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A Reply from HHMI

Journal of Experimental Medicine
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1084/jem.20071366
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JEM_20071366.indd 1731 COMMENTARY JEM © The Rockefeller University Press $15.00 The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) recently announced a policy on Public Access to Publications for its inves- tigators and Janelia Farm Research Cam- pus scientists ( about/research/policies.html#papp). This policy requires our scientists to publish in only those journals that make original research articles and supp- lementary materials freely accessible through a public database within six months of publication. The policy seeks to balance the goal of public access and the equally impor- tant value of scholarly freedom — the goal of our scientists to allow their grad- uate students and postdoctoral fellows to publish their work in the journal of their choice. To bring more jour- nals into compliance with our policy, we have concluded agreements with Elsevier and Cell Press, as well as other publishers, including the American So- ciety of Hematology. Such conversations will continue with both for-profi t and non-profi t publishers. Rossner and Mellman ( 1 ) have crit- icized HHMI for not using its infl uence to coerce Elsevier into making their content public after a short delay with- out compensation. It should be noted that the $1,000 we are paying for each Cell Press article and $1,500 for other Elsevier publications is not profi t to the publisher, but a reimbursement for their lost revenue in providing accelerated free access and their time and eff ort in uploading HHMI manuscripts to PubMed Central. Furthermore, HHMI already makes payments at a similar level to a wide array of non-profi t and for-profi t publishers for immediate or accelerated access to publications, as does the Wellcome Trust. Scholarly publishing is in fl ux, not simply in the biological sciences. Virtu- ally all publishers, ranging from scientifi c societies and non-profi t organizations to major corporate entities, are reconsidering their policies

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