The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) is delighted to announce that it has been awarded funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to support open-access delivery of its journals, Acta Crystallographica Sections A-E, Journal of Applied Crystallography and Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, via its Crystallography Journals Online service. The award will mean the waiving of open-access publication charges for UK higher education staff who publish in these journals for a one-year period from 1 March 2004. This will make UK research more visible worldwide, assisted by the international standing of IUCr journals.
JISC is a committee of all UK further and higher education funding bodies, and is responsible for supporting the innovative use of information and communication technology to support learning, teaching and research. In December 2003, publishers were invited to tender for open-access funding of £150,000, the first round in a three-year programme designed to encourage as much open-access delivery of research findings as possible. This initiative coincides with the IUCr's support of open standards as a means to promote its statutory objective of disseminating crystallographic information to the widest possible audience. From the beginning of 2004, authors publishing papers in IUCr journals have been given the opportunity to make their papers open access on Crystallography Journals Online, i.e. free of charge to all readers. Open-access papers will appear alongside standard subscriber-only papers for the foreseeable future.
The normal charge for making an article open access is £500. This charge is based on the average cost for the IUCr to produce the first copy of the article, excluding printing and distribution costs, and includes a contribution to the cost of the long-term preservation and access of the publication. Revenue generated from open-access payments will be used to keep subscription costs as low as possible. Open-access articles will be clearly marked in contents pages and search results, and because they are freely available, are likely to be cited more frequently.
The IUCr is one of four publishers to have made successful bids for this funding, the other three beneficiaries being the Public Library of Science (PLoS, for PLoS Biology), Institute of Physics Publishing (New Journal of Physics) and Lancaster University (Journal of Experimental Botany).
The IUCr journals, the first of which was established in 1948, appear consistently at the top of the ISI citation rankings for crystallography, and have a deserved reputation for high publication standards. They are published in conjunction with Blackwell Publishing. For information about submitting articles, please visit http://journals.iucr.org. More information about the IUCr's open-access policy is available at http://journals.iucr.org/services/openaccess.html.
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