Publishers make coronavirus (COVID-19) content freely available and reusable

More than 30 leading publishers have committed to making all of their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central (PMC) and other public repositories. This will help to support the ongoing public health emergency response efforts.

 

This follows a request from science leaders to the publishing community to make their content open and re-usable. Working in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the US National Library of Medicine, Wellcome contacted signatories of the statement Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The following journals and publishers have agreed to make their content accessible and reusable:

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
  • The British Medical Journal (BMJ)
  • Bulletin of the World Health Organization
  • Cambridge University Press (CUP)
  • Cell Press
  • Chinese Journal of Lung Cancer
  • eLife
  • Elsevier
  • EMBO Press
  • Emerald Publishing
  • European Respiratory Society
  • F1000 Research Limited
  • Frontiers
  • Future Science Group (FSG)
  • Healthcare Infection Society
  • Hindawi
  • IOP Publishing
  • JMIR Publications
  • Karger Publishers
  • The Lancet
  • Life Science Alliance
  • MDPI
  • Microbiology Society
  • New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
  • Oxford University Press
  • PLOS
  • PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA
  • Rockefeller University Press (RUP)
  • The Royal Society
  • SAGE Publishing
  • Science Journals – American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Springer Nature
  • Taylor & Francis
  • WikiJournal User Group
  • Wiley
  • Wolters Kluwer

Publishers have agreed to make their content accessible in machine-readable formats and license it in ways which allow researchers to use text and data-mining and machine-learning technologies on all of the content made available.

Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome, said: "Researchers have worked tirelessly to generate an unprecedented amount of knowledge since the start of the outbreak. We are delighted that leading publishers will now further support them. By fostering strong collaboration across borders, we can develop effective diagnostics, treatments and vaccines sooner, and ensure that everyone can benefit from the advances made. COVID-19 highlights why all research articles should be published Open Access, something Wellcome has been championing for more than 15 years."

Kumsal Bayazit, Chief Executive Officer at Elsevier, and publisher of over 1600 journals including Cell and The Lancet, added: "It is our duty as publishers to support the research communities we serve and the public at large in any way we can during this health crisis. At the start of the year we established the Elsevier COVID-19 Information Center with the latest research and links to more than 19,500 articles from across our journals, available freely and easily, to help the global response. Working with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Wellcome Trust, we are now putting this important body of literature into PubMed Central and other public repositories such as the WHO COVID database to enable AI-driven full text and data mining for as long as needed."

Veronique Kiermer, Chief Scientific Officer at PLOS, said: "Open Access and Open Science are critical, especially in times of crisis. PLOS already supports, and calls on others to support, research being shared such that it can be centrally text- and data-mined, and also versioned in places where it will be most conveniently discovered by those tackling this crisis in real time."

Any other publisher who has content relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic and is willing to commit to depositing it into PMC and licencing it in ways with supports computational reuse should contact David Carr at Wellcome and the PMC Public Health Emergency Initiative Coordinating Team.

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