Go back

Medical research councils push for open access

European medical research councils have called on the biomedical sciences to create a Europe-wide repository for journal articles to accelerate open access publishing of research.

In a policy briefing published on 19 October, European Medical Research Councils (EMRC) said that organisations in the field should combine their efforts to create a repository similar to the US site PubMed Central, in which publications would be freely available.

EMRC says that archiving articles in the repository—the gold route of publishing—would “facilitate discoveries and innovation in biomedical research, the use and re-use research publications and the potential use of advanced text mining technology”.

According to EMRC, there is a moral imperative for the field to adopt open access as quickly as possible, to spread the success of biomedical research and to accelerate scientific progress in the field.

EMRC also emphasizes that, whilst gold open access is the ultimate goal for the biomedical field, it will be essential to promote the green route in recognition of the challenges of moving directly to gold publishing. Under the green route, articles are placed in institutional or subject-based repositories that then make articles freely available after an embargo period of, typically six months for biomedical research papers.

Josef Syka, who chaired the taskforce behind the briefing, said: “The turnover of information in biomedical sciences is very fast, so rapid delivery of information is needed at a fair price. Open access publishing has the potential to revolutionise the way in which biomedical scientists publish and access the latest results.”

The EMRC is the European Science Foundation’s membership organisation for medical research councils in Europe.