Top medical and scientific societies commit to providing free access to research

(March 16, 2004) Washington, DC Representatives from the nation's leading not-for-profit medical/scientific societies and publishers have announced their commitment to providing free access and wide dissemination of published research findings. Their commitment was conveyed today by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and others, during a news conference in Washington at which they released Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science statement representing 48 not-for-profit publishers, over 600,000 scientists and clinicians, and more than 380 journals.

The DC Principles outlines the commitment of not-for-profit publishers to work in partnership with scholarly communities such as libraries to "ensure that these communities are sustained, science is advanced, research meets the highest standards and patient care is enhanced with accurate and timely information." The DC Principles provide what has been called the needed "middle ground" in the increasingly heated debate between those who advocate immediate unfettered online access to medical and scientific research findings and advocates of the current journal publishing system. The document was drafted in response to recent claims that these publishers' practices hinder the public's ability to access published scientific research.

The DC Principles

The Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science outlines several practices that the 48 organizations that created and signed the document are committed to carrying out. These practices include:

  • A commitment to maintaining and enhancing the independence, rigor, trust and visibility that have helped to establish scholarly journals as reliable filters of information that is generated by clinical and laboratory research and provide a filter for dissemination of health care policy.

  • Support of several forms of free access, including the availabil

Contact: Donna Krupa
DC Principles

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