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Elsevier, HHMI and Open Access

March 8th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

Elsevier – a dominant subscription-based publisher – has made a deal with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute regarding Open Access.

Announced today, the agreement will make author manuscripts of articles published in Elsevier and Cell Press journals available to the public (in PubMed Central) six months after publication. The conditions will be applied to articles published after September 1, 2007 on HHMI funded research.

Elsevier has agreed to make both the author manuscripts of original research articles as well as any other data attached to the work available in PubMed Central. HHMI will shoulder the cost for Elsevier to transfer the article and supplemental data to the digital archive, easing the financial burden on individual scientists.

Beyond this agreement, HHMI is also on the cusp of adopting a new policy that would mandate all HHMI funded scientists to make their research articles freely available through PubMed Central within six months of final publication.

Elsevier’s compliance may come as a surprise to some, due to recent press about Elsevier and other major for-profit publishers hiring “PR pit-bull” Eric Dezenhall to take on Open Access. (see our blog entry on this for details)

For more information regarding HHMI and Elsevier’s OA agreement, see the official press release posted today on HHMI’s Web site.

Peter Suber also provides insightful commentary on this. To read his thoughts on the agreement, visit his blog, Open Access News.

One Response

  1. Katharine, on March 8th, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I write to bring your attention to an ethical conflict of interest that, unless it is resolved, threatens the integrity of scientific journals published by Elsevier and Cell Press.

    Reed Elsevier’s Elsevier division is the monolith of the medical and science publishing world, producing thousands of books and more than 2,200 journals. But another division, Reed Exhibitions, strives to ensure that everyone in the world has enough weapons—by hosting arms fairs. This is in direct opposition to medicine’s dictum “First, do no harm.”

    Go here for details.