Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Canadian biomedical research gets central repository


Two years ago, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) mandated that all studies funded by taxpayer-backed grants be made freely accessible within six months of publication. The problem was there was no central repository to store all these papers, so manuscripts tended to be kept on a hodgepodge of publishers’ websites, institutional repositories and elsewhere.

Now there’s a solution. As of today, researchers can submit their final peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC) Canada, the north-of-the-border spin-off of the US National Institutes of Health’s PMC, a free digital archive of biomedical journal paper.

PMC Canada — a partnership between the CIHR, US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information — provides an extra working copy of the PMC database and allows Canadian developers to custom-tailor their own repository. The Canadian site joins Britain’s UKPMC, launched in 2007, as a part of the larger PMC International network.

“We now have another partner in the network,” NLM’s Ed Sequeira, project manager of PMC, told Nature Medicine. “It’s actually better to know that you have some back up.”

Papers deposited on any PMC site will be available throughout the PMC network and around the world. The first papers should start being deposited in the PMC Canada repository over the next few weeks, according to a CIHR spokesperson.

“The global movement to provide barrier-free access to research is gaining strength and with good reason,” Ian Graham, CIHR’s vice president of knowledge translation, said in a press release.


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