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The great debate; the future of scientific literature

Of possible interest.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 12:40:00 -0400
From: Nature Publishing Group <information@nature.com>
To: Nature Publishing Group <information@nature.com>
Subject: The great debate; the future of scientific literature

New from Nature on the future of the electronic literature

As readers of Nature will know, there is currently considerable debate
about many aspects of the future of the electronic literature, including
ways to improve access to the scientific literature, proposals for making
research papers free, and changing the application of copyright. We would
like to draw your attention to new content relating to these issues on
Nature's website and to a new publishing initiative by the Nature
Publishing Group that will provide wider access on the web to literature
published by the group.

1. 18 September: update on Nature's web forum, "Future e-access to the
primary literature" (http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/).

2. Nature's own view of the future of the electronic scientific
literature, and the right and wrong ways forward: leading article.

3. Press release, 14 September: Nature Publishing Group participates in
E-Biosci website

4. Feedback

1. Update on Nature's web forum, "Future e-access to the primary

The debate over the future of the e-literature involves many players, from
the scientific community and institutions of higher education and
research, to libraries and publishers. Nature has led the way in this
debate by bringing the views of these groups before a broad audience, and
highlighting the publishing challenges and opportunities. Nature's free
web forum on "Future e-access to the primary literature" can be accessed
at http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/ .

New contributions scheduled for publication this week include:

* "Healthy warning: 'This journal supports full text, tariff-free
archives,'" by Colin Hopkins, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology,
Imperial College, London, UK

* "Evolution of scholarly communication 'impossible to plan,'" by Andrew
Odlyzko , Director, Digital Technology Center, University of Minnesota

* "A view from the news industry," by David Allen, Managing Director,
International Press Telecommunications Council

* "A new value chain for scientific information," by Hans E. Roosendaal,
Peter A. Th. M. Geurts and Paul van der Vet, University of Twente, The

* "BioMed Central: a new business model for biomedical research
publishing?" by Fiona Godlee, Peter Newmark, and Matthew Cockerill, BioMed
Central Limited

* "When allegory replaces rational thought, science had better watch out,"
by Richard T. Kaser, Executive Director, US National Federation of
Abstracting & Information Services

2. Nature's own view of the future of the electronic scientific
literature, and the right and wrong ways forward.

Nature's 6 September issue carries a special two-page editorial, "The
future of the electronic scientific literature;" it is also available on
free access in the web forum (see
http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/Articles/opinion2.html). It
outlines Nature's vision of a landscape of scientific communication that
will be much more heterogeneous and diverse than the journals system with
which we are familiar today. The article concludes that "Getting there
will require novel forms of collaboration between publishers, databases,
digital libraries and other stakeholders. It would be unwise to put all of
one's eggs in the basket of any one economic or technological 'solution'.
Diversity is the best bet."

3. Nature Publishing Group participates in E-BioSci website

Nature�s publisher, the Nature Publishing Group, has signed an initial
agreement with the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)
confirming their commitment to introducing NPG journal content on to the
E-BioSci central archive. (For a description of E-BioSci, see article by
its director Les Grivell in Nature�s Web forum, and

The EMBO-led proposal for a single global online resource covering all
areas of molecular biology, where data could be deposited and searched
using a single procedure, should have a significant impact on the
publication and availability of scientific research. The Nature Publishing
Group sees this agreement as a first step in enhancing access across the
scientific literature. Says Annette Thomas, Managing Director, Nature
Publishing Group. "We look forward to working with E-BioSci to develop
search and other functionality across the full text of papers published in
NPG journals and those of other collaborating publishers".

Nature Publishing Group has initially agreed to provide abstracts and full
links into Nature, the Nature Research and Review journals, and the NPG
specialist journals. Construction and maintenance of the service will be
funded initially by the European Commission for a period of three years,
with subsequent funding and/or commercial development of the service to be
evaluated during the course of the project.

4. Feedback

We encourage you to give us feedback on these issues, and to let us know
what you feel are your, and your community's, major and most pressing
needs with respect to the future of the scientific electronic literature.
You may contact Declan Butler, the editor of the forum, directly on

Forum address: http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/


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