Access granted

 
Published: Wednesday 15 August 2001

the world's six leading publishers of medical journals have agreed to give researchers in developing countries online access to their publications free of cost or at greatly reduced prices. The agreement covers about 1,000 of the world's top 1,240 medical journals. The World Health Organisation ( who ) had urged the publishers to take this step so that medical professionals in developing countries can have access to information for improving healthcare systems in their countries. "You cannot do science without information," said Barbara Aronson, a librarian at the who.

The publishers include Blackwell Science, Elsevier Science, the Harcourt Worldwide stm Group, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Springer-Verlag and John Wiley & Sons. Harcourt and Lippincott have agreed to slash the prices of reading the journals online, while the other four publishers will provide free access. The offers will be available to medical schools and research institutions in more than 60 countries where the per capita gross national product is us $1,000 or less.

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