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BioMed Central press release: 1st BRIN sign up as BioMed Central Members

This press release may be of interest to readers of this list.

Information Release:  20 February 2003
For Immediate Release

Contact: Grace Baynes or Gordon Fletcher
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 2988
Fax: +44 (0)20 7580 1938
E-mail: grace.baynes@biomedcentral.com

1st BRIN sign up as BioMed Central Members

North Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) has signed
up as a BioMed Central Institutional Member. This will enable biomedical
researchers, at all eleven participating North Dakota institutions, to
publish their research for free in any of BioMed Central's 90
peer-reviewed, open access journals.

The North Dakota BRIN library consortium purchased the institutional
membership. The two research universities, four baccalaureate institutions
and five tribal colleges participating in the BRIN used their combined
buying power to purchase the membership, a cost effective solution for
smaller research departments that may only have a handful of researchers.

In a similar deal, the consortium also purchased BioMed Central's full
range of biology and medicine subscription products, including Faculty of
1000 - an online research evaluation service for biology.

The library consortium was one of the four key goals of North Dakota BRIN
with the intent to establish a statewide consortium of libraries to
co-ordinate wider access to electronic resources including journals,
databases and software. The BRIN exists to "develop an infrastructure that
supports increased biomedical research in the state" and was made possible
by the award of a three-year, $6 million grant to the University of North
Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

BRIN awards are designed to "enhance biomedical research capacity among
academic institutions and research institutions within the state".  The
ultimate aim is to make these states more competitive in applications for
National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

BRINs are NIH funded. In a program launched in October 2001, the NIH
allocated 24 grants totaling $45 million to 23 states and Puerto Rico.
These states are those with a less than 20% success rate in applying for
NIH grants, or those who have received on average less than $70 million in
NIH funding between 1995-1999. The BRIN scheme is one half of the
Institutional Development Award (IdeA) Program established in 1993.  IDeA
is run by The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the part of
NIH responsible for ensuring that essential tools and resources are
available to NIH-supported investigators across the US.

24 BRINs are active from Alaska to Wyoming, Hawaii to New Hampshire. It is
hoped that they will follow North Dakota's lead in becoming BioMed Central
members and that other small-library consortia will consider this to be a
way forward to better serve their research communities.


For further information about BioMed Central please contact Grace
Baynes or Gordon Fletcher (grace.baynes@biomedcentral.com or
gordon@biomedcentral.com Tel: +44 20 7631 2988) or visit our
website http://www.biomedcentral.com/)

About BioMed Central:

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