Medical Sentinel Announces New Data Access Policy
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. As consideration of publication in the Medical Sentinel, the authors of clinical and scientific papers submitted to the journal 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 www.aapsonline.org. The journal noted that such a policy is appropriate given the "increasing politicization of published scientific and medical research".
The Medical Sentinel is thereby adopting a new standard of public access to research data for its published, scientific articles that goes beyond the editorial policy of peer-review. This new policy will make scientific data available to other investigators and the public to facilitate the open exchange of information between scientists. The journal expressly noted that the new policy "will go hand in hand" with the Shelby Amendment 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, 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 statement 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."
For further information, contact Helen Faria, Managing Editor of the Medical Sentinel at (912) 757-9873.