Is medical research too compartmented?

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Offline Expectant_Philosopher

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Is medical research too compartmented?
« on: 23/05/2014 11:42:49 »
Available clues to a cure, sweet droplets from an ocean of tangible information, tantalize but do not satisfy. I shake with imperative emotion at the seemingly disjointed nature of medical science. Why does it seem to me scientists and doctors have lost opportunities for their specialized foci? Who is tasked to bring it all together? Cogent medical research, funded by profit or charity then published into relative obscurity of specialized journals, is lost to investigators of peripheral conditions. Not only has the atomization of information prevented the systemic view, but it has erected arbitrary barriers due to the costs of obtaining this information. Can we trust success to deep pockets or to the accident of having widely read? My charitable donations seem to fall into a black well, the despair only assuaged by the occasional non-attributable gem found. Would that we all had the capacity of the Odones to step around the arbitrary barriers facing medical research. The Odones were the glue that allowed various disciplines to join together to result in Lorenzo's Oil for ALD.  Would that a medical charity provide unfettered cost-free access to its investigatory reporting, published or not, and corollary research, to donors, I would readily fund them in their endeavors.  Let us, the afflicted, be the glue to join the disparate and competing officials , let us drink from the well source of information.


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is medical research too compartmented?
« Reply #1 on: 02/06/2014 07:23:28 »
Personally I do find journal access to be quite annoying.  If one is tied into an educational institution, then they should have a subscription Medscape (an electronic medical related index system), and either physical or electronic access to every journal under the sun, and those they don't have, they can get copies via inter-library loan.

However, for those of us not directly tied to education, I can't justify $20 for a 3 page article for personal gratification.  Previously I found about 1/10 interesting titles/abstracts led to useful articles....  So, at $20 per article, that could get to be very expensive to get a good article.

I wonder how many physicians out there perhaps subscribe to New England Journal of Medicine, or similar, but,  also find themselves effectively locked out of most primary source information.

How many of the articles effectively locked behind paywalls were funded by government grants?

As far as consolidating information.  Good search engines can help, but really nothing beats sitting down and reading all the primary research.  A good researcher will read about many trials in their field of research from in vitro to in vivo studies.  However, it would be easy to miss something just outside of one's field of study.

I wonder if some of these journal companies would make more money if they reduced the price of articles from $20 down to...  hmmm...  10 cents or so, and made it extremely easy to index and access the articles.