Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Open Access Provides a Forum That Can Save Lives

The following is from Peter Suber's Open Access News site. It is an excellent example of how the open access approach to publishing new medical research findings can help save lives:

Denys N. Wheatley, Cell biology as the basis of a better understanding of cancer, Cancer Cell International, November 30, 2005.
Abstract: Clinicians will argue that cancer can only really receive the treatment that is needed through thorough understanding of medicine. However, even empirical approaches to therapy result in experimental analysis of the agencies involved on test cells, usually in culture. From the obverse perspective, cell biologists will argue that until we fully understand cell cycle regulation, tumour management will be too imprecise to make the best advances. A forum is needed whereby the fundamental studies on cells prior to, during and after transformation in vitro can be freely reported (open access) and discussed. The action of anticancer agents and cancer preventative substances can more easily be studied in vitro before the often excessive complexity of making similar studies in experimental and human cancers is tackled. Cancer Cell International is committed to providing such a forum. Ironically within a few months of launching this open access journal, Elsevier had much the same idea, and there one has to pay for the privilege of downloading vital papers in this biomedical field.

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