The move to open: medical library leadership in scholarly communication
Keywords:Janet Doe Lecture, Open Access, Open Science, History, Philosophy, Medical Library Association
AbstractOver the years, health sciences librarians have been change agents, leading the charge on issues of importance to the profession and the communities we serve. From its founding in 1898 with the Exchange, the Medical Library Association (MLA) has been dedicated to improving access to health information. In 2003, the Board of Directors published a statement supporting open access to information generated from federally funded scientific and medical research and maintained that having access to timely, relevant, and accurate information is vital to the health of the nation and its education and research programs. At some financial risk, the association made the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) open access and published the entire archive of JMLA and its predecessor, the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, in PubMed Central. Nearly two decades later, the promise of open access and open science finally seems to be coming to fruition. In the 2020 Janet Doe Lecture, Chris Shaffer, AHIP, described the ways that MLA has led the profession, standing behind a shared vision and “walking the walk.” In challenging listeners to embrace open science, he affirmed that, as leaders in improving access to health sciences information since 1898, medical librarians must work in the open science arena to realize our vision “that quality information is essential for improved health.”
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