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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is starting its own open-access publishing endeavor, Nature News reports.

The foundation, which funds scientific research to the tune of $4 billion a year, put a new policy into force earlier this year that requires investigators it supports to make their papers freely available upon publication, the Economist notes. This policy has meant that Gates-funded researchers cannot publish in some top-tier journals that charge for access.

The Gates Foundation has now announced that it will pay for research it funds to be added to a repository of freely available papers, the Economist adds. Nature News notes that the charity is following on the heels of the Wellcome Trust, which, last year, began to offer a service managed by the open-access publishing platform F1000Research that makes scholarly articles quickly accessible after a "sanity check" by in-house editors. The manuscripts then undergo peer review after publication and the names of the reviewers are published.

For Gates Open Research, also powered by F1000Research, the foundation will cover the article processing charges, though it will have no editorial control, Nature News adds.

"We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated," spokesperson Bryan Callahan tells Nature News. "Our research saves lives."

The Economist adds that this and similar efforts could lead to a "future for scientific publication that, if not completely journal-free, is likely to be at least, 'journal-lite.'"