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

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:44:34 -0800

Why are you presenting these are mutually exclusive?

There is no single solution that works for all patients. Some want
to, and are equipped to, take advantage of the relevant medical
literature. Others need more synthesized information. We need to make
sure that both types of information are available. But casting open
access and PubMed Central as being somehow opposed to the idea of
more highly developed patient-oriented information is either crazy or

What we should all encourage is to take the money saved by switching
from fee-for-access publishing to open access publishing and use it
to develop far richer and more useful interpretive material targeted
at multiple audiences - patients, physicians, students, etc...

On Jan 29, 2007, at 2:42 PM, Peter Banks wrote:

> I am making no such argument, and never have.
> The argument is not that much of the public can't understand primary
> biomedical literature and therefore shouldn't have access to it (in
> fact, as
> a medical publisher I made more such literature freely available
> than many
> open access publishers). The argument is that one should not
> promote OA, as
> Sen. Cornyn ignorantly did, mainly on the basis of benefit to
> patients,
> because it has very little for most people.
> If you doubt me, try visiting a diabetes or cancer clinic for day
> and see
> what kinds of questions patients are asking and what kind of
> information
> they truly need. People are are trying to understand complex medical
> treatment options, are in shock because of a serious diagnosis, and
> who are
> overwhelmed in their encounters with the medical system are not in
> state to
> make use of complex literature. They need patient-oriented
> information that
> offers reassurance, explanation, and hope.
> Not to respond to patients' true needs is what is elitist and
> reprehensible.
Received on Tue Jan 30 2007 - 02:07:17 GMT

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