Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Open Access for the Australian Medical Librarian

Andrew Waller & I have just posted a copy of our latest article, Open Access for the Australian Medical Librarian, in E-LIS.

This is an updated and revised version of our "Open Access for the Medical Librarian", published in the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association in 2005.


“An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good” (Budapest Open Access Initiative)1. Recent events are transforming the possibility of this unprecedented public good into a reality, with medical literature leading the way. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists close to 3,200 fully open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals as of February 2008. More than 400 of the journals in DOAJ are in the health sciences. DOAJ is growing rapidly, adding more than 1.5 titles per calendar day. PubMedCentral (PMC) is the world’s largest open access archive, with well over a million items. An international network, PMC International, is envisioned, with copies of the whole archive around the world for preservation and security, as well as a local option for deposit. Watch for rapid growth of PMC as medical research funders, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, the U.K. Medical Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, among others, are requiring public or open access to the research they fund. There are implications, and leadership opportunities, for librarians in the open access environment.