Monday 08 February 2021

BMJ signals its commitment to an open access future

New transitional agreements demonstrate BMJ’s aim to advance open access, share knowledge, and drive discovery

Transitional agreements with Bibsam Consortium in Sweden, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek for German Academic Institutions, and Jisc in the UK, will provide researchers at member institutions the opportunity to publish all of their research articles open access in BMJ’s hybrid Standard Collection journals; while providing full access to read the BMJ’s journal collection.

These agreements help institutions manage the costs associated with open access publishing, enabling a transition towards a publish and read model. 

This announcement follows on from BMJ’s commitment to transition the research content in the majority of its journals to open access.

BMJ Journals taking part in this transition include some of the world’s most influential medical and allied science titles, such as Emergency Medicine Journal, Gut, Journal of Medical Genetics, and Thorax. It means that from 2021, these journals commit to grow the proportion of open access research content they publish in line with targets set by Coalition S.

These moves signal BMJ’s intention to reshape the way medical research is conducted and disseminated in line with the Plan S transformative strategy; a set of principles that seek to provide open and immediate access to funded research publications.

The company believes that this move will make research readily accessible to everyone to help promote knowledge and speed up discoveries to improve healthcare globally.

Claire Rawlinson, Publisher, at BMJ said: “More than ever, researchers and health professionals need reliable information from a trusted source. At BMJ, we create this trust by being transparent and open.”

She added: “The new agreements announced today give a clear signal that we are fully committed to open access. We look forward to working with our authors and partners through the open access transition period, with a shared goal of supporting the scientific community to help create a healthier world.”

Open access at BMJ

BMJ has a long-standing reputation as a pioneering publisher and champion of open access research. The research in its flagship journal, The BMJ, has always been free to read and BMJ is also a founding partner of medRxiv, the first dedicated preprint server for health sciences.  

A third of BMJ’s 60+ journals are open access, and the total number of open access articles published stands at over 45,000; increasing year on year.



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