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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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Free Articles Site Opens for Business
10 May 2000 7:00 pm
In the latest experiment in free access to biomedical research articles, a British publisher is launching a Web site providing peer-reviewed research papers at no cost to authors or readers. BioMed Central has some top scientists as supporters, but even they admit it may be hard to convince researchers to submit their work to unknown, digital-only journals.
BioMed Central, which will open for business at next week's American Society for Microbiology meeting in Los Angeles, is the brainchild of Current Science Group chair Vitek Tracz, who's been talking it up for the past year. The site will publish peer-reviewed primary research in around 40 subjects ranging from biochemistry to urology; it also plans to post preprints eventually. The loosely termed "journals," which are still forming editorial boards, will begin soliciting manuscripts later this month. The attraction for authors: No page charges (at least initially) or cost to readers, and authors will retain copyright. Tracz also promises speedy publication, with articles instantly archived in the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) PubMed and its new sister full-text repository, PubMed Central. He expects to make money from ads and by charging for material such as news and reviews.
Attracting papers, however, may be tough: "They have to establish enough prestige that a young assistant professor is not risking their career by publishing there," says Steve Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Hyman is among several prominent advisers to the project, including Harold Varmus, former NIH director and head of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who calls it "an incredibly interesting experiment."
Hyman adds that BioMed Central is not the only game in town, pointing to ventures such as HighWire Press (publisher of Science Online), which recently announced free access to back issues of many journals. "The important thing is to get as much of the literature freely available on the Web as possible," Hyman says. To further the debate, BioMed Central is sponsoring a conference on free access at the New York Academy of Medicine from 6 to 7 July.