In March, 2020, chief science advisers from 12 countries, including the US, the UK, and Germany, issued a call to scholarly publishers “to voluntarily agree to make their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central and other appropriate public repositories.” That same month, over 30 publishers, including The Lancet, signed up to this request. The call reflected the urgency of the pandemic and “the associated global health crisis.” We have made all of our coronavirus-related content freely available through a COVID-19 Resource Centre. But why stop with a pandemic? Are there not other global health crises that would benefit from immediate access to new scientific findings? Where should one draw the line in deciding what scientific information is instantly and freely available? And who should draw that line?
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Published: 15 January 2022
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