The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) have announced that they have joined the Europe PMC funders group. Their membership means that the outputs of the research they fund will be freely available via Europe PMC. Europe PMC now has the support of 26 funding organisations.
Europe PMC is a free, worldwide biomedical and life science information resource. Europe PMC provides free access to nearly 3 million full-text biomedical research articles, over 23 million abstracts from PubMed and 4 million biological and patent records. This content is discoverable via an integrated full-text and abstract search, and includes citation information and links to research databases.
WHO provides leadership on global health matters, shapes the health research agenda, articulates evidence-based policy options, and monitors and assesses health trends. By making their research outputs available through Europe PMC, WHO is enabling more people to access and act upon relevant health information, and providing the opportunity for timely interventions and developments that build on this available information.
NC3Rs is an independent scientific organisation that supports innovation and technological developments that replace or reduce the need for animals in research and testing. By joining Europe PMC, these advances can be shared and incorporated more widely, thus contributing to ethically sound research practise.
Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General of the WHO Health Systems and Innovation cluster, says: "WHO is delighted to join Europe PubMed Central. WHO’s open access policy is central to our commitment to universal access to information. Europe PMC will provide the platform for researchers to freely access and reuse WHO-authored and WHO-funded research, for the benefit of global health."
Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "We are delighted that WHO has joined Europe PMC and hope this paves the way for other organisations to participate in this repository. We believe that providing free, unrestricted access to research articles helps to maximise the impact of research spend, and are pleased that WHO-funded research outputs will now be added to the growing corpus of open access content."
Europe PMC is managed and developed by EMBL-EBI on behalf of Europe PMC’s funders. Since 2006, Europe PMC has grown from being a simple mirror of the US National Center for Biotechnology Information’s PubMed Central database to being a standalone site, providing critical infrastructure for European funders who require open access for their research outputs. The decision of WHO to join the expanded Europe PMC resource comes at a time when providing free access to research outputs continues to be championed at the highest levels within the UK and Europe. Europe PMC is playing a vital role in realising these ambitions.