Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A welcome second-best in Scotland

Graham Steel is active in patient advocacy, especially for those with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).  But he doesn't have an institutional affiliation, and therefore doesn't have access to TA medical journals. 

NHS Scotland grants access to the medical literature it licenses --"over 5000 online journals, over 80 major databases, over 5000 electronic books"-- to all NHS Scotland staff, students and partners, and just decided that Steel qualifies because of his patient advocacy. 

From Steel's blog account:

I appear to have qualified since I genuinely am involved in Patient Advocacy here in Scotland. I am advised that this service in UK terms, is currently only available in Scotland.

IMHO this means that anyone in Scotland who for example is providing care/help/ support to a relative/friend/patient etc. should, like any other member of the public, also qualify for an Athens login, cut through "Toll Access" red tape and gain access to publicly funded research etc. that they have already paid for.

Which brings me to a common sense solution

But of course, better and much simpler still, in this day and age, is of course to make such material OA in the first place and rid ourselves of an unnecessary and unwanted "password only" Draconian System !

PS:  Kudos to NHS Scotland for opening the door to Steel and others like him.