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Ethics of open access to biomedical research: Just a special case of ethics of open access to research

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Author(s): Harnad Stevan

Journal: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
ISSN 1747-5341

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2007;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract The ethical case for Open Access (OA) (free online access) to research findings is especially salient when it is public health that is being compromised by needless access restrictions. But the ethical imperative for OA is far more general: It applies to all scientific and scholarly research findings published in peer-reviewed journals. And peer-to-peer access is far more important than direct public access. Most research is funded so as to be conducted and published, by researchers, in order to be taken up, used, and built upon in further research and applications, again by researchers (pure and applied, including practitioners), for the benefit of the public that funded it – not in order to generate revenue for the peer-reviewed journal publishing industry (nor even because there is a burning public desire to read much of it). Hence OA needs to be mandated, by researchers' institutions and funders, for all research.
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