Open Access for Clinical Data

I am so excited by the open access movement and all the traction it is getting. The benefits of sharing research, and data, are immense. National Public Radio (NPR) in the US have recently had a segment (listen here), and written an article, about the proposal by leading medical journals to require researchers to publicly share their data.

The concept is relatively simple. If you want to be published, you must share the data collected in your clinical studies, which until now has been rarely done.

The article discusses the reasons researchers may not want to share, an interesting discussion detailing issues that I had not been aware of. However, from my reading, it seems these issues for the individual researcher are far outweighed by the benefits to the greater population.

For example, some “researchers have felt that they deserved the right to future papers for all their hard work gathering the original data. And maybe they didn’t want others examining their work.” Fair enough I suppose. But then, this “neglects the key role that independent scientists can play in bringing new insights and also in validating the quality of the data that were collected. Access is also central to the scientific method and the idea of replication to establish the truth.”

By not sharing, and protecting one’s own interests, scientific progress is impeded. Not only does sharing allow for greater possibilities of additional knowledge being gained, it also ensures an extra check and balance on those who may try to draw dubious conclusions.

I believe this incentive to share, provided by the medical journals, is an important move. I hope it is adopted by the medical community and extends to many other research fields. If you’d like to comment on this proposal, you can submit your feedback on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors website.



A new role in the new year

Hello wonderful readers,

With the beginning of 2016, I am pleased to announce that I am now officially a content officer for the International Librarians Network.

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I have been a part of this group since 2014, taking part in their peer mentoring program and generally encouraging fellow librarians to get involved. (It really is a great initiative!)

So now, I am lucky enough to be able to write for their website and become more involved in the discussion topics throughout the year. Do join up and keep an eye out for my posts! You can see ‘The year in my library‘ and ‘Starting work as a graduate when you have limited work experience‘ which are up now, with many more to come.

This does however mean that my writings in this blog may become less frequent, and I thank you for your understanding and for your interest generally.

And so, in the particularly relevant words of Charles Montgomery “Monty” Burns;

In closing, gentle reader, I’d like to thank you. `What’s that?’ you say? Me thanking you? No, it’s not a misprint, for you see, I enjoyed writing this [blog] as much as you enjoyed reading it.

😉 Until next time.

New Legal Deposit Legislation for Australia Takes Effect

New legislation will come into effect this month to extend legal deposit to cover online publishing.

Legal Deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968 for publishers and self publishing authors to deposit a copy of works published in Australia with the National Library and when applicable, the deposit libraries in your home state. Legal Deposit ensures that Australian publications are preserved for use now and in the future.

The National Library of Australia.

Visit the website and check out the fact sheet below for a good summary of what this means!