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Publishers and funders agree on OA re-use rights

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The UK PubMed Central Publishers Panel - a panel comprising research funders and scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publisher trade associations - has agreed a set of principles for the re-use of documents for which an open-access fee has been paid.

The agreement states that open-access articles should be freely copied and used for text- and data-mining purposes, provided that such uses are fully attributed, undertaken on a non-commercial basis, and do not interfere with any moral rights of the author(s) of the articles.

In addition to making such papers open and freely accessible to all users worldwide at the time of publication, other re-use of the content - such as further redistribution, adaptation and translation - is encouraged under licence from individual rights-holders.

‘It is essential that full advantage is taken of the opportunities provided by open access to the results of research,’ explained Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is one of the funders of UK PubMed Central. ‘Huge added value can be added to research by linking the text of scientific papers to databases, such as protein sequence and structural databases and genome databases. Sophisticated text mining techniques can link related papers one to another, which may lead to the development of new scientific ideas or, alternatively question the significance of some results. This agreement between funders and publishers will help to maximise the value of research results, an outcome which is good for science and society.’

A number of publishers are already said to provide an open-access option in accord with these principles, including Springer, OUP and Elsevier.