[Insight-users] OPEN ACCESS: "The chain of communication in health science: from researcher to health worker through open access"

Luis Ibanez luis.ibanez at kitware.com
Sat Sep 11 12:58:35 EDT 2010


"The chain of communication in health science: from researcher to health
worker through open access"

Globally, the public and private sectors spend billions of dollars each year
on biomedical and health-related research. Yet in many parts of the world,
health care systems are far from achieving the health outcomes targeted by
the UN Millennium Development Goals The reasons for this disparity are
complex, but one key factor that has been consistently identified is the
failure to translate research into effective policy and practices. Not
surprisingly, then, health agencies and funding bodies around the world are
paying closer attention to what is now generally described as “knowledge
translation,” developing mechanisms that “strengthen communication between
health researchers and users of health knowledge, enhance capacity for
knowledge uptake, and accelerate the flow of knowledge into beneficial
health applications.”1<http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/viewArticle/298/245#ref1>

At the same time, research funding agencies are recognizing that a key
component of the knowledge translation process is ensuring that the primary
research resulting from their funding is shared as widely as possible. As
Robert Terry, a former senior policy adviser at the Wellcome Trust, the
largest private charitable medical funding agency in the UK, said, “Just
funding the research is a job only half done. A fundamental part of [our]
mission is to ensure the widest possible dissemination and unrestricted
access to that research.”2<http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/viewArticle/298/245#ref2>The
Wellcome Trust believes that maximizing access to the research they
will increase the health applications and benefits of that research. As a
result, since 2005 the Trust has made it a condition that all those
receiving grants must deposit electronic copies of journal articles
resulting from Wellcome funding into the UK PubMed Central open access
repository within 6 months of

One of the first groups to require deposit of articles in open access
institutional repositories (IRs) was Research Councils UK, which includes
the Medical Research Council. More recently, the US National Institutes of
Health (NIH), the world’s largest medical funding body, made it mandatory
for researchers to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that
result from NIH funding to PubMed Central. This requirement was made into
law by the US Congress, which passed the Public Access Policy (Consolidated
Appropriations Act,
the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) enacted an open
access policy requiring authors who received CIHR funding to make their
publications openly available within 6 months of publication. In addition,
CIHR grant recipients are required to deposit bioinformatics, as well as
atomic and molecular coordinate data, into the appropriate public database
immediately upon publication of research results (e.g., nucleic acid
sequences must be deposited into

Full article at
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