Friday, January 20, 2012
Access to Cancer Research Should Remain Free
I often call myself a research "Hound" . I love sniffing out the latest ovarian cancer research. One of my favorite sources is PubMed which is a free archive of research papers that were published by NIH-funded scientists. Articles are posted one year from their original publication date.
When I gave a talk at the Cancer Support Network of Central New Jersey I used the site to find research papers I could present as examples. I also provided the link to my audience so that they themselves could look up the latest cancer research on their particular types of cancer. I did try to use sample research articles from the New England Journal of Medicine but that would have required me to subscribe at $169 per year for the magazine or $139 for the online version. That is a bit of a steep price to pay. Some other journals will allow you to download a pdf version of an individual journal article if you pay $35. To be fair there are usually 1-2 articles per issue that they offer the entire content online for free but they are usually not on a topic I am interested in.
US Representatives Darrel Issa and Carolyn Mahoney have introduced bill H.R. 3699 the "Research Works Act" that will make it illegal for other federal agencies to offer the same free access. And based on my reading of the text , the bill would also roll back the law that allows free access to NIH-funded articles. Now that part makes me very unhappy.
As a cancer survivor interested in understanding the research that is taking place that can affect my life I urge every member of the House committee on Oversight and Reform to prevent this bill from ever reaching a House Vote. If any of the Committee members were from NJ, I would be sending them an e-mail. Check the site and write your representative if he/she is on the committee.
Every Day is a Blessing!