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free online access to 137,000+ science articles


HighWire Press publishers offer more than 137,000 free 
online articles

Stanford University's HighWire Press announced Thursday that publishers of
the journals it hosts now provide free online access to the full text of
more than 137,000 articles. As a result, HighWire Press is now home to the
second-largest free full-text science archive in the world and the largest
in the life sciences with three entirely free journals, 51 journals
offering free back issues and 32 offering free trial access.

HighWire Press the online journal-production division of the Stanford
University Libraries provides free and subscription-based
access-technology services to more than 180 high-impact journals and more
than 600,000 articles, mostly in the fields of science, technology and

"We are extremely pleased with the trend to allow free access on the part
of the publishers we serve, which are largely not-for-profit scholarly
societies and publishers," said Michael A. Keller, Stanford University
Librarian and publisher of HighWire Press.

"Although it is a decision made by each society, based on the business
plan for each journal, we applaud their willingness to make the back files
more accessible to the public. It helps fulfill HighWire's mission to
support and improve scholarly communication � that is, to make the
fruits of scholarly research as broadly available as possible.

"Further, we think that providing back issues without restriction helps
assure institutional subscribers -- libraries, universities and
laboratories -- that they need not rely absolutely on the printed versions
of the journals as backup to online subscriptions."

John Sack, associate publisher and director of HighWire Press, added, "The
HighWire program works because we and the societies share the same basic
goal of advancing scholarship through dissemination of peer-reviewed,
research-based articles. Open access to back issues works economically for
the publishers because the need for current issues [rather than back
issues] drives their subscriptions and technically because HighWire's
access control software is extremely flexible, and our bandwidth is quite

In addition to the free back issues, the participating publishers offer
"toll-free linking" of articles, in which a reader who subscribes (either
individually or through an institution) to one journal can click on a
reference in an article to another article from another journal and read
the full text of the linked article, whether or not that reader has
subscription rights to that second journal.

This powerful service to the reader means that a further 70,000 articles
published online through HighWire can be available free in appropriate
contexts. It also greatly facilitates the scholar's research productivity
by enabling a seamless investigation through the trail of citation and

HighWire became home to the largest free full-text life science archives
after several key developments following publishers'decisions: the loading
of the 1990-1995 content of Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences (PNAS), which added nearly 15,000 freely available articles; the
annual New Year's release to the public of the previous volume of the
Journal of Biological Chemistry -- nearly 5,300 articles for the 1999
volume; and a decision by the American Physiological Society (APS) to
provide free access to back issues of all its online publications. APS's
decision added more than 5,000 articles to those already free at
HighWire-operated sites.

According to Martin Frank, executive director of the APS, "We have long
supported the idea of disseminating science as widely and freely as
possible. Giving the world access to our 13 subscription-based journals
after 12 months allows us to do just that. Access to all issues of APS's
Advances in Physiology Education will continue to be available to the
world at no charge."

Robert Simoni, professor of biological sciences at Stanford and an editor
of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), said: "We at ASBMB,
publisher of the JBC, are delighted that HighWire has fostered and
facilitated this remarkable innovation [of easily freeing back content]
and helped us meet our society's commitment to barrier-free access to
research information. Journals in the HighWire group now release their
back issue papers free in order to better serve both the authors and
readers. HighWire and its publishers now provide the largest repository of
free research information in the life sciences in the world."

JBC and PNAS began the program of free back issues along with Rockefeller
University Press' three journals -- the Journal of Cell Biology, the
Journal of Experimental Medicine and the Journal of General Physiology --
when they discussed a common concern about educational uses of the
research literature and recognized that the electronic technology gave
them a no-cost opportunity to serve those readers. PNAS now also has more
than 26,000 articles free from its 1990-1999 archive. Rockefeller
University Press journals now make several thousand articles free as well.

Subsequently, 17 publishers of more than 50 journals have joined the
program. Some of the largest participants include the entirely free
British Medical Journal, with more than 22,000 free articles from
1994-2000, and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), with nearly
26,000 free articles from its 10 journals for 1995-1999.

"ASM has made the decision to provide free online access to journal
content that is one year old or older on a continuously moving 12-month
window," said Samuel Kaplan, chair of the ASM Publications Board. "We
believe this to be the best way of insuring the greatest possible access
to the science published in our journals. ASM views this to be a major
part of its mission. Also, we know that our journals have a lasting 'shelf
life' for print subscribers, so it's gratifying to know that we now
provide an online back-volume archive to subscribers and non-subscribers
alike. ASM is pleased that this 'milestone' of 130,000 such articles has
been achieved and are proud to have played a role in this achievement."

Other journals and publishers participating in the program include the
four journals of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental
Therapeutics, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, the Journal of Pharmacology
and Experimental Therapeutics, Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacological
Reviews; the Journal of Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience;
the Journal of Clinical Investigation from the American Society for
Clinical Investigation; the two journals of the American Society of Plant
Physiologists, The Plant Cell andPlant Physiology; Clinical Chemistry from
the American Association for Clinical Chemistry; Molecular Biology of the
Cell from the American Society for Cell Biology; the Journal of
Histochemistry and Cytochemistry from the Histochemical Society; the
Biophysical Journal from the Biophysical Society; the five journals of the
American Heart Association, Circulation, Circulation Research,
Hypertension, Stroke and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular
Biology; Blood from the American Society of Hematology; Thorax, the
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry and Archives of Disease in
Childhood from the BMJ Publishing Group; the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition from the American Society for Clinical Nutrition; and Genes &
Development, Genome Research and Learning & Memory from Cold Spring Harbor
Labs Press. A complete list of journals offering free back issues and free
trials is on the HighWire Press website at:

Stanford's HighWire Press makes it easy for publishers to offer their
content without charge to users. "It really takes only a few minutes for
us to implement a publisher's decision to make content free on an
immediate basis, or delayed by a number of months or a volume," Sack said.
As a result, several other societies and publishers are considering making
their back content free under this program.

Additional information about HighWire is found at
http://highwire.stanford.edu. This page also includes links to all
journals placed online by HighWire for their publishers, links to the 10
largest archives of free science articles and links to the 500
most-frequently cited journals' online sites.