BMJ - Head To Head: Should I publish in an open access journal? (2) Open access: remember the patients

18 April, 2019

In my message a few minutes ago I wrote:

"It would be interesting also to know the level of support for OA across different specialties, different groups of health professionals (and researchers), and different countries."

I then turned the page and realised I should have included patients in the above sentence. This commentary (Open access: remember the patients) from patient advocate Professor deBronkart notes:

'When we fund research, the scope of that work is set to extend only to the creation of the new knowledge, not to its dissemination. This is the cause of all of the heartbreak, lost lives, and other scientific shortfalls (including new forms of bias) that can arise from making publication a separate budget item. What if we were to rethink it from the perspective of sick people and decide that the work of knowledge creation isn’t finished until it’s been disseminated to all of them? If my sister dies because new knowledge was successfully developed but wasn’t present at the point of need, whose failure is it? Whose finances were successfully protected, at the cost of her life?'

CITATION: Open access: remember the patients

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 18 April 2019)

Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1545

The above article is freely available to all.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: