Increasing Public Access to Published Research

September 26, 2019

ASCO Perspective
“As the leading source of information on cancer, ASCO makes cutting-edge scientific research broadly available through our well-established publications, which are widely respected and trusted for high-quality content. We are pleased to join the UK public libraries’ Access to Research program, which gives us the opportunity to provide content from our journals directly and at no cost to the public. It’s the perfect match, and we hope to form similar arrangements with other public library systems in the future.”

  • ASCO Expert Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, ASCO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

ASCO currently provides information for patients through Cancer.Net, and to help improve public access to medical research from its journals, ASCO has joined the growing list of organizations making their journal content freely available through the Access to Research program. This initiative helps make research from more than 9,700 journals available at nearly all public libraries in the United Kingdom.

Through this program ASCO is providing online access to all content from the Journal of Clinical Oncology, containing more than 16,000 articles dating as far back as 1983, as well as from its four other journals focused on oncology practice, global oncology, clinical cancer informatics, and precision oncology. Through Access to Research, ASCO can put the latest discoveries from around the world immediately at the fingertips of the public in the UK.

“As the leading source of information on cancer, ASCO makes cutting-edge scientific research broadly available through our well-established publications, which are widely respected and trusted for high-quality content,” said Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, ASCO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We are pleased to join the UK public libraries’ Access to Research program, which gives us the opportunity to provide content from our journals directly and at no cost to the public. It’s the perfect match, and we hope to form similar arrangements with other public library systems in the future.”

Supporting Access to Science in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)

Providing access to research through public libraries in the UK is just one way ASCO makes its journal content accessible globally. With LMICs experiencing the greatest burden of cancer and the added challenge of caring for patients with limited resources, ASCO participates in the Hinari Access to Research for Health program from the World Health Organization. The program provides access to published research for more than 8,900 institutions in LMICs for free or at a significantly discounted cost. Through the Hinari program, ASCO works to strengthen public health services by providing health workers, researchers, and policy makers access to high-quality, relevant, and timely medical information from ASCO journals.

In addition, ASCO’s Journal of Global Oncology is the Society’s first fully open access journal, with all content made immediately and freely available to the public upon online publication. Launched in 2015, the journal was founded to provide a home for high-quality literature that fulfills a growing need for content describing the array of challenges health care professionals in resource-constrained settings face. Articles published in the journal address cancer care, research, and care delivery issues unique to countries and settings with limited health care resources.

Putting Practice-Changing Research at the Fingertips of Doctors and Patients 

In just 12 months, all original research published in ASCO journals is provided for free online. In 12 months or less, federally funded research published in ASCO journals becomes available on PubMed Central, joining several centuries of literature from thousands of biomedical and life science journals in its free digital archive. In some cases, depending on research funder requirements, original research is made available even sooner, as early as 6 months after online publication.

Time is of the essence, however, in the lives of many newly diagnosed patients. Having the latest information at one’s fingertips is critical for doctors and patients to identify the right care for the right patient at the right time. Because of this, especially important practice-changing research and the latest clinical practice guidelines published in ASCO journals are immediately provided for free upon online publication, along with all ASCO special articles, editorials, comments and controversies, correspondence, and articles in the Art of Oncology series.

To peruse the latest high-quality content in cancer research and care and see what ASCO journals have in store for you, visit https://ascopubs.org.