Medical research funding organisation the Wellcome Trust, UK, has announced a new project under which complete back issues covering nearly 200 years of historically significant biomedical journals will be made freely available online. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Wellcome Trust, JISC, the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and a number of medical journal publishers.
Participating publishers will continue to deposit current content of their journals into this archive after an embargo period of one year for all research papers. Additionally, the archive will also provide a number of innovative, value-added functions, including links from references to full text, high resolution images, full text searching across the entire archive, and links from the original article to corrections and retractions and vice-versa.
On completion, the back files project will deliver more than three million pages of medical journals via standard search tools such as PubMed and Google. The backfiles archive can be accessed for free through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), full-text, life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC). Journals will be added to the archive as soon as they are digitised. PubMed citations will be added to the database on completion of the archive.
Academic and professional publisher Sage Publications, US, has signed an agreement with Portico, a non-profit electronic archiving service launched last year, to ensure long-term stability of over 400 scholarly journals published by the former. It will also participate in the Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (Clockss) initiative for this purpose.
Portico will provide an ongoing, permanent online archive of Sage journals, ensuring that an accessible copy of each issue is preserved for the future. The service also provides for the migration of the content into future technological formats as they are developed. Portico was initiated by JSTOR, US, and has been developed with the initial support of Ithaka, US, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, US, and the Library of Congress, US.
Participation in Clockss will assure that access to the Sage journals is maintained even in the event of a disaster that would prevent the delivery of content. A joint advisory board, made up of societies, publishers and libraries, will determine if the content is orphaned and whether it should be made publicly available. Since it is collectively managed, publishers are ensured that content is controlled and no one entity has authority over orphaned digital materials in the system.
The Academy of Science of South Africa has reportedly urged the nation's scientific publications to launch open-access online editions in order to expand their visibility on a global scale. Welcomed by South Africa's science establishments, the report is being circulated to academies in other African countries as well to kindle the open access debate.
The Academy recently published a report according to which, in the past 14 years, one third of South African journals have not had a single paper quoted in international publications.
According to Academy representatives, a significant amount of South African research has been published for a global audience. However, only less than one tenth of the country's 255 accredited journals have obtained citations enough to feature in key research databases across the world.
Furthermore, the Academy has called for reforms in government subsidies for journals to improve quality and visibility. At present, the Department of Education pays universities US$14,000 each time a government-accredited journal publishes a paper by one of their academics, regardless of the journal's international standing. It has been observed that these subsidy funds can be used instead to finance the initiatives of journals to launch open access Internet editions.
Media firm VNU NV, Netherlands, has confirmed the status of its Supervisory Board and Executive Board with regard to comments recently made in The Wall Street Journal. The VNU boards continue to believe that the Valcon Acquisition BV offer is in the best interests of all stakeholders and are confident that the transaction will be concluded successfully.
The Valcon consortium, comprising six private equity firms, has launched a €
8.7 billion takeover bid for VNU, and the bid is pending approval from shareholders.
In case Valcon's offer for VNU is rejected by shareholders, the company has confirmed that changes to the composition of the Supervisory Board and Executive Board are likely. However, no formal decisions have been made in this regard. VNU has emphasised that, under such circumstances, the boards will continue to fulfil their fiduciary obligations and take proper steps to ensure a systematic transition to new leadership.
Subscription services provider Swets Information Services, Netherlands, has announced the release of the 4.2 version of SwetsWise, a web-based, modular service for the procurement, access and management of subscriptions and online information. The 4.2 release will include RSS Feeds as well as a number of technical improvements and new functionalities to SwetsWise Online Content.
The RSS Feeds will provide SwetsWise customers with the latest news and information on the journals and articles they have subscribed to via SwetsWise. By activating the RSS Feeds customer can now receive instant notification of any updates, including TOC reports and new article or issue availability to all of their electronic subscription holdings.
Medical publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, US, has announced that it will provide free online access to all issues of its authoritative, peer-reviewed publication, Journal of Women's Health, to mark the Journal's upcoming 14th Annual Congress on Women's Health from June 3-6, 2006. The offer can be availed of till June 15, 2006 at www.liebertpub.com/jwh.
The Congress provides practical, clinical information on advanced therapeutic protocols, new diagnostic procedures, and innovative research advances that impact on patient care to physicians, nurses, and policymakers. This year, the Congress has collaborated with NAASO: The Obesity Society, to offer a special morning session on obesity and weight management in women.
Journal of Women's Health is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes the latest clinical and research papers on the medical health issues that affect women all through their lifespan. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues.
Medical information provider Wolters Kluwer Health, US, has announced the appointment of Jack Lynch as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Lynch replaces Dave Lampert, who was recently named President, Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific.
In his new position, Lynch will identify and investigate cross-divisional business opportunities for Wolters Kluwer, focusing on leveraging flagship products and business models. He will also play an important role as a thought leader in Wolters Kluwer's continued online transformation.
Prior to this, Lynch served as president of the Pearson School Technology Group within the Pearson Education School Companies. Earlier, he was also the founding CEO and board member at Bigchalk.