Wednesday 2 September 2009

FOCUS ON: The DC Principles Coalition

The DC Principles Coalition has been an important voice in the on-going debate about changes to scholarly publishing, and an extremely active and influential one.

Marty Frank (American Physiological Society) explains more about the DC Principles Group and why it started:

"The seeds for the DC Principles Coalition for Free Access to Science were planted at the 2003 meeting of publishers working with HighWire. The group had been monitoring the efforts of advocates for changes in scholarly communication, finding themselves frustrated by calls for open access and complaints about the high cost of scholarly publications, especially those published by commercial companies. As not-for-profit publishers, the group considers themselves responsible partners with the academy, producing reasonably priced scholarly journals. As a result, a group of not-for-profit scholarly publishers, led by representatives from the American Physiological Society, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Association for Cancer Research, created the DC Principles Coalition in 2004 providing a voice for not-for-profit publishers (

Coalition members believe it appropriate to make the full-text of their journals freely available to everyone worldwide either immediately or within months of publication, depending on each publisher’s business & publishing requirements. Unfortunately, funding agencies do not agree with that philosophy, mandating free access without demonstrating any concern about the viability of the journals that the scientific community relies upon. As a group, representatives of the DC Principles Coalition have written to our elected representatives, met with administration leadership, and testified before Congress on legislation and policies that impact upon our ability to publish scholarly works. The Coalition is comprised of 73 publishers with nearly 400 journals ranging from top-tier medical and research to small niche publications. The societies that make up the Coalition represent over 700,000 individual members. They publish over 100,000 articles annually with approximately 20% of them based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Coalition represents a diverse group of not-for-profit publishers believing in free access with some making their content available after 2 years, while others immediately or after 2 months because one policy does not fit the needs of all publishers."

ALPSP is supportive of the DC Principles Coalition; if your organization believes in the free access as defined by your organization’s business and publishing requirements, consider joining the DC Principles Coalition by completing the form available at

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