In fight against coronavirus, reputed journals offer free access

As the confirmed cases and deaths caused by novel coronavirus spirals, reputed journals have opened access to research works to help researchers come up with a treatment for the infection.

More than 80 journals known for publishing path-breaking research papers have announced free access to the research work on the virus, also known as 2019-nCoV.

Publishers, in a joint statement announced, along with free access, scientific research would be published at the fastest speed.

"To assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre," the journal said.

"This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access," it added.

Screenshot from The Lancet website

Screenshot from The Lancet website

In a similar move, Elsevier created Novel Coronavirus Information Center, and Nature wrote an editorial seeking international research community to "sharing, stay open" their work.

"Nature and its publisher Springer Nature have now signed a joint statement with other publishers, funders and scientific societies to ensure the rapid sharing of research data and findings relevant to the coronavirus," said the editorial published on February 4.

"The priority now is to stop the virus's spread and help those affected," it added.

Elsevier's webpage of the novel coronavirus

Elsevier's webpage of the novel coronavirus

The outbreak has claimed more than 500 lives, the number of confirmed cases, which is increasing every day, has reached up to 28,060 till February 6. The virus has also affected other countries, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a global emergency.

One of the major challenges faced by researchers, pharmaceutical giants is to find a diagnosis for the virus that could save hundreds of lives. The new strain of the virus affects the lower respiratory system of humans, infecting the lungs, making it one of the deadly diseases.

The human-to-human transfer of the virus has drastically increased the transmission rate. Globally, researchers are burning the midnight oil to find an effective course of medication to deal with the virus.

Concerned over a large number of deaths and risks faced by frontline health workers, Wellcome, an open access publishing platform, said that the outbreak in China represents a significant and urgent threat to global health.

"All peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are made immediately open access, or freely available at least for the duration of the outbreak," a statement released by Wellcome said.

"We intend to apply the principles of this statement to similar outbreaks in the future," it added.

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(Inputs by Pan Zhaoyi, Alok Gupta)