Medical Sentinel Announces New "Open Data" Policy

Author: 
Press Release of August 30, 1999
Article Type: 
Correspondence
Issue: 
November/December 1999
Volume Number: 
4
Issue Number: 
6

The following press release was aired on August 30, 1999:

With the increasing politicization of published scientific and medical research, e.g., gun and violence research, HIV-AIDS health policy, and now more recently, the unintended consequences of mandatory vaccinations (i.e., Hepatitis B and diarrhea due to rotavirus infection, etc.) in infants, the Medical Sentinel, the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is announcing a new policy with the upcoming (September/October 1999) issue of the Medical Sentinel.

As consideration of publication in the Medical Sentinel, the authors of clinical and scientific papers submitted to the Medical Sentinel must make available on the Internet the redacted raw data associated with their papers. The data from which conclusions are drawn will be posted at the lead author's website or at http://www.aapsonline.org.

The Medical Sentinel is thereby adopting a new standard of public access to research data for its published, scientific articles that goes beyond the heretofore, almost universal, editorial policy of peer-review. This new policy, which we call public review, will make scientific data available to other investigators and the public to facilitate the open exchange of information between scientists. This new policy will go hand in hand with the recently passed Congressional (Shelby) provision requiring public access to raw data of research studies funded by the federal government.

In the past, as revealed in congressional inquires, scientists, including government funded investigators, particularly in the area of gun and violence research, have breached accepted scientific practice by refusing to release and make available to other researchers their publicly funded original data for further critical analysis (See, Faria MA, Jr., "Perversion of Science and Medicine, Medical Sentinel, Spring and Summer 1997 issues, www.haciendapub.com).

In announcing this policy, Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel stated: "We invite the new editors of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and The Western Journal of Medicine (WJM), etc., to join us in restoring trust in published medical and scientific research in the medical literature by requiring public review of scientific information."

This was echoed by Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of AAPS, who in announcing journalistic independence added: "This new policy is exactly in line with the mission statement of the Medical Sentinel to promote scientific integrity and it will enhance academic freedom."

This new requirement dovetails our already implemented policy of double-blind, peer review of scientific and clinical articles submitted to the Medical Sentinel (which has been in effect since the Medical Sentinel's inception in 1996), as well as financial disclosure or other exposition of possible conflicts of interest by authors, as you may have noticed in the author's vignette describing their affiliations at the end of their papers.---Editor.

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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