Friday, June 16, 2006

Wellcome digitizes a million pages for OA

Kim Thomas, Wellcome Trust digitisation hits million page mark, Information World Review, June 16, 2006. Excerpt:
The Wellcome Trust has completed the first million pages of its project to digitise nearly 200 years’ worth of medical journals. The project, which started in 2004, is creating a digital archive that will offer free access to medical journals via PubMed Central, the online medical service from the US National Institutes of Health. The earliest archived journal dates from 1809, but the archive will also encompass current and future journals.
“It’s a living archive,” said Robert Kiley, head of systems strategy at medical research funding charity Wellcome Trust. He added that participating publishers have agreed to make all future content freely available online within 12 months of publication. “Once we’ve digitised a journal, if the publisher wants a copy itself for its own website, it can do that,” he said.
As well as digitising the content, the project, funded jointly by the Wellcome Trust and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is creating a PDF file for every article in the archive. All the text is also being put through an optical character recognition process, making it possible to carry out free-text searches.
Kiley said that the project had been “subject to heavy and sustained use”. The Biochemical Journal has had more than one million articles downloaded in an eight month period, he said. The next journal to be digitised will be the British Medical Journal, a source of several ground breaking studies.

From Open Access News at

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