An account is given of the difficulties caused to smaller learned publishers and to the academic library system in the move to electronic delivery of results of scientific and medical research. BioOne, a co-operative venture of such publishers and libraries, is then described with an account of its progress to date.

With the emergence of policies calling for rapid, unfettered access to the results of federally funded research, the notion of academic and research libraries providing "public access" to information has taken on an important new meaning.

The following paper was delivered at a program entitled, “Scholarly Journals: Our Futures in the Digital Soup,” presented by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals on December 30, 2004 in conjunction with the Modern Language Association Annual Convention.

As scholarship becomes ever more digitally driven, the communication of peer-reviewed research results has undergone a dramatic transformation. The Internet has created an unprecedented environment where these results can be immediately and broadly shared. As researchers, funding agencies, and policy makers become aware of the opportunities afforded by faster and wider sharing of research results, access policies are evolving accordingly. From policies focusing primarily on protecting this material from unauthorized users, a proliferation of policies designed to leverage the value of funding agencies’ investment in research by sharing the results as widely as possible are now appearing. This paper will examine the rapid evolution of access policies, designed to create a more inclusive scholarly communications playing field, which are now appearing around the world.


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