Thursday, 28 April 2011

AAI offer a free manuscript deposition service to PMC/UKPMC

The American Association of Immunologists, publisher of The Journal of Immunology, have launched a new, free service to authors, to deposit selected manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC).  Articles deposited in PMC are automatically mirrored to UKPMC.

"Several funding bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, mandate that authors deposit published articles into PMC or UKPMC.  While these mandates apply to authors, not publishers, the new AAI service will help authors comply with these mandates.

On behalf of authors who are funded by such bodies, AAI will deposit all manuscripts that begin submission to The Journal of Immunology after March 29, 2011 and are ultimately accepted for publication; the author must select this option on the online submission form in order for AAI to do so.  AAI will deposit the version of the manuscript that has undergone peer review and has been accepted for publication, before copyediting and formatting".

All UKPMC funders mandate that articles be made available to the public in PMC at 6 months after publication; manuscripts deposited by AAI will comply with thus embargo period.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Increasing amount of content in UKPMC is fully open access

Analysis of the content in UKPMC shows an increasing proportion of articles are fully open access and thus can be downloaded, and re-used, typically for non-commercial purposes.  To be clear, all content in UKPMC can be accessed without any restriction, but only a subset of this content is fully open access.

In 2001, just 7% of the articles published in that year and added to UKPMC, were defined as "open access".  [35,061 articles, with a publication year equal to 2001, were added to UKPMC, of which only 2,543 were open access.]

In 2009, 33% of the articles published that year and added to UKPMC were classified as "open access". [125,592 articles, with a publication year equal to 2009, were added to UKPMC, of which  41,811 were fully open access.]

The graph below shows the growth of open access articles in UKPMC between 2001 and 2009.

Open access articles in UKPMC: 2001 and 2009

Open access articles are still protected by copyright, but are made available under a Creative Commons or similar license that generally allows more liberal redistribution and reuse than a traditional copyrighted work. 

Crucially, because these articles can be downloaded without restrictions, users can deploy text mining tools to crawl this corpus of literature to help identify new facts and knowledge.

The open access articles in UKPMC can be downloaded from the UKPMC FTP site.  This site is updated weekly.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Heading for the Open Road: costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications

A report published today looking at how to improve access to academic literature suggests that open access is likely to have the greatest benefits to the UK scholarly communications system.

Open access, whereby research outputs are made freely accessible to the widest possible audience, is an issue to which the Wellcome Trust is firmly committed. The Trust provides funding to its researchers to cover open access publishing costs.

'Heading for the Open Road', a new report commissioned by the Research Information Network and other funders, including the Trust, supports this approach. It discusses a number of scenarios and suggests that the "Gold" scenario - the model in which author-side payments are levied to enable immediate open access to the published article - has the potential to achieve the highest benefit-cost ratio while lowering the UK's net costs for scholarly communication. It is also the only model that is considered to be fully sustainable.

However, the report also makes clear that there are risks associated with this approach, as the scale of the costs and benefits depends on the future level of charges levied on the author, which it may be hard for policy makers to influence. Moreover, there are likely to be significant challenges in the transition to this approach (possibly more so than in other scenarios), including the one-off costs to create the necessary systems and infrastructure, and the lags that mean ongoing net costs could rise before later falling because of the need to meet author-side payments while retaining existing subscription journals.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "This report shows that financial savings to the UK - and particularly UK academic institutions - can be realised if an 'author pays' publishing model is implemented effectively. This is a challenge and an opportunity to the best publishers of scholarly journals."

Image: The open road, by Dr DAD on Flickr.