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Molecular Systems Biology’s new author licence

Via Seven Stones blog:

Molecular Systems Biology (published by a partnership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and Nature Publishing Group) has changed its publishing licence for all articles accepted after 1 October 2007 (see updated instruction to authors). The new procedure allows the journal’s authors to choose between two Creative Commons licences: one that allows the work to be adapted by users (“attribution-noncommerical-share”: by-nc-sa), the other that does not allow the work to be modified (“attribution-noncommercial-no derivative”: by-nc-nd). The first articles to be published under the new licence are appearing online at the beginning of this month. The journal’s content is therefore not only freely available to all, but also authors can decide to make their research fully open for reuse and adaptation.

Thomas Lemberger, EMBO editor of Molecular Systems Biology, who runs the Seven Stones blog, notes that he initially wanted to make this announcement only after the first paper published under the new licence (accepted after 1 October) had appeared online, but in light of a recent Editorial in PLoS Biology (“When Is Open Access Not Open Access?”), reviewing in detail the subtleties of publishing licenses and the concept of “open access”, he bought forward the announcement of Molecular Systems Biology’s new policy. “Unfortunately, this Editorial, at the time of its publication (16 October), included erroneous information on Molecular Systems Biology, given that we had updated our policy on 1 October.”, Thomas writes. “In any case, it is somewhat ironic that MacCallum chose to stigmatize Molecular Systems Biology as an example of a journal that “promulgates” confusion about open access. As it turns out, Molecular Systems Biology is dedicated to the concept of making research freely available and to engage authors themselves in decisions that would achieve this goal with their own research. It is in this spirit of openness and respect for authors that we have recently adapted our license to publish.”

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