Background: Scientists and governmental agencies have called for free universal access to research publications via the internet—open access.
Objectives: To examine the current medical literature reading practices of emergency medicine investigators (EMIs) and their views towards open access.
Methods: Surveys were mailed to the 212 corresponding authors of all original research articles published in years 2002 and 2003 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine and The Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Results: The most commonly read forms of medical literature reported by the 129 (61%) EMI respondents were hard-copy medical journals and online literature review services. 59% of EMIs were in favour of open access; 58% stated they would read a wider variety of medical literature; 21% believed open access would improve the quality of publications and 39% thought it would decrease the quality. When asked how a US$1500 fee for open access would affect their ability to publish research, 69% said it would greatly impede and 19% said it would slightly impede their research.
Conclusions: Despite concerns that open access may impede their ability to publish research and decrease the quality of publications, most EMIs surveyed favoured open access. They believed open access would increase and broaden their medical literature reading.
- EMI, emergency medicine investigator
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Competing interests: None declared.