Open access (90) E-BIOMED and PubMed Central

9 September, 2019

Dear Amelia,

E-BIOMED became PubMed Central. See the extract below from the introduction to an interview I did with Varmus in 2006.

"Over the next few months there was a heated public (and private) debate. In the end, however, the strength of opposition from publishers was so great that when, eight months later, E-BIOMED was launched (re-branded as PubMed Central) it was a pale shadow of the revolutionary new 'electronic publications' system that Varmus had envisioned. Significantly, he had had to concede that publishers would have the final say on whether papers they published were placed in PubMed Central. And publisher response was derisory: even today, papers from only 251 of a possible 6,000 biomedical journals are made available on PubMed Central, and the content of some of these journals is only released after an embargo of between six and twelve months."

Since then deposit in PubMed Central has improved, thanks mainly to the NIH Public Access Policy.

Best wishes,


HIFA profile: Richard Poynder is an Independent Journalist at Open & Shut in the UK. Email address: richard.poynder AT