Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 25, 2004

Making good medical research more prominent online

Peter Levine, What Should be the Role of Government-Supported Medical websites? Libres, September 2004. Abstract: "The National Library of Medicine produces websites for the general public that are supposed to meet official standards of scientific rigor. These sites exist in the context of the World Wide Web, where anyone is able to make claims about medical science and recommend treatment. Medical sites that are sponsored or endorsed by the government are not especially prominent online. For those who trust the medical profession, the failure of the official sites to draw the lion's share of public attention is a problem, and government medical sites should be more aggressively promoted. However, the official sites have provoked controversy and criticism. Those who are skeptical of the 'medical establishment' may welcome the pluralism and diversity of views available on the Internet; they may oppose efforts to channel viewers to official sites. This paper argues in favor of the government-sponsored sites, but with some caveats." (PS: Open access to NIH-funded research will definitely make this high-quality body of literature more visible and easier for researchers and lay readers alike to find, retrieve, and read.)