Thursday, August 18, 2011

Open Parkinson's - Parkinson's UK pushing (and funding) openness #brilliant

Just a quick post here on my new theme of Openness in Parkinson's research in honor of my father in law Carlos Benito who is, unfortunately, dying from this disease.  I did a google search for open access and Parkinson's to see whether any organizations out there were pushing for more openness.  And the good news is that there are a few.  One I highlight today Parkinson's UK.  I highlight them because of their position on Open Access publishing: Parkinson's UK - Open access publishing - (formerly Parkinson's Disease Society)

From their site:
"We expect authors of research papers to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free."
But that is not all - they do offer to help support OA publishing fees on top of the research money they dole out.  Truly putting one's money where one's mouth is.

Their full policy can be found here and they summarize the policy in the five following bullet points:

  • We expect authors of research papers to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for free.
  • We require electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Parkinson's UK funding, to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and UK PubMed Central (UKPMC). This must be as soon as possible and in any event within 6 months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication.
  • We'll provide grantholders with additional funding to cover open access charges, where appropriate, (up to 2 years after the end of the grant) in order to meet our requirements.
  • We encourage (and where we pays an open access fee, require) authors and publishers to license research papers such that they may be freely copied and re-used (for example for text and data-mining purposes), provided that such uses are fully attributed.
  • We affirm the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author's work is published, that should be considered in making funding decisions.
It is really quite awesome actually - they even focus on openness and not just on "no cost" access which many organizations do not seem to understand.  Any and all medical funding organizations that do not have a policy on open access should check out theirs.  Way to go Parkinson's UK.

Also see:


  1. Hey Jon, Just came across this post. I suspect many professionals/academics do not really appreciate the barrier to access that the pay-wall creates. When I was diagnosed my instinct was to go to the literature. I found most of it was pay-to-view, and that was when searching via a university IP address. Most people won't have that level of access, or indeed the relevant skills. I'm now trying to pass these skills into the PD community. My feeling is though that the general open access (and open source) momentum is growing. Let's hope so, and the Parkinson's UK policy is exemplary.

  2. Hey again Jon,
    I forgot to say I linked to this post over here:


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