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Above and Beyond Open Access

Information technology, an innovative publishing practice, and public debate synchronized in a most satisfying way over the past month.On Feb. 28, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article1 entitled, "Where Is The Evidence That Animal Research Benefits Humans?" The paper purported to demonstrate that "Much animal research into potential treatments for humans is wasted because it is poorly conducted and not evaluated through systematic reviews." Unsurprisingly, the article attracted

Richard Gallagher

Information technology, an innovative publishing practice, and public debate synchronized in a most satisfying way over the past month.

On Feb. 28, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article1 entitled, "Where Is The Evidence That Animal Research Benefits Humans?" The paper purported to demonstrate that "Much animal research into potential treatments for humans is wasted because it is poorly conducted and not evaluated through systematic reviews." Unsurprisingly, the article attracted much media attention, with headlines screaming, "Experiments On Animals Should End, Say Doctors" and "Animal Tests Poorly Conducted!" The findings are said to have boosted animal rights groups.

However, after a number of weeks of discussion, the question that the title asks now can be definitively answered, and the criticisms the paper raises, addressed. This has been made possible by the enlightened publishing practices of the BMJ. This journal has led the way in providing...

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