September 28, 2022
September 28 is the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI), an annual event first organized by UNESCO in 2015.
What steps have been taken to improve universal access to scientific and medical information?
From a medical point of view, the introduction of “lay summaries” has helped to make the key results of clinical trials more understandable for all. In June 2021, the European Commission published Good Lay Summary Practice recommendations to provide guidance to sponsors for the writing of these “plain language summaries“. Indeed, the publication of these summaries is now required according to the new European Directive on clinical trials, European Union Clinical Trials Regulation (EU-CTR) 536/2014, which entered into force on 31 January 2022 and which aims to increase the transparency of clinical trials and ensure better standards for patient safety.
From a scientific point of view, universal access to information is improving through the increasing availability of “open access” research information. Although not all scientific articles are published in open access, the growth of the open access publishing model is allowing more of the latest scientific advances to be freely accessible to everyone, ensuring that knowledge and research are available to the widest possible audience.
Changes in the policies of research funding agencies
Recent changes in the policies of major research funders are helping to drive changes in the way scientific research is published to improve accessibility to research findings:
- The plan S initiative, supported by a group of major European national funding agencies and private funders gathered under the name of “cOAlition S”, led to the roll out new policies in 2021 mandating that the results of the future research funded by this consortium should be published in open access in order to accelerate the free dissemination of all scientific articles (https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00883-6).
- Similar changes in policy are now being adopted in the US, with a recent announcement that, as of 2025, the results of research funded by federal agencies will have to be made available in open access immediately after it is published (https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-02351-1).
The expertise of Santé Active Edition – Synergy Pharm
Our medical and scientific writing team has experience in writing “lay summaries” for various clients, including large pharmaceutical groups, biotech companies, start-ups, and private/public organizations, covering a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas. In addition to writing articles on the results of clinical studies, our agency also offers an editorial assistance service to help you prepare your articles for publication in your chosen journal.