Publishers continue commitment to combating COVID-19 by extending immediate access to resources

Publishers today announced an extended commitment to support the continued global response to the rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19.

Sharing the worldwide concern about the spread and impact of COVID-19, publishers recognize the crucial role they can play in supporting the response to this crisis and advancing the research that will be critical in combating the virus.

In immediate response to the epidemic announcement by the World Health Organization
(WHO), members of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers
(STM) moved to:

  • Provide immediate free access to all relevant peer-reviewed publications to ensure that
    for the duration of the outbreak, research and data quickly reaches the widest possible
    audiences. More than 32,000 articles, chapters, and other resources related to COVID-
    19, other coronaviruses, and related epidemics have already been made available in this
  • Accelerate the review and publication of articles that are relevant to researchers
    currently addressing the crisis;
  • Enable the use of artificial intelligence and other tools to analyze the freely available
    research content through open, interoperable systems such as Crossref and other aggregated solutions; and
  • Continue to offer researchers the full range of publisher systems and solutions to
    enhance their abilities to address the global health crisis

Following ongoing conversations with the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and noting the recent request from science advisors around the world, STM is now announcing further steps that have been taken by our members to enhance the use of these resources, to ensure that these will available for additional analysis and reuse, including by machine tools and artificial intelligence. These strides will enable researchers to further identify trends and solutions that could help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Participating publishers will:

  • Ensure that publications related to COVID-19, other coronaviruses, and related
    epidemics are available in both human- and machine-readable formats, with rights to
    enable text and data mining, re-use and secondary analysis;
  • Work to support others – including the US National Institutes of Health’s National
    Library of Medicine and the World Health Organization (WHO) – who are creating
    centralized collections of these resources for researchers’ use, by making publisher
    resources available through these portals including PubMed Central (PMC) and other
    repositories; and
  • Ensure that data related to publications are also available, where possible

Speaking of the announcement, Ian Moss STM’s CEO said “We are all gravely concerned about the significant threat that COVID-19 represents to public health. In order to aid the efforts to slow the spread of the virus and, fundamentally, to save lives, STM publishers are committed to work collectively to ensure that research findings are shared quickly to advance cutting-edge research. As a community, we hope that the provision of immediate access will aid the global response and make a difference.”