Tiziano Barberi: Impact of open access in biomedical research
Tiziano Barberi (PhD, senior scientist in the laboratory of Stem Cell and Tumor Biology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York)
Session: Science, Technology and Economy
Round table: Open Access to Science
Impact of open access in biomedical research
Open access to science comes from one of the initiatives of the Open Society Institute (OSI). It started in 2001, after a meeting held in Budapest, where a group of leading proponents signed an agreement called the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI). The BOAI settled for the free access to scientific and scholarly journals literature through the public Internet. Several meetings followed the one in Budapest and in 2003 after a meeting held in Bethesda, Maryland, a group of leading scientists and publishers agreed to start open access publications of the latest research in biomedical sciences. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) and BiomednetCentral (BMC) are currently leading this type of initiative publishing several peer reviewed journals in different fields of biology and medicine. Recently, the official journal of the American Society for Clinical Investigations (JCI) also became an open access journal. This new trend aims at allowing a fast, unlimited and cost-free access to high impact peer-reviewed research. Although in the biomedical research field, the latest research and technology outcomes are made public, this initiative will cut the access cost to the leading journals favoring, especially in the developing countries, competition, exchange of ideas and will stimulate the growth of research. The impact of this initiative in the global research community is indeed positive, however for the general public, the free access to science will not enhance the perception and understanding of specialized research. Intermediary specialized press could translate the scientific language into an idiom understandable to lay persons, without distorting the original scientific data.