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Press Release: Norway's NHSRC Signs BioMedCentral Agreement

Press release: 18 October 2004, For immediate release

Editorial Board member pushes for Open Access support

Norway has made a nationwide commitment to Open Access for the biomedical
research it funds. All universities, polytechnics research institutes and
hospitals in Norway became BioMed Central members on 1 October 2004.

The Norwegian Health Services Research Centre (NHSRC) has secured a
national deal with BioMed Central that covers the cost of publication, in
BioMed Central's 120 Open Access journals, for all publicly funded
researchers, doctors and teachers in Norway. The membership agreement will
initially run until the end of December 2005.

Arild Bj�rndal, Medical Director of the NHSRC, formerly professor of
public health and a long-term spokesman for evidence based health care, is
on the Editorial Board of BMC Public Health, one of BioMed Central's
journals. He has also published a number of his own research articles in
BioMed Central's journals. Dr. Bj�rndal was instrumental in securing the
national membership agreement,

"Open access is the way forward in medical publishing. We must put a stop
to the way that scarce public resources are used; first to fund research
and then again to pay to be able to read the results of that same
research. Our institution is striving to improve access to reliable and
relevant research for everybody; hence we want to encourage Norwegian
researchers to publish through open access solutions like BioMed Central."

The NHSRC is a new institution in Norwegian health care, set up to support
well-informed decisions about health care both at the individual and
societal level, according to Dr. Bj�rndal.

"The NHSRC is committed to supporting services and government with the
best available evidence about effects of health care. Creating better
access to research information is one of the means to stimulate a more
evidence based health service in Norway. Open Access, and the BioMed
Central membership are a key part of this."

Natasha Robshaw, Head of Marketing and Sales at BioMed Central, said:

"We are extremely pleased to welcome all Norway institutions on board as
members of BioMed Central.  Support for BioMed Central membership
continues to grow at an incredible rate and we are especially excited that
this agreement has been championed by researchers, including our own
Editorial Board member, Arild Bj�rndal.  We look forward to this research
community support continuing and seeing manuscript submissions to our
journals increase."

Norway's decision is another landmark in the move towards Open Access for
all biomedical research. Two other European countries have already taken
out nationwide BioMed Central membership for the majority of their
publicly funded researchers. In May 2004, BioMed Central announced that
FinELib (the National Electronic Library of Finland) had agreed membership
for all 25000 publicly funded researchers and teachers in Finland.  In the
UK, all UK universities have been members since March 2003 thanks to an
agreement with JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). The JISC
membership agreement was renewed in September 2004 for a further year. The
NHS in England agreed a 3-year membership deal in March 2003.

# # #

Press Office Contacts:
Grace Baynes for BioMed Central
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7631 9988
E-mail: press@biomedcentral.com

Nina Husom,  Information Officer, for Norwegian Health Services Research
Telephone: + 47 91 39 56 08 / +47 23 25 51 34
E-mail: nina.husom@nhsrc.no 
Alternatively please contact Arild Bj�rndal

About BioMed Central

BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com) is an independent online
publishing house committed to providing immediate access without charge 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.

BioMed Central's business model is based on charging authors to publish,
and then making the content free to readers. Under membership agreements,
authors from member institutions will not be asked to pay an article
processing charge when publishing research. The charge is instead covered
by the institution's BioMed Central membership. This applies to all of
BioMed Central's journals 120 peer-reviewed journals. Upon acceptance, the
article becomes available online without charge to readers worldwide.

BioMed Central's Institutional Membership Program was launched in January
2002 and now has over 450 members, including some of the world's most
prestigious academic institutions.

Grace Baynes
BioMed Central
Middlesex House
34-42 Cleveland Street
London W1T 4LB
T: +44 (0)20 7631 9988
F: +44 (0)20 7580 1938