Posts Tagged ‘open access’

White House launches Data.gov

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

The federal government’s new website, part of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative, “increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government.” While the site currently provides only a sample of federal datasets from a relative handful of government agencies such as the CDC and FDA, the true benefit of the project (which does plan growth over time) is the manner in which the data can be viewed. Datasets can be obtained in either XML, CVS/TXT, KML/KMZ or ESRI, and are sometimes available in multiple formats (including maps and visualizations).

- X. Avalos

Open Access Limits Intellectual Freedom

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I just ran across an editorial, Preserving Intellectual Freedom in Clinical Medicine, from Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics that was posted last October. Giovanni A. Fava raises a number of issues in the piece, some of which are quite familiar to us, such as the role of corporate interests in medical research. He cites one study that found that of 74 FDA registered trials of antidepressants, 37 of 38 trials with positive results were published, but only 3 of the 36 trials with negative results saw the light of day.

There has been much publicity of the way drug companies consciously and unconsciously exert influence over research and publication. What made this editorial stand out was his claim that open access publishing also can negatively impact intellectual freedom in the life sciences. As more and more journals move to an author pays open access model, independent researchers who don’t have the leverage of large grants to help pay these fees are forced to publish in journals whose content becomes harder to find in our current state of information glut.

Interesting claim. Anyone?

– Dan Lee