Last week I sat down and made a list of papers that I wanted to discuss in the future as part of the journal club. Previous papers discussed have had a very wide scope but have included papers that have had a huge impact on medical practice – the WHO safe surgery checklist comes to mind. The discussions have been fascinating and I have learnt alot every week.
But I have come across a major problem. Most of the papers on my list are not open access.
This leaves a dilemma. When Fi and I set up the journal club we wanted it to be as inclusive as possible so we decided to only discuss open access papers to facilitate this. However this limits the papers we discuss to a very small number and ultimately I think this will be detrimental to the journal club. I want the journal club to grow and to be discussing the papers that are going to influence how doctors practice medicine in the future. But alot of these papers are subscription only or avaliable through academic services such as Athens. Sadly this could potentially limit the discussions to those with subscription to the full paper (although a summary would always be posted as per previous weeks of the journal club).
Ultimately I would like this post to enable a discussion about the use of papers that are not open access as part of the journal club.
Would this be detrimental to the journal club by limiting access to those who have the access to the full text? Or would only discussing open access papers limit the journal club to a set of papers that might not be the ones that could have the biggest impact on medical practice?
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