Re: PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access: excerpts from article in Nature Magazine

From: Heather Morrison <heatherm_at_ELN.BC.CA>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 15:06:46 -0800

Patients and their families can benefit from reading the research
literature themselves, as is their right when they as taxpayers have
paid for it.

However, patients and families also benefit indirectly from public
access, when their health care professionals, educational
institutions training health professionals, and others (including
politicians, public servants, journalists and freelance writers) have
more access to the research literature.

With subscription access, there is a tremendous difference in access
for the health care practitioner in the large urban centre,
particularly one at a research / teaching hospital, and the health
care practitioner in the smaller community.

Access to the medical literature enhances opportunities for ongoing
professional development for these practitioners; for the patient,
this means service from a more knowledgeable provider overall, as
well as increasing the chances of benefiting from the results of more
recent research.

The same difference in access applies to educational institutions
outside of major centers, many of which play a key role in training
nurses and other allied health professionals. A small college in a
rural centre is unlikely to have more than a fraction of the
resources for subscriptions that is available at a large research
library. Expanded access to the research literature gives
professors in these institutions a means of keeping up, and keeping
educational programs more up to date.

Politicians and public servants at all levels have the means to make
better informed policy decisions when they have direct access to
research results.

Everyone can have access to more informed consumer health information
when mediary professionals, such as journalists and freelance
writers, have direct access to the research results.

Heather Morrison
Received on Tue Jan 30 2007 - 00:58:09 GMT

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