JBC's Policy on Open Access

asbmb asbmb at asbmb.faseb.org
Fri Nov 17 14:25:57 EST 2000

An Open Letter to ASBMB Members, JBC Editorial Board, and
Journal of
Biological Chemistry Authors:  JBC'S Policy on Open Access

There has been considerable discussion in the biochemical
community on
placing the content of the Journal of Biological Chemistry
and other journals
on-line free of charge.  Therefore we are writing this note
to all of our
Society members, authors and editors summarizing our present
policies, and
pointing out that JBC has been a leader in providing barrier
free access to
research reports for everyone.  We feel strongly that our
mission as a
Society publisher is to serve our readers, authors and

In 1997, we, together with our on-line publishing partner at
University, HighWire Press, initiated a policy of Free Back
Issues.  On
January 1 of each year we make the prior year's on-line
issues free to
everyone.  In other words, the last issue of this year
(December 29, 2000)
will be available free three days later.  Thus on January 1
all JBC on-line
content from 1995-2000 is available free to everyone without
barriers.  Our
policy of Free Back Issues has now been adopted by over 120
journals co-
published by HighWire Press, which now provides an archive
with over 183,000
free articles.

We are currently converting back issues of JBC from
1980-1994 to digital form
for on-line publication, at a cost of over $300,000, and
these issues too
will be free to everyone.

In 2000, we initiated JBC Papers in Press in which papers
are made available
free to everyone the day they are accepted for publication.
"Papers in
Press" continue to be available indefinitely without charge
to all readers,
even after the redacted papers are published in traditional
print and on-line

Currently a letter is being circulated asking that
scientists not submit to,
review for, or subscribe to publications that do not make
content available
free to anyone to store, manage, and distribute after a six
month delay.  As
described above, JBC has for several years led an effort to
make research
reports free to the broadest possible readership.  The
letter also requires
that journals transfer control of their content to a public
repository such
as PubMed Central.  In contrast, we favor archiving the JBC
content in a
variety of locations, which will preserve the integrity and
quality of the
information and guarantee its continued free availability to
all of our
readers.  We believe such archiving is most important, and
work is in
progress to establish such a multisite archive, including
such locations as
the U.S. Library of Congress.

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