Open access publishing in the biomedical sciences: could funding agencies accelerate the inevitable changes?
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Background: Open access is making a noticeable impact on access to information. In 2005, many major research funders, including the Well come Trust, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the Research Councils UK (RCUK), set out their position in a number of statements. Of particular note was the stipulation that authors receiving grants must deposit their final manuscript in an open access forum within 6-12 months of publication. Observations: The paper will look at the open access position statements issued by some of the major funding bodies in the biomedical sciences. The paper will also look at the models used by publishers to provide open or delayed access, such as Oxford Open from Oxford University Press, HighWire Press' delayed access policy, BioMed Central, and Public Library of Science (PLoS). There are now over 1.2 million articles in PubMed that are freely accessible via publishers' websites.' Conclusion/discussion: Could funding agencies accelerate the move to open access? The list of funding agencies supporting open access is growing. The National Institutes for Health and the Wellcome Trust have been joined by many of the world's major funders in biomedical research whose goal it is to make their research findings available with no barriers.