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[Published: Wednesday December 31 2014]

London, 31 Dec. - (ANA) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a major supporter of health and development research especially in Africa, is to introduce an open access policy next month for the studies it funds that goes further than most other research funders.

The policy “will enable other researchers to access the latest evidence and draw on it to advance their own research” to help tackle malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child and maternal mortality, writes Trevor Mundel, the foundation’s president of global health, on the organisation’s website.

Observers say the foundation’s move may inspire other funders to adopt similarly stringent open access policies too.

But there are also concerns that developing world scientists who receive funds from the foundation may be prevented from publishing research in local journals, some of which lack open access options.
From the start of 2017, researchers funded by the foundation will be required to publish their scientific papers and underlying data in publications that allow immediate free access without subscription or payment. The material must also be reusable without permission or fee.

For funding agreements made during a two-year transition period beginning on 1 January 2015, the foundation will allow a 12-month embargo, enabling publishers to restrict access to a paper for up to a year. The foundation says it will pay “reasonable fees” that a publisher requires to publish on these terms. (ANA)

AB/ANA/ 31 December 2014 - - -

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