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Cell Press Announces Free Access to Recent Online Archive

:: From the Cell web site:

Cell Press is pleased to announce that access to the recent online archive of Cell and the other premier journals of the Cell Press collection will become freely available beginning in January 2005. The recent archive of these journals includes content that is 12 months old or older and dating back to content from 1995. Each month as new issues are published, the year old issues will be added to the freely accessible recent archive. Free access to the recent archive will be available on both ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com) and on the Cell Press journal sites (www.cellpress.com).

Today’s announcement by Cell Press represents an important change that will make a large part of the Cell Press journal archive freely accessible to the worldwide biomedical research community. Cell Press President and CEO Lynne Herndon commented, “Our main goal is the dissemination of information and the active support of scientific exchange. In recognition of the opportunities afforded by electronic publishing, Cell Press is taking this decision in order to better meet the needs of our unique author and reader communities. This opportunity also allows us to incorporate the notion of an open archive without adopting the pay-for-publication model that we believe is untested from both an editorial and financial perspective.”

Arie Jongejan, CEO Science & Technology, Elsevier added: “Cell Press publishes a suite of journals with a unique profile in biomedicine. Its readers expect science with immediate impact and its authors expect specialized care and extra speed. We support Cell Press’ unique role in the life sciences and within Elsevier.”

Cell Press is committed to improving scientific communication through the publication of exciting biology research and reviews. Our mission is to continue to publish and develop journals that deliver the highest possible intellectual rigor, promote community trust, and are widely disseminated. To that end, we are pleased to be able to add our new policy to existing Elsevier initiatives:

  • Participation in the HINARI project of the WHO, which distributes journals for free to developing countries (http://www.healthinternetwork.org/index.php);
  • A liberal copyright policy that gives authors broad rights;
  • Free advance online publication of selected papers;
  • Investment in making the entire back-issue collection available online;
  • Online submission and review for the convenience of authors and reviewers;
  • Support of the research community via meeting sponsorships
David Goodman, writing in CHMINF-L, notes the following:
As I understand it:
  1. the period from the present to 12 months back will be available in full text only to paid subscribers.
  2. the period from 12 months back through 1995 will be available free
  3. Is the period before that available at all? Is it a paid backfile, or not available at all in full text.
If Goodman is correct, I'm not sure that this is such a major announcement. If you can't afford the journal electronically now, then you still won't have access to the backfile. Clarification, anyone?


Regarding Cell Press:
Yes, this is another sham bogus proposal by a publisher - it's called "open access". Read the details about open access coming from various publishers, because it will hit your pocketbooks big time. They are in business to make money, not to do charity work for your library. Open access is another way that the publishers have devised to enhance their profits by additional gouging of libraries and publishing authors.

Please note that there is an embargo on the latest 12 months of CELL, so for heavy research oriented institutes such as ours, it makes this "free access" totally worthless. I don't know of any good scientist that wants information that is 12 months old. Almost all of our journals in ourLibrary are now full text online and we pay big time bucks for them. As this "open access" concept unfolds from publishers, all that we can see in it is additional costs to our library and institute thru new author fees and through their Byzantine concept called "library membership fees" which replace "subscriptions". We are projecting a 20% increase in our journal costs when combined with the new "author fees" that publishers are implementing as part of this.

Free access to their old backfiles (older than 12 months) is virtually worthless in most cases to scientific and medical researchers who are on the cutting edge and as such, worthless information to a publisher has no value to them in terms of potential profits - hence they are "graciously" providing access to it free.

Patrick W. Brennen, Director
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Library
2510 Sam Noble Parkway
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401

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