Tag Archives: open access

Oops! That ‘Open Door Forum’ won’t be off the record after all

Reporters were taken aback on Monday when they received an invitation to a national phone call billed as an “Open Door Forum” – with instructions that remarks made on this public call would not be on the record.

After AHCJ inquired, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that the call would, in fact, be on the record and that the off-the-record requirement was included by mistake. Continue reading

AHCJ clarifies statement on medical meeting rules

The Association of Health Care Journalists has posted a clarification to a March announcement concerning restrictions on reporters who cover meetings at which medical societies present scientific findings.

The original announcement said that eight organizations ban photography and recording, and AHCJ wrote letters asking them to lift their bans. AHCJ has since learned that only four have outright prohibitions, while the others have varying degrees of restrictions.

“We regret overstating the problem,” said Felice J. Freyer, chair of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee. “We now know that not all the groups named are equally restrictive. But we continue to be concerned about rules that make it difficult for reporters to get complete, accurate stories. We will strive to work with these organizations to find ways to satisfy both their needs and those of our members.”

Open access to research recognized this week

It’s Open Access week! Time to honor the principle that scientific research should be made available for free online immediately upon publication, a principle that’s served health journalists pretty well over the past few years. Universities, government organizations and other groups around the world will celebrate by opening up more information and drawing attention to the principles that drive the open access movement.

Open Access flagship reaches milestone

On Oct. 19, PLoS Medicine, openaccessa prominent and pioneering open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science, turned five. The Public Library of Science is a nonprofit funded by charging authors publication fees, and by private donors. In addition to PLoS Medicine, it publishes six other journals covering biology and medical science.

PubMed goes Canadian

One of the greatest triumphs of open access has been PubMed Central, in which all NIH-funded research is made available for free, usually within 12 months of publication. Both the U.S. and U.K. have their own PubMed systems, and now Canada’s getting one too. PubMed Central Canada, created by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Research Council’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, will take its first steps, launching its manuscript submission system as part of the week’s festivities.

AHCJ: Proposal would be blow to public access

Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 3 “would constitute a blow to the public’s right to access vital scientific data” if it goes forward, according to a statement by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)

The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. and others, would reverse a National Institutes of Health policy that requires federal research grantees to provide their peer-reviewed articles to PubMed Central, a free online database. Under the existing policy, manuscripts resulting from federally-funded research must be made publicly available within 12 months of their publication date.

Read AHCJ’s statement.


See what others are saying about the proposed legislation:

Medscape drops publication of articles

The Medscape Journal of Medicine announced Friday that it is ceasing publication of new articles.

The Journal was one element of the Medscape Web site, which will continue “focusing on our role as an aggregator and interpreter of medical information and not as the primary source for original scientific articles.”  The announcement says “all previously published articles will remain published and available on the Medscape platform, indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed, and – for the next several years – in full text at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ as well.”

Ivan Oransky, managing editor for online at Scientific American and an AHCJ board member, writes about the changes and about open access medical journals in general.