Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, April 05, 2008

BMC journals for NIH grantees

Matthew Cockerill, NIH Public Access Policy becomes mandatory from April 7th, BioMed Central blog, April 4, 2008.  Excerpt:

...If you are an NIH grantee or employee, publishing in one of BioMed Central's 180+ open access journals is an easy and effective way to ensure automatic and optimal compliance with the NIH's policy.

Benefits for NIH-funded researchers of publishing in one of BioMed Central's open access journals

  • All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are automatically deposited in PubMed Central
  • The official final version of the article is made freely available with no delay or embargo period
  • Articles published in BioMed Central journals provide true open access thanks to an open access license agreement which allows (and encourages) re-distribution and re-use.

Inconveniences for NIH-funded authors when publishing in a subscription-only journal

  • The author will generally be required to manually deposit a pre-publication manuscript version of their article in PubMed Central.
  • The article must then go through a separate markup, layout and checking process, resulting in two versions of the article, an "official" Publisher version and an "unofficial" PubMed Central version
  • The article will not be freely available during the embargo period following publication (typically 12 months), yet this is the very time when the article is of most interest to other researchers
  • Exclusive rights to article generally remain with the publisher and so, even when the embargo is lifted, re-distribution and re-use remain prohibited....

Comment.  BMC isn't alone in this category, but the advantages it lists are real.  While many journals from many publishers meet the NIH criteria for making deposits on behalf of authors, not all of them are OA, and not all of the OA journals use open licenses.