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Norton Scientific Journal: Researchers Call for Open-access Journals

By Charles Norton Subscribe to RSS | April 13th 2012 | Views:

Britain’s Wellcome Trust, one of the largest research charities worldwide expressed their support to scientists who wants to make their work accessible to all. Officials at the organization gave hints of their plan to introduce a free online journal that can rival established academic publications.

Researchers are now demanding that their work be opened to the public, believing that in this way, progress in scientific research will speed up. Besides, researches that are publicly funded should not be exclusive for private publishing houses as the research findings must be available to all. Trust seems to be advocating that charity- and public-funded scientific research must be accessible for anyone who wants to read it.

It is evident that Wellcome Trust does not want to pay for medical studies that only end up in private parties so it is now considering ways to bring the research papers under an open-access framework.

Most of the world’s scientific research which is estimated to be around 1.5 million new articles every year is only released through journals owned by several big publishing companies like Wiley, Springer and Elsevier. Influential journals such as New England Journal and Nature and Science are only accessible via paid subscription. And because of the frustrations with the expenses of academic journals, researchers staged a boycott of the biggest publisher worldwide, Elsevier. Over 9,200 said they will not submit manuscripts anymore, nor act as peer reviewer for Norton Scientific Journal.

With this intervention from the second largest non-government funder of medical research, the movement gained a considerably strong ally in their demand to open online journals.

The director of Wellcome Trust Sir Mark Walport, announced that they are in the final stages of introducing a high-caliber scientific journal called eLife, set to directly rival the premiere publications like Nature and Science, and is set to launch the website this year. But not like the traditional journals that can cost universities millions in cash every year to access, articles published on eLife would be free to view online once they are released.

“The broad principle is obviously correct, publicly-funded research should be in the public domain as soon as possible,” said the Labour chair of the House of Commons science and technology committee. And in fact, if you look at what really makes information dissemination effective, you will find that open content obviously spreads faster, has more influence and reach a wider audience — it could even be used in ways that the authors do not expect.

Wellcome Trust provides financial assistance in form of grants so that they can pay publishers to make their work available for free. Those who do not open their work for public access in accordance with Trust’s terms can be sanctioned in future grant applications.

The government also appeared to be giving their assent for calls on open access journals. During its launch of innovation strategy in December, the minister for universities and science said that he would like to see all state-funded researched released in the public domain.

Wellcome Trust even teamed up with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Max Planck Society of Germany in their setting up of the open-access online journal eLife. Walport commented, “The idea is that that will take on the very top end of the scientific publishing industry, a visible high-profile competitor to Nature and Science. In no sense is this a war in which we’re trying to put them out of business, the thing that would be best for them [publishers] to do is to change their publishing model.”

As expected, prominent scientists started to steer away from academic publishing and give their medical studies to open-access journals like the non-profit Public Library of Science (PLoS), which also has a peer-review system in place for its articles.

Charles Norton - About Author:

Norton Scientific Journal started from a group's vision: to effectively advance and diffuse knowledge to every part of the world. Several years after, Norton Scientific Journal blog became the product of their endeavor to reach everyone through information.

This blog offers a comprehensive collection of resource materials that could be perused by students, researchers and professionals alike.

We are constantly syndicating journals and other scientific papers from reliable sources. Norton Scientific Journal has continuous efforts being done to keep such materials accessible to every student and researcher around the world

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