Open access, medical research and global health

In recognition of Open Access Week (21st- 27th October), we hosted a one hour Twitter-chat to discuss how open access publishing impacts medical research and global health. We were joined in the discussion by a very prominent group of researchers: Agnes Binagwaho, Charles Wiysonge and Prabhat Jha.


  1. Earlier this year, BMC Medicine launched the Medicine for Global Health article collection, which aims to explore public health initiatives, health care policies and economics, and research into the control and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Factors affecting evidence-based medicine in resource-limited settings, have been discussed in a Forum article published in the journal.

    Accessibility of research findings is vital to the progress of such work, and this is where open access publishing can play an important role in dissemination.  In addition, the growing focus on the importance of open data (as reflected in the recent inclusion of the Creative Commons CC0 waiver into the BioMed Central Copyright and License Agreement) should go a long way into facilitating the transparency of raw data.

    A twitter-chat session to explore these topics was hosted by BMC Medicine on Monday 21st October at 4 pm UK time (@BMCMedicine),  along with Agnes Binagwaho (@agnesbinagwaho), Charles Wiysonge (@CharlesShey) and Prabhat Jha (@countthedead).

    In addition, this short video of some of our Editorial Board Members explains, from an author perspective how open access publishing benefits the progress of their research.

    A summary of the Twitter-chat has been collated below.

  2. To  assess regional and global risk factors associated with mortality and disability from major diseases and injuries, extensive funding, knowledge-sharing, and major international collaborations are required. The first question broadly asked about the existing challenges to medical research on a global scale.
  3. Given the issues faced by low-to-middle income (LMIC) countries, we asked Agnes Binagwaho and Charles Wiysonge  to outline some of the specific challenges faced by African clinical researchers.