Monday, March 07, 2011

Please help keep the pressure on Nature Publishing Group to restore free access to genome papers #opengate

Well, I realize of course some things take time, but I cannot imagine it is that hard to restore free access to all papers reporting genome sequence data.  Nature had promised to do this when many papers were published but recently I noticed that this was not being done.  For some background see:

So today I browsed around to see if access had been restored to these genome papers.  And alas they had not for many. For example, the Plasmodium genome paper is not available

The Shewanella genome paper is also not available.  I know things take time.  But I note, I have pointed out failings in the free access previously to Nature and it was seemingly fixed but not permanently.  They really need to fix their system so that this stops happening.  So I am going to keep at them.  A bit tongue in cheek I have called this #opengate but perhaps I should call it Openomics?  


  1. At this point I have a hard time believing Nature's official explanation that it is a "technical issue" -- if some update to their website code is ignoring the "free access" flag, this could have been fixed in a few seconds.

  2. Jonathan, we are working on a permanent fix. We take this issue seriously and are checking the XML tags of all genome sequence papers published in Nature and the Nature research journals to ensure this issue is properly resolved. This will take some time, but we are prioritising. In the meantime, we ask for your continued patience.

    In the meantime, it anyone finds a genome sequence paper that is not free to access, you can send them to me g DOT baynes @ nature DOT com. If you put 'genome paper' in the subject line and include a URL and/or DOI, that will help.

  3. Thanks again Grace. I note I have many many many times promoted the Nature free Genome Paper policy. It is how we sold submitting to Nature sometimes. It is something I and others discussed as evidence for Nature Publishing Group being creative and "advanced" in regard to supporting accessibility. I have mentioned the policy in probably dozens of talks and in my blog and in discussions for years and years. So I feel obliged to keep the pressure on about this. Especially since some glitches have happened in the past and clearly the system was not "fixed" completely.

  4. I think it's great that this is getting both personal attention and feedback about the status, so +1 to Grace for keeping us apprised of the situation.

    As I just tweeted elsewhere, I'll be interested to hear more about how this happened and what safeguards will be put in place to prevent similar things from happening in the future.


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