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Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

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  • Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

    I applaud Britain?s Medical Research Council and the Welcome Trust requirement that as of October 1st grantees deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts in public databases within 6 months of publication. Hughes Medical Institute is also formulating a policy to require grantees to make their published papers freely accessible. See article in Nature

    The fair and ethical distribution of public health information is essential to provide timely and effective treatment to the world?s vulnerable populations. Current research funded by various government agencies using tax receipts and large foundations also utilizing tax subsidized funding should be disclosed in a ?time is of the essence? manner. Not to do so is a gross violation of the public trust that is either directly or indirectly funding many of these projects.
    Last edited by Extra; October 30, 2006, 04:33 PM. Reason: formatting only

  • #2
    Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

    Current research funded by various government agencies using tax receipts and large foundations also utilizing tax subsidized funding should be disclosed in a ?time is of the essence? manner. Not to do so is a gross violation of the public trust that is either directly or indirectly funding many of these projects.

    Ditto to the above. Most normal government functions must operate with transparency, due to the nature and funding, & the concept should be applied here. How many businesses (non-profits, etc.) receive public funding without accountability/transparency?

    "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


    • #3
      Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

      For those who do not know, FluTrackers is a supporter of "Open Access". Many have cooperated with us due to the importance of pandemic influenza.

      There is quite a large and established movement regarding Open Access that has been ongoing for several years. In fact, several of the "major players" in the pandemic awareness and preparedness efforts have been very involved in this movement.

      It is not a novel idea.

      <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=466 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=content vAlign=top width=456 colSpan=2>Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

      Dated October 2003

      </TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD class=content vAlign=top width=456 colSpan=2><!-- MAIN PAGE CONTENT, ENTER TEXT HERE -->
      The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.
      We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge. Obviously, these developments will be able to significantly modify the nature of scientific publishing as well as the existing system of quality assurance.
      In accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of the Budapest Open Acess Initiative, the ECHO Charter and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, we have drafted the Berlin Declaration to promote the Internet as a functional instrument for a global scientific knowledge base and human reflection and to specify measures which research policy makers, research institutions, funding agencies, libraries, archives and museums need to consider.

      Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.
      In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.
      Definition of an Open Access Contribution
      Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.
      Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:
      1. The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
      2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.
      Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm
      Our organizations are interested in the further promotion of the new open access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and society. Therefore, we intend to make progress by
      • encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.
      • encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.
      • developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions and online-journals in order to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.
      • advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.
      • advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.
      We realize that the process of moving to open access changes the dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and financial aspects. Our organizations aim to find solutions that support further development of the existing legal and financial frameworks in order to facilitate optimal use and access.


      Here are a few links for those interested in the history of Open Access:

      Open Access News in Europe

      Recent and current conferences on OA:

      Open Access Symposium Feb 7, 2007

      Workshop: Open Access und das DINI Zertifikat 2007

      Open Access: How Can We Achieve Quality and Quantity? (sponsored by BioMed Central) Feb 8, 2007

      Panel on open access research Feb 15, 2007 UF


      • #4
        The Alliance for Taxpayer Access

        Organization in the U.S. for Open Access.

        Statement of Principles:
        1. American taxpayers are entitled to open access on the Internet to the peer-reviewed scientific articles on research funded by the U.S. Government.
        2. Widespread access to the information contained in these articles is an essential, inseparable component of our nation's investment in science.
        3. This and other scientific information should be shared in cost-effective ways that take advantage of the Internet, stimulate further discovery and innovation, and advance the translation of this knowledge into public benefits.
        4. Enhanced access to and expanded sharing of information will lead to usage by millions of scientists, professionals, and individuals, and will deliver an accelerated return on the taxpayers' investment.


        • #5
          Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

          Mandate for Public Access to NIH-Funded Research Poised to Become Law
          Full U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To Taxpayer-Funded Research

          Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2007 - The U.S. Senate last night approved the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1710), including a provision that directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to strengthen its Public Access Policy by requiring rather than requesting participation by researchers. The bill will now be reconciled with the House Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar provision, in another step toward support for public access to publicly funded research becoming United States law.
          “Last night’s Senate action is a milestone victory for public access to taxpayer-funded research,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). “This policy sets the stage for researchers, patients, and the general public to benefit in new and important ways from our collective investment in the critical biomedical research conducted by the NIH.”
          Under a mandatory policy, NIH-funded researchers will be required to deposit copies of eligible manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online database, PubMed Central. Articles will be made publicly available no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
          The current NIH Public Access Policy, first implemented in 2005, is a voluntary measure and has resulted in a deposit rate of less than 5&#37; by individual investigators. The advance to a mandatory policy is the result of more than two years of monitoring and evaluation by the NIH, Congress, and the community.
          “We thank our Senators for taking action on this important issue,” said Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. “This level of access to NIH-funded research will impact the disease process in novel ways, improving the ability of scientists to advance therapies and enabling patients and their advocates to participate more effectively. The advance is timely, much-needed, and – we anticipate – an indication of increasingly enhanced access in future.”
          “American businesses will benefit tremendously from improved access to NIH research,” said William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. “The Chamber encourages the free and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge produced by the NIH as it will improve both the public and industry’s ability to become better informed on developments that impact them – and on opportunities for innovation.” The Chamber is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region.

          “We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress for backing this important step,” said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). “Free and timely public access to scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new discoveries are made as quickly as feasible. It’s the right thing to do, given that taxpayers fund this research.” The ASCB represents 11,000 members and publishes the highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.
          Joseph added, “On behalf of the taxpayers, patients, researchers, students, libraries, universities, and businesses that pressed this bill forward with their support over the past two years, the ATA thanks Congress for throwing its weight behind the success of taxpayer access to taxpayer-funded research.”
          Negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet to reconcile their respective bills this fall. The final, consolidated bill will have to pass the House and the Senate before being delivered to the President at the end of the year.


          • #6
            Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

            bump this


            • #7
              Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

              NIH Updates its Public Access Policy FAQ

              The NIH has made significant revisions to its NIH Public Access Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page ( These revisions were posted on May 2, 2008. For your reference, we have detailed the revisions ? which include one blanket change, a series of added questions and answers, and some revisions ?below. Please circulate to anyone who may be interested in or affected by the policy.

              The changes to the FAQ do not point to any changes in the policy or implementation procedures, but rather seem designed to provide additional clarity to those tasked with compliance.

              The changes include:

              A blanket change to the use of the term ?paper? rather than ?article? throughout the FAQ. Presumably, this change was made in response to concerns raised by stakeholders that the term ?article? could be too easily interpreted to mean ?final published article,? rather than the author?s final, accepted manuscript.
              New Questions/Answers:

              Section A. General Information

              Question A4 ? Provides link to sample guidelines that can be used to alert authors to the public access policy.
              Section B. Scope of the Policy

              Question B10 ? Clarifies application of the policy to papers arising from NIH core labs or infrastructure funding.
              Question B11 ? Clarifies term ?directly funded? by NIH.
              Question B12 ? Addresses the compliance responsibilities of sub-recipients of NIH-funding.
              Section C. How to Comply with the Policy

              Question C7 ? Addresses what author should do if a PMCID number has not yet been assigned to their paper.
              Question C8 ? Addresses need for PMCID number to be cited in NIH applications, progress reports and proposals.
              Question C9 - Clarifies how to get required PMCID number to ensure compliance with the policy.
              Question C10 ? Clarifies what NIH might do in the case of failure of investigator/institution to comply with policy.
              Question C11 ? Addresses suggested actions investigator might take if they inadvertently sign agreement with publisher whose policies do not support compliance with the NIH public access requirement.
              Section D. What Needs to be Submitted

              Question D5 ? Addresses ability of investigators to deposit papers that do not arise from NIH funding into PubMed Central.
              Section E. How to Submit Papers to PubMed Central

              Question E4 ? Provides suggestions for steps authors can take to cover publication costs in the event a grant has expired or has insufficient funds to cover costs.
              Question E5 ? Clarifies who should submit paper in the event of multiple authors and/or multiple funding sources.
              Section F. Policy Background

              Question F5 ? Clarifies (lack of) publisher responsibility for compliance with public access policy.
              Question F6 ? Clarifies how copyright holders can ensure effective compliance with public access policy.
              Revisions to Existing Questions/Answers

              Questions B1-B5 ? Expanded to clarify exactly what type of papers/NIH funding the policy applies to.


              • #8
                Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                Public Access to NIH Research (broadcast Friday, April 11th, 2008)

                This week, rules went into effect that say that reports of research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the major medical research funding agency in the United States, must be made freely available after a maximum of one year. A publication based on NIH-funded work is now required to be deposited in a public database. The law says that "The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine?s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law."

                In this segment, Ira talks with former NIH director Harold Varmus, a leading proponent of open access to research and one of the founders of the Public Library of Science, an open-access scientific journal. Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.

                Harold Varmus
                1989 Nobel Laureate, Physiology or Medicine
                Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Public Library of Science (PLoS)

                President, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
                New York, New York

                Related Links
                PubMed Central
                Open Access Publishing
                NIH Public Access Policy


                • #9
                  Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                  Health Institute Begins Open-Access Grant Policy
                  Published On Monday, April 07, 2008 11:15 PM


                  A new policy that will require research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be made accessible for free online went into effect yesterday, according to an announcement from the institute.

                  The open-access requirement, which was announced this January, applies to research accepted for publication from yesterday onward. The policy requires an electronic version of the final, peer-reviewed manuscripts of NIH-funded research be made available to the National Library of Medicine?s PubMed Central within 12 months of the official date of publication.



                  • #10
                    Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                    Thanks Commonground.

                    Open Access Working Group

                    The Open Access Working Group (OAWG), initiated by SPARC, is a group of like-minded organizations that began meeting in the Fall of 2003 to build a framework for collective advocacy of open access to research. The group seeks to build broad-based recognition that the economic and societal benefits of scientific and scholarly research investments are maximized through open access to the results of that research. OAWG aims to bring about changes within stakeholder institutions enabling viable open access models to be widely and successfully implemented and accepted.

                    1. Build recognition of the benefits of openaccess (as articulated by the Budapest Open Access Initiative) among:
                    • patient advocacy organizations and beneficiaries of research investments among the general public,
                    • research funders,
                    • federal policy makers, and
                    • scholars, scientists, and lawyers.
                    2. Encourage research funding agencies to adopt policies that advance open access. 3. Gain active support by academic institutions for open access through:
                    • allocation of funds to support open access,
                    • encouragement of federal policy changes, and
                    • development of favorable institutional intellectual property and academic promotion and tenure policies.
                    Actions The OAWG undertakes collective action in levels of society and physical regions where the interests of its participating organizations are aligned and where its collective voice will achieve greater persuasive force than the individual voice of any single member. As a loosely affiliated working group, not all organizations sign on to all OAWG actions, based on their organization's focus, bylaws, or the needs of their members. Action is taken by subsets of the entire participant roster when appropriate.
                    A list of actions:Participating Organizations
                    • American Association of Law Libraries
                      With over 5,000 members, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) represents law librarians and related professionals who are affiliated with and serve the nearly one million men and women working in the range of U.S. legal institutions: law firms; law schools; corporate legal departments; courts; and local, state and federal government agencies. The association was founded in 1906 to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal and public communities, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information.
                    • American Library Association
                      The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
                    • Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
                      The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) is composed of the directors of libraries of 142 accredited U. S. and Canadian medical schools belonging to or affiliated with the Association of American Medical Colleges. AAHSL's goals are to promote excellence in academic health science libraries and to ensure that the next generation of health practitioners is trained in information seeking skills that enhance the quality of health care delivery, education, and research. The Association influences legislation and policies beneficial to the common good of academic health sciences centers and their libraries, including opportunities related to open access and new models of scholarly communication.
                    • Association of College & Research Libraries
                      The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, represents more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic and research libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.
                    • Association of Research Libraries
                      The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is an association of over 120 of the largest research libraries in North America. The member institutions serve over 160,000 faculty researchers and scholars and more than 4 million students in the U.S. and Canada. ARL&#213;s mission is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. ARL programs and services promote equitable access to and effective use of recorded knowledge in support of teaching, research, scholarship, and community service.
                    • Creative Commons
                      Creative Commons is the collaborative effort of practitioners and theorists of law and technology to help bridge the world of copyright and the public domain. Creative Commons is housed at the Stanford Law School, where we share space, staff, and inspiration with the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.
                    • Greater Western Library Alliance
                      The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) is a consortium of 31 research libraries in 16 states in the greater Midwest and Western U.S. GWLA members share common interests in scholarly communication, resource sharing and staff development projects. GWLA was a founding member of BioOne, an electronic scholarly publishing initiative launched in 2001.
                    • Medical Library Association
                      The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a nonprofit, educational organization of more than 900 institutions and 3,600 individual members in the health sciences information field, with members located in 56 countries. MLA is committed to educating health information professionals, supporting health information research, promoting access to the world's health sciences information, and working to ensure that the best health information is available to all. (Observer)
                    • Open Society Institute
                      The Open Society Institute (OSI) is a private operating and grantmaking foundation, founded and chaired by George Soros, that serves as the hub of the Soros foundations network, a group of autonomous foundations and organizations in more than 50 countries. OSI and the network implement a range of initiatives that aim to promote open societies by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women's rights, as well as social, legal, and economic reform.
                    • Public Knowledge
                      Public Knowledge is a public interest advocacy and education organization that seeks to promote a balanced approach to intellectual property law and technology policy that reflects the "cultural bargain" intended by the framers of the U.S. constitution.
                    • Public Library of Science
                      The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource. PLoS has launched a nonprofit scientific publishing venture that will provide scientists with high-quality, peer-reviewed, high-profile journals in which to publish their most important work, while making the full contents freely available for anyone to read, distribute, or use for their own research.
                    • Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition
                      SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries and organizations working to correct market dysfunctions in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by ARL, SPARC has over 200 member institutions and affiliates in North America and closely collaborates with SPARC Europe, which represents more than 70 additional institutions in Europe. SPARC's strategies and activities support open access and capitalize on the networked environment to disseminate research more broadly.
                    • Special Libraries Association
                      SLA is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves more than 12,000 members in 83 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. (Observer)
                    • Students for Free Culture
                      Students for Free Culture is an international chapter-based student organization that promotes the public interest in intellectual property and information & communications technology policy.


                    • #11
                      Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                      The Lancet 2008; 371:785



                      Clinical knowledge: from access to action

                      When the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences recently voted for a motion on open access, a cold shudder ran through the spine of the traditional publishing community. Harvard plans to claim a ?non exclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide licence to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of his or her scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorise others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit?. Harvard's Provost will be able to ?make the article available to the public in an open-access repository?.
                      The widespread interpretation of this policy is dramatic, even revolutionary. Harvard is making an institutional commitment to open-access publishing. Faculty will be encouraged to deposit their work into a central repository. The University is granting itself a licence to publish its own faculty's work, irrespective of publication elsewhere. The motion therefore precludes exclusive copyright being given to a scientific society or commercial publisher. Advocates of open access have welcomed Harvard's policy. We too see great merit in a university collecting, archiving, and sharing the products of its intellectual endeavour directly with a wider audience. As universities justifiably become ever more global, their need to amplify their international reach will increase. The Lancet understands that several leading universities are now preparing to follow Harvard's example.
                      Meanwhile, the open-access movement is progressing, although more slowly than many of its most zealous advocates would wish. Although BioMed Central has grown substantially during the past 3 years, it has yet to capture the quality end of the research sector. The Public Library of Science has been more successful. It has produced several high-impact journals. Sponsored articles, where access is paid for by a third party (such as a funding body), seem popular. But open archiving has been less successful, although government mandates are likely to increase future publication on internet repositories.
                      How have traditional publishers responded to the research community's interest in wider access to medical science? With too little imagination, according to some critics. The priority for a few medical publishers has been cost-cutting and job losses. This strategy is unlikely to send a positive signal to the medical research community. Add to that the impenetrable language of modern corporate publishing. Phrases such as ?information solutions?, ?decision-support?, and ?e-health? are common. To most doctors, this language means little. It is the rhetoric of an industry that is struggling to come to terms with a rapidly changing approach to health information. Some publishers increasingly seem disconnected from the working lives of doctors.
                      So what do doctors want from the information they use? They want quality and reliability. They want instant access whenever and wherever they need it. They want information in multiple formats, print, podcasts, and online. They want less, not more. They want to stay up-to-date. They want guidelines as well as individual research papers and systematic reviews. They want access to the views of key opinion leaders. They want information that is watermarked in such a way as to ensure its independence and integrity. They want information that is connected: research to reviews, images to text, testing to books. They want information to match their place and activity. Few medical publishers have paid attention to these needs.
                      As the expectations of doctors escalate, and while traditional medical publishers attempt to make more responsive efforts to match those expectations, medicine moves on. Editors and stewards of medical information are confronting a future in which the next 20 years may change more than the past 200. Patients and professionals will be older and our lifestyles will be increasingly damaging to our health. New epidemics of heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal disorders will challenge us. Medical technology will alleviate suffering and add intolerable cost pressures to our health systems. Communication technologies will enable patients to take a more engaged role in their care.
                      What should editors and publishers do? They need to cast dullness to one side, and become leaders instead of followers. They need to start shaping the physician's information world, instead of reacting to it.

                      They need to pay less attention to their financial bottom line, and commit themselves to a larger, more inspiring mission?to join doctors in working to achieve the highest attainable standards of health for the communities they serve. Most medical publishers have forgotten that mission. It is time they returned to it.

                      The Lancet


                      • #12
                        Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                        The Lancet 2008; 371:2084
                        Open-access journals are delivering high impact, and more…
                        Matthew J Cockerill a and Melissa Norton a

                        We welcome The Lancet's Editorial on open-access publishing (March 8, p 785),1 but question the claim that “Although BioMed Central has grown substantially during the past 3 years, it has yet to capture the quality end of the research sector”.

                        Click to enlarge image

                        Impact factors are the most commonly used journal quality metric, and Malaria Journal (ranked number 1 in tropical medicine) is one of many examples of BioMed Central journals with impressive impact factors.
                        Unfortunately, however, Thomson Scientific's failure to track many new open-access journals means that these impact factors still do not provide the full picture.
                        The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is an alternative citation metric based on data from Elsevier's more comprehensive Scopus service, which covers more than 13 000 journals. In the most recent SCImago rankings, two BioMed Central journals, Journal of Biology and Genome Biology, are ranked in the top 0&#183;5% of all journals listed, ahead of all five PLoS titles. More than half of ranked BioMed Central journals are in the top 15% of the SJR listings, indicating that a typical BioMed Central title is substantially more highly cited than the average traditional journal.
                        We also note that, important as high-impact journals are, they do not fully address the challenge of communicating research results. BMC Research Notes and the Journal of Medical Case Reports are two examples of titles that explicitly seek to publish material, such as negative clinical trial results, that is unlikely to deliver a high impact factor. This material nevertheless forms a crucial part of the scholarly record.
                        MN and MC are both employees of BioMed Central, the publisher referred to in the article, and MC has a financial interest in the company.

                        <!--start simple-tail=-->References

                        1. The Lancet. Clinical knowledge: from access to action. Lancet 2008; 371: 785. Full Text | Full-Text PDF (32 KB) | CrossRef
                        Back to top

                        <!--end simple-tail-->Affiliations

                        a. BioMed Central Ltd, 34-42, Cleveland Street, London W1T 4LB


                        • #13
                          Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                          Some science publishers are slowly adding a few articles in each journal issue that are open access (publicly accessible). This loosening of access to journal nonsubscribers has unseen social benefits.

                          Ideally, if you want to tackle the most pressing public health issues, you must make access to important articles both timely and open (free and immediately accessed online at the time of publication).

                          Thankfully, a growing number of journals are opting to allow free access to older, on-line (year or more) issues. That's helped many scientists obtain articles necessary for their research who would otherwise not read these articles for many months or years after publication (due to excessive access registration costs). Combine that number with the slowly increasing number of top journals allowing free public access to a small number of select articles within each subscription-only issue - the present trend in publisher altruism - and you have our present trend that affords many-fold return on public and private institutional research investment.

                          Most of you don't know that institutional (library) access costs have skyrocketed in the past two decades - despite the dramatic drop in actual publication costs as electronic media technology (document processing, faster computers, global expansion of the Internet, and publication support software) became widely available.

                          Journal subscription costs to individuals have also not declined appreciably, despite the growing number of subscribers opting to purchase on-line only access options.

                          These costs have slowly eroded fiscal resources of institutions and individuals to acquire access rights to professional science and engineering publications. A recent counter-movement, in the trickle of open-access journals and a more limited number of either select articles or older issue free access, offsets subscriber budget limitations to research report dissemination- the basis of effective application of research investment expenditures (also an intrinsically altruistic activity).

                          It's time for science and technology professional publishing houses and journal editors to step forward and allow papers published on the most pressing infectious and chronic disease conditions affecting both humans and their disease propagation vectors/causes to be made immediately accessible to the public at no cost.

                          In contrast to human health/medicine publications, depressing few papers are publicly accessible in certain fields (environmental pollution, water and soil quality/ecology/erosion), despite overwhelming evidence that these factors play an important role in human health, by exerting tremendous real costs on global society. Professional publications dedicated to water supply science and infrastructure technology are especially difficult to obtain as free public access articles.

                          This omission of access exerts a supreme cost: an artificial limit on the number of human minds and careers dedicated to resolving issues that costs society dearly for remedial efforts.


                          • #14
                            Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                            Thank you Oracle.


                            • #15
                              Re: Ethics, Public Health and Open Access

                              House committee to hold hearing on public access to publicly funded research

                              <!-- end <&#37;headline&#37;> --> <!-- start <%pubdate%> --> Published Jul 20, 2010 <!-- end <%pubdate%> -->

                              <!-- start <%content%> --> Support for public access expands in Congress

                              For immediate release
                              July 20, 2010
                              For more information, contact:
                              Jennifer McLennan
                              (202) 296-2296 ext. 121
                              jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

                              Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the United States’ more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.
                              The Subcommittee’s interest stems from the growing number of visible expressions of interest in the issue of public access that have surfaced in recent months, in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Notably, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy earlier this year hosted a Public Access Policy Forum on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information.
                              Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the published results of the research they fund.

                              According to the notice:

                              “The hearing will examine the state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology, and medicine. The hearing will assess and delineate the complex issues surrounding public access policies. The hearing will afford an opportunity for representatives from the areas of publishing, science and research, education and patient care to provide perspective on challenges, potential impact and opportunities regarding increased access.”

                              This open, public hearing will be held Thursday, July 29, at 2:00 PM in Rayburn House Office Building, room 2154.