Last week I attended a conference on Open Access in Poland. The meeting, hosted by the Polish Academy of Sciences, came at a very opportune moment – there are a number of initiatives on OA under consideration. In fact, the most heartening thing about the meeting was the fact that open access to journal articles was really considered to be the right thing to do – the only question was how to make it happen..
One of the speakers, Dr Yao-long Chen from the Evidence-Based Medicine Center of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou City, China gave a powerful reminder of how important access was outside of western academic settings, where access to one paper is $30, or a month’s living expenses for a med student in his province.
More interestingly, several speakers took the debate further, concluding that access to the underlying data was the next essential hurdle to overcome.