From today scientists will be able to access a vast collection of biomedical research and to submit their own published results for inclusion in a new online resource. Based on a model currently used by the US National Institute of Health, UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) will provide free access to a permanent online archive of peer-reviewed research papers in the medical and life sciences. See: www.ukpmc.ac.uk.
A nine-strong group of UK research funders, led by the Wellcome Trust, awarded the contract to develop UKPMC to a partnership between the British Library, The University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) last July.
Members of this group now require that articles describing the results of research they support are made available in UKPMC with the aim of maximising its impact. The UKPMC service will ensure that articles resulting from research paid for by any member of the funding consortium will be freely available, fully searchable and extensively linked to other online resources.
Initially UKPMC mirrors the American PubMed Central database (hosted by the NCBI at NIH). From today, UK scientists will also be able to submit their research outputs for inclusion in UKPMC. Through 2007, and beyond, the partners will develop innovative tools for UKPMC to further support biomedical research. In this way, UKPMC will grow into a unique online resource representing the UK’s biomedical research output.
Richard Boulderstone, Director of e-Strategy and Programmes at the British Library, said: “UK PubMed Central will offer a sophisticated and exciting new means of scholarly communication for biomedical researchers. Building on the complementary strengths that the Library and its partners, the University of Manchester and EMBL-EBI, bring to this project, we expect to create a platform for the development of a whole range of new services for the UK and European biomedical research community.”
Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust commented: “Medical research is not complete until the results have been communicated. The development of UKPMC provides a great opportunity for this research to be made freely available, and I am very pleased that a first class partnership of the British Library, the University of Manchester, and the European Bioinformatics Institute will be running it.”
He added: “This is only the start, however, and over the next few years the challenge will be to develop UKPMC so that it becomes the destination site of choice for the international biomedical research community and all those who are interested in discovering the results of groundbreaking research first hand.”
The British Library will run the service, promote it to researchers, as well as offering support for those who want to include their research papers in UKPMC. The University of Manchester hosts the service – on servers based at MIMAS (Manchester Information and Associated Services) – and will support the process of engaging with higher-education users. EBI, which is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), will contribute its biomedical domain knowledge and state-of-the-art text-mining tools to integrate the research literature with the underlying bioinformatics databases.
The UKPMC funder group consists of: Arthritis Research Campaign, The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, The Association of Medical Research Charities, The Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department, the Department of Health, The Joint Information Systems Committee, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
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