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Wilkommen to my blog - my name is Karin Purshouse, and I'm a doctor in the UK. If you're looking for ramblings on life as a junior doctor, my attempts to dual-moonlight as a scientist and balancing all that madness with a life, you've come to the right place. I'm currently a doctor/research trainee in oncology after spending a year doing research in the USA. All original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Open Access - advantageous for all

Sea.... sun.... sand.... well, it's out there, but I'm spending rather more time indoors at the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting in Bournemouth.  One full day down has seen debates regarding key issues affecting medical students and junior doctors, the health reforms, health inequalities... to name but a few.

I'm delighted to report that the BMA voted to support Open Access, and to support the work of the Right to Research Coalition!  Great that the medical profession, from medical students up to senior doctors and GPs support Open Access.

I read this paper today which evaluates how successful openly published papers are - very, apparently.  It offers a brief meta-analysis of papers that explore Open Access citation advantage.  It suggests that the majority of papers published with free availability are more heavily cited - a 300-450% advantage for medical papers.  It makes complete sense - the more people who can read your work, the more likely it is to be cited - but it's heartening to see it in figures and numbers.  Having intercalated and spent a few months in a lab with full-time scientists, it is clear that having your work published and cited is absolutely fundamental to the ongoing success of research groups and therefore scientific progress.  Further evidence that we must promote Open Access to help spread the word and drive research forward.

As Professor Averil Mansfield, Chairman of the Board of Science at the BMA, reminded us today, doctors have a powerful role to play in promoting issues we believe are important, raising their profile to both the government and the public.  She spoke about what has been done to tackle smoking, obesity, road safety, illicit drug use - it just shows that we must use our voice across a broad range of issues, and Open Access must be no different.  

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