Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gates Foundation helps PLoS launch a new OA journal

The Gates Foundation has given the Public Library of Science a $1.1 million grant to launch a new OA journal on neglected diseases.  The grant is part of a larger Gates initiative to find cures for neglected tropical diseases.  From today's announcement:  

Public Library of Science (PLoS), to launch a new medical journal on neglected diseases -- US$1.1 million: PLoS will launch PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, a new open-access, peer-reviewed medical journal covering science, policy, and advocacy on neglected tropical diseases. While other medical journals have increased their attention to neglected diseases in recent years, few journals focus on the topic. The new journal will provide an important forum for scientists from developed and developing countries to share the latest information on neglected disease research.

Comment. The Gates Foundation has come close to supporting OA in the past, particularly through its annual Access to Learning Award and its recent decision to mandate data sharing for Gates-funded AIDS research.  But I believe the PLoS grant is its first direct support for OA literature.  This could mark the beginning of a significant new source of funding for OA to medical research.

Update. Here's the PLoS press release on the new journal. Excerpt:

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) announced today the creation of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the first open access journal devoted to the world's most neglected diseases.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases will focus on the overlooked diseases that strike millions of people every year in poor countries, including elephantiasis, river blindness, leprosy, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness. The journal, supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will begin accepting submissions in 2007....

[Peter Hotez, Editor-in-Chief of PNTD] will discuss the journal during a panel discussion on neglected diseases on September 21 at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York. The panel will also feature former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who has helped to lead the successful global campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease....

"Through its open-access format, the journal will help build health and research capacity in the regions most affected by neglected tropical diseases," said Dr. Hotez.

The journal's distinguished international editorial board includes many experts from developing countries, and some of the biggest names in tropical medicine and global health, including renowned health economist Jeffrey Sachs and the director of the World Health Organization's African river blindness control program, Uche Amazigo....