Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Communicating research results to research participants

David I. Shalowitz and Franklin G. Miller, Communicating the Results of Clinical Research to Participants: Attitudes, Practices, and Future Directions, PLoS Medicine, May 13, 2008.  Excerpt:

...Available data consistently indicate that research participants want aggregate and clinically significant individual study results made available to them. Participants' desires do not necessarily determine policy, but respect for participants requires taking their preferences seriously....

Comment.  This leads to a simple and powerful argument for OA.  Most research subjects are not faculty members with prepaid access to a large body of journal literature.  The easiest and most direct way to give them access to the results is to make the results OA, either through an OA journal or an OA repository.  Researchers could mail digital or print offprints to each participant, but that could easily cost more than OA, especially if the journal charges a fee for the reproduction and distribution of offprints.