Unlocking industry research: Frontiers lends support to Open Pharma’s bold ambition

Frontiers has endorsed the mission of Open Pharma, a group of pharmaceutical companies and research funders, to make all privately funded research free to read and reuse from the date of publication, as stated in the group’s position statement published 13 November 2019.

The vision of Open Pharma is simple: authors of company-funded research should enjoy the same access to open-access journals (OA) as researchers funded by other sources.

Frederick Fenter, Executive Editor at Frontiers, commented:

“We are eager to collaborate with organizations that also promote Open Science – clearly the best way to leverage the results of research to the benefit of all. This is of obvious importance in the pharmaceutical sector, and so we applaud the companies who support the Open Pharma initiative for their clear commitment to open access. This program will lead to improved human well-being.”  

The benefits of open access for science and society are well established. An increasing number of public research funders around the world – including cOAlition S – now mandate that researchers must publish their research in open-access journals.

Frontiers data clearly shows that the industry-funded research published in one of its open-access publications is viewed and cited more than the articles only available behind paywalls. For example, from 2014 to 2018, Frontiers published 1,175 open access articles by authors with funding from 46 pharmaceutical companies. On average, these articles were cited 12 times each. The citation impact of the aggregated articles with funding from a pharmaceutical company and published in a Frontiers title was four times higher than that of other articles in their field.

Arguably, open access to all health sciences research is especially important. It offers researchers, healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers, industry players and everyday people the chance to help save lives, improve healthcare delivery and foster innovation.

The pharmaceutical industry funds around half of biomedical research. Some companies now mandate or encourage researchers to use open-access publishing venues as the benefits of open access become increasingly recognized. Research from Leiden University shows big pharma already publishes a higher proportion of open-access articles than the overall average across the Web of Science.

However, some medical journals have policies that restrict the publication options for commercially-funded research, particularly by limiting the availability of CC BY licenses, which would allow unrestricted content reuse. Frontiers supports Open Pharma in their efforts to make all of this knowledge openly and freely available to the benefit of society. 

Frontiers has one mission: to make science open, allowing us all to lead healthy lives on a healthy planet. As a Gold OA publisher, all content in our growing portfolio of over 70 journals – spanning basic health sciences, pharmacology and clinical medicine – is fully and immediately available OA under CC BY licenses regardless of the funding source.

Frontiers Open Science Platform provides third parties with an award-winning tool for open access publishing. As the fifth most-cited scholarly publisher in the world, Frontiers is living proof that high-quality, peer-reviewed OA publishing generates more impact.

For more information, visit www.frontiersin.org

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About Open Pharma

Open Pharma is a collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, publishers, academics, regulators, patients and other stakeholders in healthcare, exploring how open science innovations can improve the model for medical publishing of research funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

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