them.

The report reveals an extremely complex market for scientific
publishing, influenced by a host of different players each with
different priorities.  These include:

* Commercial publishers: working to secure and enhance their business
* Not-for-profit publishers, including Learned Societies: who seek a
satisfactory return on their journals in order to fulfil their broader
* Libraries: who have to purchase a wide portfolio of journals to meet
the needs of the academics they serve, but who do so on a limited, and
sometimes decreasing, budget,
* Academic researchers: whose primary concern is to disseminate their
research in reputable journals, regardless of their cost and accessibility.

Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "As a funder of
research, we are committed to ensuring that the results of the science
we fund are disseminated widely and are freely available to all.
Unfortunately, the distribution strategies currently used by many
publishers prevent this.

"We want to see a system in place that supports open and unrestricted
access to research outputs and we would like to encourage others to
support this principle.  Today's report maps out the market as it stands
and we hope to use this as a way of starting a dialogue with others to
join us in finding a new model for the way we publish research, and one
that satisfies the needs of those involved."

The report highlights the merits of electronic publishing which is
already being utilised as a tool for improving the efficiency and
accessibility of research findings.  Although previously regarded with
suspicion by academics who doubted quality control and the peer review
process involved, reservations about this form of publishing are
gradually decreasing.

"Electronic publishing has transformed the way scientific research is
communicated," said Dr Mark Walport.  "Take the Human Genome Project as
an example.  The data from that project was made immediately available
on the world-wide web and could be used by everyone free of charge.  It
was the absence of constraints and the ease of access that enabled us to
reach vast numbers of researchers in more than 100 countries.

"The model of the Human Genome Project need not be unique and it is the
principle of free access that we want to champion.  The fundamental
point is that as a research funder we have to question whether it is
right that we, and others, are in the position of having to pay to read
the results of the research that we fund."

Media contact:
Noorece Ahmed
Wellcome Trust Media Office
Tel: 020 7611 8540
mailto:n.ahmed {AT} wellcome.ac.uk

Notes to editors:
1.   Commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, An economic analysis of
scientific research publishing has been conducted by the economic
development consultants SQW.
2.   The full report is available on the Wellcome Trust website:
<http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/>3.   The Wellcome Trust's position statement
in support of open access publishing is available at:
[url to follow]
The Wellcome Trust is an independent, research funding charity,
established under the will of Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936. The Trust's
mission is to foster and promote research with the aim of improving
human and animal health.

Dr Tim Hubbard                      email: th {AT} sanger.ac.uk
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute     Tel (direct): +44 1223 494983
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus        Tel (switch): +44 1223 834244
Hinxton                             Fax: +44 1223 494919
Cambridgeshire. CB10 1SA.           URL: http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Users/th
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