Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, January 08, 2007

UKPMC and a handful of OA mandates

UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) launched today.  From the JISC press release:

From today scientists will be able to access a vast collection of biomedical research and to submit their own published results for inclusion in a new online resource. Based on a model currently used by the US National Institute of Health, UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) will provide free access to a permanent online archive of peer-reviewed research papers in the medical and life sciences.

A nine-strong group of UK research funders, including JISC and led by the Wellcome Trust, awarded the contract to develop UKPMC to a partnership between the British Library, The University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) last July....

Members of this group now require that articles describing the results of research they support are made available in UKPMC with the aim of maximising its impact. The UKPMC service will ensure that articles resulting from research paid for by any member of the funding consortium will be freely available, fully searchable and extensively linked to other online resources.

Initially UKPMC mirrors the American PubMed Central database (hosted by the NCBI at NIH). From today, UK scientists will also be able to submit their research outputs for inclusion in UKPMC. Through 2007, and beyond, the partners will develop innovative tools for UKPMC to further support biomedical research. In this way, UKPMC will grow into a unique online resource representing the UKs biomedical research output.


  1. Note that the announcement says that the members of the funders group "now require" OA to the research they fund.  This is bigger news than the launch of UKPMC itself.  For links to the policies, see the UKPMC's Open Access Policies page.  Three of the eight mandates listed there are well-known:  The Wellcome Trust policy, the Medical Research Council policy, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council policy
  2. Of the others, two are apparently new:  the  Arthritis Research Campaign policy, the Chief Scientist Office policy.  Three are under development:  those of the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and the Department of Health.  JISC is the only member of the funders group not (yet) represented on the OA policies page.
  3. For my timeline, I'd appreciate it if any readers could help me discover the dates of adoption for the OA mandates at the Arthritis Research Campaign and the Chief Scientist Office.  (I do know that the ARC policy took effect on January 1, 2007.)
  4. The ARC mandate is strong and detailed.  Grantees must deposit a copy of their final, peer reviewed manuscript in UKPMC no later than six months after publication.  If a grantee publishes in a fee-based OA journal, ARC will pay the fee.  If a grantee publishes in a TA journal that doesn't give permission for OA deposit on ARC's terms, ARC offers some negotiating suggestions.  But if the journal still doesn't budge, ARC takes the Wellcome Trust approach:  "then the author should not proceed with the submission to that journal and should reconsider where to publish."
  5. The CSO mandate fits into one sentence (Section 13.7):  "A copy of the final, peer-reviewed version of all papers arising from the funded research and accepted for publication must be deposited in a publicly accessible repository (UK PubMed Central when this is established) and be made freely available within 6 months."