17.277 Wellcome Trust on open access

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Oct 03 2003 - 01:06:51 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 277.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2003 06:00:16 +0100
             From: Peter Suber <peters@earlham.edu>
             Subject: Wellcome Trust statement on open access

    A position statement by the Wellcome Trust in support of open access publishing

    The mission of the Wellcome Trust is to "foster and promote research with
    the aim of improving human and animal health." The main output of this
    research is new ideas and knowledge, which the Trust expects its
    researchers to publish in quality, peer-reviewed journals.

    The Trust has a fundamental interest in ensuring that neither the terms
    struck with researchers, nor the marketing and distribution strategies used
    by publishers (whether commercial, not-for-profit or academic) adversely
    affect the availability and accessibility of this material.

    With recent advances in Internet publishing, the Trust is aware that there
    are a number of new models for the publication of research results and will
    encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities for quality
    research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed.

    The Wellcome Trust therefore supports open and unrestricted access to the
    published output of research, including the open access model (defined
    below), as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a public
    benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.

    Specifically, the Trust:
    welcomes the establishment of free-access, high-quality scientific
    journals available via the Internet;
    will encourage and support the formation of such journals and/or
    free-access repositories for research papers;
    will meet the cost of publication charges including those for
    online-only journals for Trust-funded research by permitting Trust
    researchers to use contingency funds for this purpose;
    encourages researchers to maximize the opportunities to make their
    results available for free and, where possible, retain their copyright, as
    recommended by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
    (SPARC), the Public Library of Science, and similar frameworks;
    affirms the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the work,
    and not the title of the journal in which a researcher's work is published,
    that should be considered in funding decisions and awarding grants.
    As part of its corporate planning process, the Trust will continue to keep
    this policy under review.

    Definition of open access publication1

    An open access publication is one that meets the following two conditions:
    1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free,
    irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual (for the lifetime of the applicable
    copyright) right of access to, and a licence to copy, use, distribute,
    perform and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative
    works in any digital medium for any reasonable purpose, subject to proper
    attribution of authorship2, as well as the right to make small numbers of
    printed copies for their personal use.
    2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials,
    including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard
    electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at
    least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution,
    scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established
    organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution,
    interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences,
    PubMed Central is such a repository).


    1. An open access publication is a property of individual works, not
    necessarily of journals or of publishers.
    2. Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide
    the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of
    the published work, as they do now.

    The definition of open access publication used in this position statement
    is based on the definition arrived at by delegates who attended a meeting
    on open access publishing convened by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    in July 2003.

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