Public Release: 

Two new consortia sign up as BioMed Central members

18 more U.S. institutions support open access publishing

BioMed Central

BioMed Central announced today that it has signed institutional membership agreements with two U.S. consortia - the Consortium of Southern BioMedical Libraries (CONBLS) and Maine Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN).

BioMed Central has secured membership agreements with three U.S. consortia this month alone. The publisher recently announced that Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) have purchased membership for 84 institutions in the state. The tally of BioMed Central members now stands at 396, of which almost half (190) are in the U.S. This represents an amazing growth in membership, with over 300 institutions signing up so far in 2003.

CONBLS is a consortium of biomedical libraries in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee. CONBLS exists to "exchange information and share existing resources to mutual advantage, participate in cooperative programs, and strengthen existing resources and library services through joint application for private and government funds."

The consortium consists of seventeen institutions, of which twelve have signed up for Bio Med Central membership. The membership is the first product that CONBLS has purchased as a consortium, in their twelve years of existence.

The Maine BRIN is a seven-institution network that links biomedical research laboratories, universities and colleges in the state. The BRIN works to "address the statewide need to enhance the biomedical research capacity and competitiveness of students and faculty in Maine." Twenty-four BRINs are active from Alaska to Wyoming, Hawaii to New Hampshire. North Dakota BRIN was the first to purchase BioMed Central membership in February 2003.

For further information about BioMed Central please contact Grace Baynes (press@biomedcentral.com or Tel: +44-20-7631-9988) or visit our website http://www.biomedcentral.com/).

About BioMed Central:
BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com) 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 400 members, including some of the world's most prestigious academic institutions. Harvard, NHS England, the World Health Organisation, all UK universities and over 230 U.S. institutions are all BioMed Central Institutional Members.

About CONBLS:
CONBLS is a consortium of biomedical libraries serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries, Inc. was incorporated in the State of South Carolina on September 30, 1982 with the stated purpose "to exchange information and share existing resources to mutual advantage, to participate in cooperative programs, to strengthen existing resources and library services through joint application for private and government funds."

Continuing activities include a reciprocal interlibrary loan activity, continuing education opportunities, and an annual CONBLS salary survey. There are seventeen member institutions of CONBLS from the six states listed above, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. http://www.uab.edu/conbls/.

About Maine BRIN:
The Maine Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network is a three year project supported by an institutional development award (IDeA) from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institutes of Health. The specific aim of this project is to develop a collaborative partnership and strong network for research training of faculty and students that will be advantageous by virtue of the quality and geographic proximity of the institutions involved. This network addresses the statewide need to enhance the biomedical research capacity and competitiveness of students and faculty in Maine by: a) facilitating the networking of high quality biomedical research institutions with undergraduate and graduate degree granting institutions, b) providing training, education and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty in biomedical research, and c) stimulating the year-round biomedical research program.

The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (Salisbury Cove) is the lead institution in the seven-institution network including Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, The Jackson Laboratory, and The University of Maine. http://www.brinme.net/.

About BRIN:
BRINs are NIH funded. In a program launched in October 2001, the NIH allocated 24 grants totaling $45 million to 23 states and Puerto Rico. These states are those with a less than 20% success rate in applying for NIH grants, or those who have received on average less than $70 million in NIH funding between 1995-1999. The BRIN scheme is one half of the Institutional Development Award (IdeA) Program established in 1993. IDeA is run by The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the part of NIH responsible for ensuring that essential tools and resources are available to NIH-supported investigators across the US.

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