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Opportunity to make PubMed more useful for health professionals in low-income countries

HIFA Quotation: 
- We agree that PubMed should remain a free resource and as such it is valued across sectors in health and care and from developing to developed countries. We also want to see improved links to free full text articles. The free availability of PubMed is also important to third sector, charity and voluntary organisations carrying out research globally. These organisations often do not have funding that would allow for expensive database subscriptions, and free resources such as PubMed are a lifeline for these organisations.

- We also agree with previous comments that it should be expanded to cover global publications and non-English speaking content. In particular PubMed could encourage self-publication of content on PubMed, for scientists to upload content where science is emerging. This could be a section that may not undergo as much appraisal as is currently done for other content, but it would be a start for organising vital information that can save lives. In particular we would welcome the addition of indexing grey literature, e.g. government policy documents, comprehensive reports not published in peer-reviewed journals etc.  We have done extensive research and information needs/behaviour assessments around these types of 'evidence' and the need for the material to be indexed: http://www.ukhealthforum.org.uk/who-we-are/our-work/research-information-services/our-research/ 

- We must ensure that the content is relevant to health and care, which is not limited to clinical medicine.  Public health and relevant topics are broad, from agriculture, nutrition to the built environment, workplace health and mental health.  Public health is poorly covered on PubMed and it would be a major benefit to society if PubMed would improve its coverage.
Date of HIFA message: 
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Author Name: 
Helena Korjonen
Forum: 
HIFA2015
Author profile: 
HIFA profile: Helena Korjonen is Director of Information Services at the UK Health Forum, England. Professional interests include Provision of information using the web and social tools; Information dissemination in the area of chronic disease prevention; The dissemination of clinical trial information; and Equality in access to information. helena.korjonen AT heartforum.org.uk  
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