News Release

Australia opens access to research with BioMed Central

Business Announcement

BMC (BioMed Central)

BioMed Central, the global open access publisher, has significantly expanded its membership in the Southern Hemisphere, it was announced today. Seventeen Australian institutions will become BioMed Central members, as part of an agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). From 1 January 2004 article-processing charges will be waived for all staff at the Australian member institutions, when publishing in any of BioMed Central's 100+ peer-reviewed journals in which all research content is freely accessible.

The BioMed Central membership agreement is another clear sign that Australia is taking access to the fruits of research seriously. It follows the announcement in October by Peter McGauran, the Acting Minister for Education, Science and Training, of an AU$12 million (approximately US$8.5 million) funding initiative by the Australian Government to support the management of university research information and institutional repositories1.

The BioMed Central-Australian consortium agreement includes Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's largest scientific research agency, and the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne, New South Wales, Charles Darwin University, University of Queensland, Monash University and the WEHI. The publisher is hopeful that more CAUL institutions will take advantage and become BioMed Central members.

The membership agreement is a significant development for BioMed Central – it is their largest signing to date in the Pacific Rim. 2003 has been an incredibly successful year for BioMed Central, with the CAUL agreement marking the ninth consortia agreement the publisher has secured this year. With all UK universities, the NHS England, hundreds of US institutions and many more around the world becoming members, BioMed Central has enjoyed success in the Northern Hemisphere and is now seeing increased attention from below the Equator.




A full list of BioMed Central members in Australia is available at:


For further information about BioMed Central please contact Natasha Robshaw by email at or by phone on +44 20 7631 9981, or visit our website

About BioMed Central:

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.

BioMed Central's business model is based on charging authors to publish, and then making the content free to readers. Under the agreement, article-processing charges are waived - for all member institution staff - for publication in any of BioMed Central's 100 peer-reviewed journals. Upon acceptance, the article becomes available online without charge to readers worldwide. Hundreds of researchers from U.S. institutions have already published in BioMed Central journals.

BioMed Central's Institutional Membership Program was launched in January 2002 and now has well over 300 members, including some of the world's most prestigious academic institutions. Harvard, NHS England, the World Health Organisation, all UK universities and over 100 U.S. institutions are all BioMed Central Institutional Members.

About CAUL:

The Committee of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) was formed in 1975. CAUL's mission statement is 'improving access by the staff and students of Australian universities to the information resources that are fundamental to the advancement of teaching, learning and research.' Membership of CAUL is restricted to library directors whose parent institutions are full members of the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee.

CAUL has sought to ensure a common voice and representation for all university libraries, provide a forum for discussion, and promote common interests. The CAUL strategic plan emphasises collaborative activities that will contribute to the achievement of key objectives including:

  • maximising access to information resources and services,
  • transforming the current scholarly communication system,
  • promoting continuous improvement in university libraries, and
  • advocating effective policies and an appropriate legal and regulatory environment

The CAUL office was established in 1995 and is located in Canberra, Australia.

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