News Release

National Library of the Netherlands and BioMed Central agree to open access archive

Business Announcement

BMC (BioMed Central)

Jan Velterop, Director and Publisher of BioMed Central, and Wim van Drimmelen, Director General of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), the National Library of the Netherlands, today signed an agreement to secure the long-term digital archiving of all research published by BioMed Central.

The KB will act as an official archival agent for BioMed Central. As well as archiving all of the publisher's research articles, the KB has committed to updating the archive as technology changes. This will preserve the articles as a usable resource and ensure open access in perpetuity.

Wim van Drimmelen underlines the importance of this agreement:

"Long-term preservation is part of the mission of the KB and features among our main strategic goals. Unlike printed publications, digital publications require from the publisher an active part in the archiving. Therefore arrangements with publishers are essential to realise the safe-keeping of the intellectual output of scientists."

BioMed Central's rapidly growing collection, currently 100 journals and more than 2500 articles, will sit alongside material from the two-largest STM publishers worldwide. All of the research BioMed Central deposits will be freely available, in keeping with the publisher's open access policy, both to walk-in visitors to the KB and via the library's website (

Jan Velterop explains what makes the BioMed Central archive at the KB so important:

"Open Access authors want reassurance that their work will be freely available in the future. The KB deal delivers such assurances. This is the first sizeable quantity of fully open access research articles to be archived by the KB, which means that that part of the library's archive can be fully open to anyone who cares to seek access. "

Should the BioMed Central website be inoperable for a long period of time, for example in the case of a disaster, the KB would be part of the interim service system. In the unlikely event that BioMed Central or a successor should be forced by circumstance to cease to make these journals available, as an official archive the KB would continue to keep them accessible to all indefinitely, maintaining the open access promise.

This agreement is part of a concerted effort by BioMed Central to provide its authors and readers with a solid and secure long-time archiving solution for electronic publications.


Additional Information:
Photographs of Jan Velterop and Wim van Drimmelen signing the agreement are available on 17 September. Please contact Léanne Selles ( or 00 31 (0)70-3140466)

About BioMed Central:
For further information about BioMed Central please contact Grace Baynes ( or +44 20 7631 2988) or visit the website

BioMed Central ( is an independent online publishing house committed to providing immediate free access to the peer-reviewed biological and medical research it publishes. This commitment is based on the view that open access to research is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science. In addition to open-access original research, BioMed Central also publishes reviews and other subscription-based content.

All the research articles published in BioMed Central's journals are already archived at the United States National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central site (, by INIST, the documentation centre of French scientific research organization CNRS, and by the University of Potsdam.

About the Koninklijke Bibliotheek:
For further information about the KB please contact Léanne Selles ( or 00 31 (0)70-3140466) or visit the website

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) is the National Library of the Netherlands. The Library was founded in 1798. The KB is an autonomous administrative body financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture & Science. The KB's mission statement is to provide universal access to the knowledge and culture of the past and present by providing high-quality services for research, study and cultural enrichment.

About the 'e-Depot'
In 1994 the KB decided to include electronic publications into its deposit collection. Since then, research and development on long-term digital archiving has been top priority in the National Library of the Netherlands. In close collaboration with IBM the KB developed a specific Digital Information Archiving System (DIAS) as the technical heart of the 'e-Depot'. The KB implemented the e-Depot in December 2002 as one of the first full-scale infrastructures in the world dedicated to depositing and long-term preservation of digital publications.

For information about the development of the 'e-Depot' please contact Johan Steenbakkers, director Information Technology & Facility Management (

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