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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports open access

Susana Secretariat Foundation-funded research findings, like those related to the development of new public health technology (photo), must be published in open-access journalsSusana Secretariat

The open-access movement, launched in the 2000s with the goal of making scientific findings broadly available to the public for free, has gained some valuable new support. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which pours $900 million a year into research on public health issues and the fight against poverty, has adopted a new policy concerning the release of papers based on research that it has financed: articles can only be published in journals accessible to anyone and without charge. The initiative prohibits the publication of papers through subscription journals, including high-impact, prestigious periodicals like Nature, Science, and The New England Journal of Medicine. “We can accelerate the development of new solutions to tackle infectious diseases, cut maternal and child mortality, and reduce malnutrition in the world’s poorest places,” stated Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health at the foundation, according to the journal Science. The decision was made back in 2014 but took official effect in 2017. Foundation-funded science articles and research data must now be freely available immediately following publication, in compliance with a publishing license that permits unrestricted reuse.