Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, March 21, 2005

Another journal policy on NIH-funded authors

Biochemical Journal has announced its policy on how it will deal with NIH-funded authors. Excerpt: '[P]apers accepted for publication in the Biochemical Journal will be deposited automatically in PubMed Central (PMC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, 6 months after the publication date of the issue. Authors will not have to expend additional time and effort on the deposition process themselves. The authentic, final copy-edited version of Authors' articles will be placed in PubMed Central without the need for further work from them.' BJ is published by The Biochemical Society.

(PS: On the plus side, BJ will not oppose author participation in the NIH public-access program, will make the deposit in PMC itself, and will deposit the final, published version of the article. On the minus side, BJ is trying to control the author's decision and will insist on a six month embargo, contrary to the NIH request that authors permit public release "as soon as possible" after publication. Opposing the NIH request in this way not only opposes the public interest in rapid public release of publicly-funded medical research, but creates precisely the dilemma we feared in which authors must choose between conflicting requests from their funder and their publisher. My advice to NIH-funded authors publishing in BJ: either accept the BJ offer and self-archive your paper outside PMC immediately after publication, or decline the BJ offer, deposit your article in PMC yourself --it's as easy as sending an email attachment--, and request public release through PMC immediately after publication. You could also avoid the dilemma that BJ is creating for its authors by submitting your work to another journal.)