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Library response to BioMed Central's new Institutional Membership Program

Dear all

I'm trying to get an idea of the perception of librarians and funding
agencies to the BioMed Central proposal (appended below for memory), as I
may write something on this. If any of you would like to communicate your
thoughts, please send to me directly on d.butler@nature-france.com (or to
the list)

It's probably important to consider separatedly the position of libraries
on the viability of the proposed model itself, the pros and cons on a
practical basis for you, and then as it relates to BioMed Central itself.

Any thoughts most welcome.

Happy new year

PS Don't hesitate at anytime to draw my attention to any current or
upcoming issues which you feel are newsworthy, and would be interested to
see covered by Nature

Declan Butler
European correspondent, Nature,
& Editor, Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology.
d.butler@nature-france.com <mailto:d.butler@nature-france.com>
http://www.nature.com <mailto:d.butler@nature.comhttp://www.nature.com>

Tel: (33) 1 43 27 42 13
Fax: (33) 1 43 20 51 52
Nature Publishing Group
BP 264
3 rue de l'Arrivee
75015 Paris

-----Message d'origine-----
De : owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Envoye : vendredi 21 decembre 2001 17:42
A : liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Objet : BioMed Central press release

Press Release:  December 2001
For Immediate Release

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

Open access to research to be funded by BioMed Central's new Institutional
Membership Program

A new scheme to help cover the costs of open access to biomedical research
is being launched by BioMed Central on 1st January 2001. BioMed Central,
the publishing company committed to a policy of free access to peer
reviewed research, is introducing a membership scheme that will move the
cost of publication from individuals to their institutions.

BioMed Central's business model is based on the dual premise that all
original research articles should be freely available and that the
imposition of subscription charges by other publishers is damaging the
communication of science. To meet the costs of publishing, BioMed Central
will charge authors $500 per paper published (waivers will be available
for those who can not afford these charges).

But to remove the burden on individual researchers, BioMed Central is
inviting institutions to join as members. Membership will allow all
research staff and students within an institution to submit an unlimited
amount of research papers to the 60 or so journals currently published by
BioMed Central (with at least 20 more to come next year). It will also
give the institution a 15% discount on any of the paid-for products BioMed
Central publishes such as Faculty of 1000 (www.facultyof1000.com) and
Images.MD (www.images.MD). Furthermore, it will allow all the abstracts of
relevant articles generated at the institution, irrespective of where they
were published, to be archived on a customised page on the BioMed Central
website. The abstracts of the articles listed will be included in any
searches performed on the BioMed Central web site and be linked to the
full text (if available) on the institution's own server or proxy server.
Depending on the size of the institution, membership will cost from $3000
to $10 000 per year.

Librarians have reacted positively to the idea of institutional
membership. They recognise that paying for publishing through a processing
charge is preferable to the increasing spiral of subscription costs. Ken
Frazier, the Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries,
said:  "The UW-Madison libraries will pay the processing charge for our
faculty and researchers.  We commend you for your important work."

According to Jan Velterop, BioMed Central's publisher, "Institutional
Membership will change the process of scientific communication, allowing
widespread full-text open access to peer-reviewed scientific literature,
by funding the publication process up-front. This will bring about the
much desired toll-free dissemination of research results across the

Fees for Institutional Membership in 2002 are as follows:

Very small institution
(20-500 Full Time Equivalent staff and (post)graduate students)
$1500 per annum

Small institution (501-1500 FTE)
$3000 per annum

Medium size institution (1501-2500 FTE)
$4500 per annum

Large institution (2501-5000 FTE)
$6000 per annum

Very large institutions (more than 5000 FTE)
from	$7500 per annum

To read more about Article processing charges and BioMed Central visit:

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.