'Between-job' researchers get free ScienceDirect access

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Elsevier has announced the launch of the Postdoc Free Access Program, a new initiative designed to help early career researchers who are in between research positions stay up-to-date in their field. 

For scholars who have recently received their PhD and currently do not have a research position, the programme will offer postdocs a 'Free Access Passport', with complimentary access to journals and books on ScienceDirect for up to six months.

The programme was conceived by editors and publishers at Elsevier in response to the global economic climate for science funding and stories they heard from postdocs. Many of these researchers have told staff of the mounting pressure to stay competitive and publish, in many cases without the resources to do so.

Stephen Neidle, editor-in-chief of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, part of Elsevier's Tetrahedron chemistry journal portfolio, was part of the team that devised the programe. He explained: 'Postdocs are facing a challenging time as big pharma has closed down many operations in Europe and the United States. University budgets are squeezed and research budgets are reduced. It will be important to keep the interest and commitment of the younger generation.'

To qualify for the Free Access Passport, candidates will be asked to fill out a form verifying their credentials before December 15, 2012. Qualifying criteria include: postdoc researchers who have received their PhD within in the past 10 years; at least one recent postdoc position that was completed in the past three months or that will be completed within three months; and a letter of recommendation from the postdoc's supervisor and/or institution verifying employment.