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BioMed Central/SPARC Press release

Press Release: 14 May 2002
For Immediate Release

Contact: Gordon Fletcher
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 0323
Fax: +44 (0)20 7580 1938
E-mail: gordon@biomedcentral.com




The open access publisher, BioMed Central, today announced its partnership
with the global alliance of research institutions, SPARC. As partners,
SPARC will support BioMed Central's efforts to develop its sustainable
business model to ensure long-term open access to biological and medical
research.  In return, BioMed Central has confirmed that its commitment to
open access precludes it from selling its assets to any publisher that
does not share its promise to keep all BioMed Central journals available
through open access both retrospectively and prospectively.

SPARC is an alliance of universities, research libraries, and
organizations built as a constructive response to problems in the
scholarly communication system. Both SPARC and BioMed Central believe that
conventional publishing models have reduced dissemination of scholarship
and crippled libraries. SPARC serves as a catalyst for action, helping to
create systems that expand information dissemination and use in a
networked digital environment, whilst BioMed Central offers the tools,
which enable researchers to publish open access research.

"Since its earliest days, SPARC members have been looking for alternative
journal publishing models from companies and organizations that provide a
long-term open access.  BioMed Central was founded on that commitment, and
it is important to support its efforts, which have a potentially
revolutionary positive impact on scholarly communication."  explains Rick
Johnson, SPARC Enterprise Director.

"BioMed Central's commitment to long-term, open access to scientific
research, its stance on copyright and licensing, and its low-cost
institutional memberships bring real-world value to libraries testing
alternative journal publishing models," notes Jan Velterop, BioMed Central
Publisher.  "BioMed Central also provides a rich resource for societies,
editorial boards, and authors seeking to better serve their community
through rapid peer-reviewed publication, and the broadest possible

BioMed Central operates its open access-publishing model through an
institutional membership program, which launched at the start of 2002.
Since its launch, 21 institutions have become members including, the
National Institutes of Health, Harvard University, Cancer Research UK and
the World Health Organization.

SPARC will actively encourage its members to consider membership in BioMed
Central because it will ensure the widespread dissemination of
peer-reviewed research, promote open access, and support a process that
should result in substantial savings for institutions and their libraries.


BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com) is an independent online
publishing house committed to providing immediate free access to the
peer-reviewed biological and medical research it publishes. This
commitment is based on the view that open access to research is essential
to the rapid and efficient communication of science. In addition to
open-access original research, BioMed Central also publishes reviews and
other subscription-based content.

To read further press releases from BioMed Central visit:

SPARC is a coalition of research universities and libraries supporting
increased competition in scholarly publishing.  Its membership currently
numbers approximately 200 institutions and library consortia in North
America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  SPARC Europe, a regionally
focused initiative, is being rolled out throughout 2002.  SPARC is also
affiliated with major library organizations in Canada, the U.K. and
Ireland, Denmark, Australia and the USA.  SPARC is located on the web at
http://www.arl.org/sparc; SPARC Europe is located on the web at

To read further press releases from SPARC visit: