Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 20, 2007

HHMI will pay publication fees at BMC journals

HMMI to centrally fund publications by its researchers in BioMed Central's journals, an announcement on the BMC blog, August 20, 2007.  Excerpt:

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has signed up for BioMed Central Membership under which HHMI will centrally fund the article processing charges for all research published by HHMI investigators in BioMed Central journals.  The agreement will take effect from September 1st, 2007.

HHMI is the 2nd largest biomedical funder in the U.S. and commits almost $700 million a year for research and distributes $80 million in grant support for science.  This agreement comes soon after HHMI announced their open access policy, which requires that results of research funded by HHMI investigators must be deposited in PubMed Central.  This agreement with BioMed Central reinforces HHMI's ongoing commitment to open access to maximize the impact and visibility of the research that they fund and is a big step in the right direction for providing sustainable funding for open access publishing.   

HHMI-funded researchers already publish a signficant number of research articles with BioMed Central, paid for directly out of investigators funds.  View some of the latest open access research published by HHMI-funded researchers in BioMed Central journals.  Generally, when insitutions set up a Membership arrangement with BioMed Central, removing the burden of payment from investigators grants, this results in a significant increase in submissions, and we would expect the same to be true in the case of HHMI Membership.

Comment.  This is a welcome step.  Unlike the agreement with Elsevier, in which HHMI paid for green OA, HHMI is here paying for gold OA.  I’ve long recommended that funders who can afford to do so should offer to pay publication fees when their grantees choose to publish their research in fee-based OA journals.