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Open access publishing and open access data sharing for malaria research and control

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Prof. Bob Snow, Malaria Public Health & Epidemiology Group, KEMRI-University of Oxford-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme speaking at Open Access Africa 2010

Prof. Bob Snow, Malaria Public Health & Epidemiology Group, KEMRI-University of Oxford-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme speaking at Open Access Africa 2010


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  • 1. Open access publishing and open access data sharing for malaria research and control Bob Snow Head Malaria Public Health & Epidemiology Group, KEMRI, Nairobi Director of the Malaria Atlas Project Professor of Tropical Public Health, University of Oxford
  • 2. 1994 Moved to Nairobi Wellcome, Malaria Public health Group Trust-KEMRI-University Oxford Collaboration 2000 Worked with Ministry of Health to establish a National Malaria Strategy 2005 Established Malaria Atlas Project 1984 Joined Medical Research Council, Farafenni, The Gambia 1989 Moved to Kilifi District Hospital, Wellcome Trust-KEMRI- University Oxford Collaboration
  • 3. Of course there have been changes… 1989 2004-5 The internet PDF libraries linked to shared endnote PubMed online Hinari Open Access
  • 4. • Biomedical research results are privately owned and sold only to those who can afford it • Publishers make huge profits by restricting access • Medical research results should be considered a global public good (most is funded by the public)? The problem
  • 5. The private ownership of research results Gavin Yamey former editor PLoS Medicine • You write the research paper • You give your work to publishers, you hand over copyright to them, they sell it to wealthy readers • A high profile drug trial can earn a journal $1m in reprint sales ($5 billion per year industry) • A tiny fraction of the intended audience reads your work • Owned by 4 multinational companies (“information arms race”)
  • 6. The work has just been published, so he goes online: 2006 made it a requirement of all Trust funded work to be made available on-line not later than 6 months after publication The director of the world's largest medical research charity receives notification from one of his funded investigators in Africa reporting exciting progress toward the development of a malaria vaccine Access Denied
  • 7. The solution make all research results freely available online “It is now possible to share the results of medical research with anyone, anywhere, who could benefit from it. How could we not do it?” Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate, PLoS Co-founder Chief Science Advisor to President Barack Obama
  • 8. Open access: what do we mean? • Free, unrestricted online access • Users are licensed to download, print, copy, redistribute, and create derivative works (CC Attribution License) • Author retains the copyright (not the publisher), i.e. right to be credited • Papers are deposited immediately in a public database that allows sophisticated searches
  • 9. Physicists doing it for years 2000 Biomed central 2001 PLoS Medicine 2002 Malaria Journal 2003 PloS Biology 2004 PLos Medicine 2008 Parasites & vectors ? Lancet ? NEJM ? Trends in Parasitology ? Transactions of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene ? Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology ? American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene ? African Health Journals …. Still relatively new c. 10 years
  • 10. Most prestigious highest impact factor journals not OA (Lancet, NEJM, Nature) – must pay for OA Old literature needs archiving and making available Still dependent on internet speed and access still a N-S divide There is now simply too much to read and digest, search engines and synthesis programmes much us less well read Inadequate quality? Still not perfect……….
  • 11. Most prestigious highest impact factor journals not OA (Lancet, NEJM, Nature) – must pay for OA Old literature needs archiving and making available Still dependent on internet speed and access still a N-S divide There is now simply too much to read and digest, search engines and synthesis programmes much us less well read Inadequate quality? Need to educate journalists and public – climate-gate One step beyond – Open Access Data
  • 12. Internet Rights Charter “Scientific and social research that is produced with the support of public funds should be freely available to all”
  • 13. Three main steps Data assembly from published and unpublished sources (including government/DHS sources) Mathematical space-time modeling Data archive for others
  • 14. MBGW I map used circa 8000 data points MAP I 2007 iterationGlobally
  • 15. MBGWII being developed now 22,800 data points 185% increase over last iteration 55% of data post 2005 Includes 15 national surveys; 5 of which we have been directly involved with More data with time will reduce uncertainty and increase capacities to examine time-space cube of risk MAP II 2010 iteration
  • 16. Interpolated global stable endemic surface of P. falciparum parasite prevalence to 2007 Hay et al. PLoS Medicine, 2009 0.9 billion people in unstable risk 1.38 billion people in stable risk
  • 17. Repository of Open Access Data – Malaria Atlas Project ROAD-MAP
  • 18. R.O.A.D

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