[Open-access] A sad encapsulation of why Open Access is so important

Ross Mounce ross.mounce at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 13:36:45 UTC 2012

Dear All,

I thought I'd share what is perhaps a new and interesting example of missed
impact through Closed Access research publishing.

I was reading this new Nature blog post 'What were the top papers of 2012
on social media?'

and found that the 3rd most tweeted paper (cumulatively) throughout 2012
was first published way back in 1996.
Why was such an old paper so topical in 2012?

Well, the title is: "Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive
characteristics from a national sample of women"

It is not a freely accessible paper. Most people can only see the abstract
without paying more. The tweets are clearly related to this news story and
related US political issues:

Perhaps Todd Akin and other public policy-makers in the US and abroad might
have benefited from Open Access to this and related research?

Am I clutching at straws here with my thinking that this is huge missed
potential for societal impact? The difference between an abstract and the
fulltext is immense - what knowledge benefits have we missed out on here
with so many citizens and *policymakers* denied full access to this
publicly-funded* piece of medical research?

Food for thought perhaps?


* The paper was "Supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant
No. ROIDA05220"

Ross Mounce
PhD Student & Open Knowledge Foundation Panton Fellow
Fossils, Phylogeny and Macroevolution Research Group
University of Bath, 4 South Building, Lab 1.07
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-access/attachments/20121221/ab0a8549/attachment.html>

More information about the open-access mailing list