Academic publishers urge Trump not to demand open access for federally funded research | The BMJ

More than 125 journal publishers and scientific and medical societies have signed a letter to Donald Trump asking him to reverse a policy they believe is being prepared that would require any journal publishing research that received US federal funding to make the article freely available without a subscription, immediately on publication.1

Currently, under the terms of a 2013 agreement, journal publishers may charge readers for federally funded research articles for 12 months from publication, after which the paywall must come down.

The revenue from those 12 months is essential to pay the costs of publication, the letter’s signatories argue. But, they write, “we have learned that the Administration may be preparing to step into the private marketplace and force the immediate free distribution of journal articles.” …

The letter also appeals to the president’s economic nationalist instincts. Requiring immediate open access, it argues, would “effectively nationalise the valuable American intellectual property that we produce and force us to give it away to the rest of the world for free.” …

The BMJ is not a signatory to either of the publishers’ letters. All original research published in The BMJ and in its sister journal BMJ Open is immediately available through open access with payment of an article processing charge. Other BMJ journals also offer open access publication.

The BMJ’s editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, said, “We support the shift to open access publishing for biomedical research, recognising that there will be winners and losers and that the priority must be to safeguard the quality and integrity of academic communication.” …”

medRxiv.org – the preprint server for Health Sciences

“medRxiv (pronounced “med-archive”) is a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

medRxiv was founded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a not-for-profit research and educational institution, Yale University, and BMJ, a global healthcare knowledge provider. The server is owned and operated by CSHL. medRxiv provides a platform for researchers to share, comment, and receive feedback on their work prior to journal publication. medRxiv aims to improve the openness and accessibility of scientific findings, enhance collaboration among researchers, document provenance of ideas, and inform ongoing and planned research through more timely reporting of completed research. medRxiv is a non-profit community resource and is not linked to any one publisher or journal….”

medRxiv.org – the preprint server for Health Sciences

“medRxiv (pronounced “med-archive”) is a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

medRxiv was founded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a not-for-profit research and educational institution, Yale University, and BMJ, a global healthcare knowledge provider. The server is owned and operated by CSHL. medRxiv provides a platform for researchers to share, comment, and receive feedback on their work prior to journal publication. medRxiv aims to improve the openness and accessibility of scientific findings, enhance collaboration among researchers, document provenance of ideas, and inform ongoing and planned research through more timely reporting of completed research. medRxiv is a non-profit community resource and is not linked to any one publisher or journal….”

New preprint server for medical research | The BMJ

This debate is not new for The BMJ: over 20 years ago Tony Delamothe, the journal’s deputy editor, asked The BMJ’sreadership what we should do about electronic preprints,8 and the responses9 were similar to discussions now. The headline conclusion reached by Delamothe was that clear labelling of preprints might allow them to be used safely.8 As a result, BMJ launched the first clinical preprint server, ClinMedNetPrints.org, in 1999. The server operated until 2008 and received around 80 submissions before it was closed because of lack of use.

But times have changed, and we believe the need for an independent clinical preprint server remains. Clinical research can currently be found scattered on various preprint servers, ranging from bioRxiv and arXiv to servers established by publishers to link to their journals.10 We believe that the community will be served best by a preprint server that is specific to clinical research so that suitable safeguards can operate and by one that is not linked to specific journals or publishers but provides a central freely accessible archive.

BMJ (publisher of The BMJ) is therefore announcing its partnership with colleagues at Yale University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to launch medRxiv. Harlan Krumholz and Joseph Ross, clinician-researchers at Yale, have long been advocates of preprints,4 while Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory operates the bioRxiv life sciences preprint server. BMJ brings its long experience of publishing and review of clinical research, researching the effects of changes in publishing,11 and publication ethics.12

In working to launch medRxiv we have focused on light-touch processes and workflows that we believe will reduce the potential for harm while retaining the advantages of speed and openness. A first step will be for authors to make various declarations about the work: how it has been conducted and reported, any conflicts of interest, and details of ethical approval. Then, all manuscripts will undergo several rapid rounds of screening before they are posted. The first will ensure that a manuscript is a research article (medRxiv will not accept case reports or opinion pieces, for example) and will cover obvious legal problems such as plagiarism and defamation. Then, a researcher in a relevant field will check the basic content and organisation of the article—but medRxiv does not endorse a manuscript’s methods, assumptions, conclusions, or scientific quality. And finally, a key screening question will be whether a preprint, if posted, has the potential to do harm to individual patients or the public. If in doubt medRxiv will not post the preprint; the authors will be encouraged instead to publish only after peer review.

By posting preprints, authors can help promote openness and transparency and reduce research waste from duplicated efforts and non-reporting. By helping ensure a balance of safety and speed, we believe medRxiv can provide a valuable service to the clinical research community. We will regularly report on any research that we do on the effect of preprints, and we encourage third parties to contact us for research opportunities. We also urge all readers of The BMJ and its sibling journals to read and deposit preprints in medRxiv. We look forward to reporting on its progress over the coming months….”

Child health: what should be done? | BMJ Paediatrics Open

“The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has a proud and long-standing record of highlighting the problems experienced by children in the UK, both in relation to physical and mental health.4 It has also contributed internationally to promote child health, both in specific projects and through its journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. Although a highly successful journal, it is however a subscription only journal and hence is not available to many health professionals throughout the world. There is a growing recognition that open-access publishing is more beneficial for science and clinical research.5 BMJ Publishing and the RCPCH have an established track record with Archives of Disease in Childhood and have established BMJ Paediatrics Open in recognition of the need for a paediatric open access journal….We are delighted to confirm that authors from low-income countries will not be charged an article processing charge in keeping with the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) guidelines….”

AMCHelsinki publications increasingly free online – now even more affordable to publish Open Access article | HULib News

From Google’s English: “Meilahden Academic Medical Center Helsinki ( #amchelsinki ) researchers in the publish more and more articles freely online, or Open Access -julkaisualustoilla. Terkko innovative Scholar Charter service will tell you that the three most popular magazine at the moment is an Open Access publications: PLoS ONE, Scientific Reports and Nature Communications. Now the library has entered into an agreement BMJ Open with -huippulehden reduced APC-payments. BMJ Open ‘in the APC value is lowered by means of this contract by as much as 25%! …”

Meet An Open Access Hero | CCC’s Beyond the Book

“For taking on the challenge of Open Access, the real heroes are publishing professionals like Raegel De Guzman of BMJ Group in London.”

“Recently, Copyright Clearance Center invited BMJ’s Raegel De Guzman to share with peers her hero’s journey. This special podcast features the audio from that webinar.”