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University of California Joins Forces with BioMed Central

Press Release: 6 November 2002

For Immediate Release 

Contact: John Ober 
Telephone: (510) 987-0425
E-mail: John.Ober@ucop.edu
Website: http://www.cdlib.org

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

University of California joins forces with BioMed Central

BioMed Central, the "open access" publisher, and the California Digital
Library are pleased to announce that the 10 campuses of the University of
California have joined the publisher's Institutional Membership Program.
BioMed (BMC) Central is an independent online publishing house committed
to providing immediate free access to peer-reviewed biological and medical

Under the agreement, processing charges are waived for University of
California faculty who submit an article for publication in one of 80
peer-reviewed journals. Upon acceptance, the article becomes freely
available through the Web to readers worldwide.

Dozens of papers written or co-written by more than 130 UC scholars are
already included in BioMed Central's journals as the agreement commences.
The 80 BioMed Central journals cover a diverse set of biology and medical
topics. UC contributions have been similarly diverse. An analysis of risk
factors connected with hospitalization for asthma (appearing in
Respiratory Research), the use of garlic extract for sickle cell anemia
patients (appearing in BMC Blood Disorders) and the attitudes of Korean
women toward breast cancer (appearing in BMC Public Health) are just three
examples, contributed by authors from UC Davis, UCLA and UC San Diego,

UC's collaboration with BMC is coordinated and supported by CDL's
eScholarship program. BMC's commitment to providing free access to the
articles it publishes is consistent with eScholarship's mission to
facilitate innovations in scholarly communication in support of research
and teaching. Scholars publishing in BioMed Central's journals are ensured
widespread dissemination of their work while contributing to the movement
toward "open access" to scholarly publishing.

BioMed Central offers an alternative way of publishing peer-reviewed
research papers that does not rely on subscription charges or the transfer
of copyright from author to publisher, as is the case with most scientific
journals. Its innovative new publishing model charges authors a fee for
managing peer review and formatting their manuscripts.  Article processing
charges, as these fees are known, are paid by an author or by the
institution with which they are affiliated.


"Open access to published material on BioMed Central is unique and
provides an invaluable service to investigators around the world," said
Gary S. Firestein, professor of medicine at UC San Diego.  "Free flow of
ideas is greatly facilitated and will help stimulate scientific discovery.
The university's affiliation with BioMed Central should be applauded as an
important step in the growth of this initiative."

A significant advantage of institutional membership in BMC is that
individual researchers at the University of California may submit
manuscripts to BioMed Central's 80-plus freely accessible, peer-reviewed
journals without incurring processing charges. Instead, processing fees
are waived and replaced by an institutional membership, in this case, paid
by the CDL's eScholarship program, creating predictable funding for
BioMedCentral while providing an economic per article cost for the

Scholarly communication is in crisis because expensive subscription
charges are restricting access to the latest scientific developments. The
difficulty in accessing scientific information is especially frustrating
given that taxpayers fund much of this work through grants and public
university salaries. Some pioneering programs and institutions, such as
the University of California's eScholarship program, are promoting change
by encouraging researchers to publish in "open access" journals.

Dan Greenstein, university librarian and executive director of the CDL,
cites the agreement as an important step for UC to take.

"The stakeholders in producing, distributing and caring for scholarship
must invent sustainable ways to make research results available," he says.
"The view of our eScholarship program is that sustainable scholarly
communication requires the leadership of the researchers and their
institutions, new cost models, and publishers who are willing to be
creative. All of these components are present in the BioMed Central
approach. We're quite pleased to become a member."

The addition of the University of California campuses takes the total
number of BMC member institutions tomore than 50, including Harvard and
Princeton universities, the Institut Pasteur, and the World Health

Jan Velterop, publisher at BioMed Central, has been impressed with the
response of the academic community to the membership program.

"The membership program has been a welcome shot in the arm for open access
publishing, allowing institutions to demonstrate their commitment to
fundamental change regarding science communication," he says. "We are
delighted that UC campuses have joined, and look forward to increasing the
visibility of the research they publish by giving access to anyone,
anywhere in the world."



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.

The University of California is one of the largest, most prestigious
teaching and research institutions in the world, whose current faculty
includes 20 Nobel laureates and more than 330 members of the National
Academy of Sciences. Over 306,000 students, faculty and staff study and
work at UC campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside,
San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. A new campus in
Merced, the first new American research university of the 21st century, is
scheduled to open officially in 2004.

The California Digital Library (http://www.cdlib.org/), which partners
with the 10 UC campuses in a continuing commitment to apply innovative
technology to managing scholarly information, opened to the public in
January 1999. Organizationally housed at the UC Office of the President in
Oakland, CA, the CDL provides a centralized framework to efficiently share
materials held by UC, to provide greater and easier access to digital
content, and to join with researchers in developing new tools and
innovations for scholarly communication.

Editors: For additional information about the CDL, please contact John
Ober, CDL director for education and strategic innovation, (510) 987-0425;
or john.ober@ucop.edu.

For additional information about BioMed Central, please contact
Gordon Fletcher, +44(0)20 7323 0323; or gordon@biomedcentral.com.