Pan Access: The Need for Open Access

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Join. Contribute. Make A Difference.
Join. Contribute. Make A Difference.

Abstract:

Valuable information from all over the world is being overlooked because the information is not being provided to the key players. Access to the information is becoming more open, but there are still many barriers to publishing high quality information.  We at InfectionControl.tips are introducing “Pan-Access Publishing,” whereby anyone who can provide high-quality evidence can submit their article and have it peer-reviewed and published without incurring any costs.

Main Article:

In the past 20 years, there has been a huge rise in the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria and fungi.  Previously curable infections have become lethal to some patients, and the number keeps rising.  The casual overuse of front line antibiotics has actually driven this evolution of bacteria, and put us into our current predicament.

In the last 20 years, there HAVE ONLY BEEN A FEW antibiotic discoverIES

Coupled with the increasing ineffectiveness of antibiotics, there has also been an absence in the discovery of new antibiotics. From the 1940’s to the 1980’s, there was a discovery boom for new antibiotics.  Newer antibiotics were being discovered regularly and even if antibiotic resistance did develop, there were multiple back up antibiotics that could be employed.  In the last 20 years, there have only been a few antibiotic discoveries, and it is not enough to combat the rise of resistant microorganisms.

One of the reasons that antibiotics have been used so casually is the lack of education behind proper use.  Many studies have developed proper practices, but the access to this information and more importantly, implementation of these policies has been extremely limited.

There is no resource for easily accessible information related to infection control and prevention

Currently, there is no resource for easily accessible information related to infection control and prevention.  Every country has (with varying degrees of efficacy) public health organizations that produce tons of data that is supposed to be delivered to the public, but the public rarely reads this information, and its comprehension is not ensured.

The majority of new scientific findings are published in scientific journals. Although this is great to ensure high quality literature is published, it is also a very closed-off system.  Accessing each publication costs between $40 and $70 per article, and often times, up to 30 articles may be required to obtain a comprehensive understanding of a topic. There is a small shift towards open access articles, where readers are not required to pay fees to read articles. However, publication of articles in both open access and traditional articles is quite costly. To publish in most journals, an average publication fee of $2000 USD is required. This prevents researchers with little financial support from truly making a difference in their field.

Pan-Access

The world is undergoing a global crisis, and information dissemination is a huge barrier to properly tackling this issue. Every day, more and more information is being revealed by the stakeholders in global health; including researchers, healthcare workers and policy leaders. However, with limited access to funds, these crucial ideas are not being disseminated.

By introducing Pan-Access Publication, these barriers are all eliminated.  Through the removal of publication fees, authors are able to publish all important information to the public without grant support or even self-funding. Unfortunately, funding is typically only provided to a small subset of researchers, who publish the majority of the literature in any given field. Additionally, as the publication process is costly, and often depends on funding, publication of results may take months to years to be completed.  As studies can be performed without this concern, Pan-Access results can be published in nearly real-time.

Pan-Access Publication does not mean a decrease in quality. Similar to traditional journals, all articles are reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts, who can ultimately decide to publish or reject articles.

Finally, Pan-Access Publications are available to everyone.  Regardless of education level, institutional affiliation, or even financial resources, all information published via Pan-Access Publications will be provided without restriction to anyone who may benefit from it. Collaboration from all parties is the key to improving our future, and Pan-Access publishing is a key step towards this.

Join. Contribute. Make A Difference.

References:

Van Noorden, R. (2013). The true cost of science publishing. Nature, 495(7442), 426-429.

Björk, B. C. (2005). Open access to scientific publications-an analysis of the barriers to change?. EBIB, (63).

Diamond, M (2015). Hello World! InfectionControl.tips  Accessed Nov 28, 2015 http://infectioncontrol.tips/2015/11/14/hello-world-3/

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Andrew Duong
With over 7 years of research experience, Andrew joins InfectionControl.tips as a co-editor and contributing author. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Genetics, he earned a Master of Science in Microbiology from the Michael DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University. As a previous Ontario Graduate Scholar, he has applied his accolades as a teaching assistant and has become a research associate in the department of surgery at Hamilton Health Sciences. Andrew has received numerous awards and scholarships including: the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the William Henry Yates Travel Scholarship and the Institute of Infectious Disease Research Undergraduate Research Award. Andrew is an avid runner, and is said to dabble in the culinary arts, when he’s not spoiling his dog.

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