WASHINGTON, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today announced a new policy that will facilitate free and ready public access to the published findings of PCORI-funded comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies.
The new policy requires PCORI-funded researchers to see that copies of published papers summarizing their results are deposited in PubMed Central (PMC), the digital archive of full-text biomedical and life sciences journal literature maintained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, PCORI will provide up to $3,500 per project to cover fees that journals charge to provide free public or open access. These funds will enable research teams to ensure that papers reporting their final study results are available free of charge to the public immediately upon publication.
This new policy is the latest step in PCORI's efforts to make the results of its research widely available to patients, family caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders.
PCORI now joins the ranks of other major research funders that encourage or require awardees to deposit their published papers in PMC. But because it can take up to 12 months for such papers to be made available through that depository, PCORI goes a step further, providing funds to cover fees that will provide access to important new findings at the time of publication.
"We believe that making evidence accessible to clinicians and the public is as important as producing new findings," said PCORI's Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "So we are taking this step to see that more of our awardees' final published results are shared widely and immediately with the patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders who guide these studies and who need the results to make better-informed healthcare decisions."
The new public access policy complements PCORI's broader open science initiative, which includes a range of activities designed to ensure the integrity of research results and provide meaningful professional and public access to PCORI-funded research findings as quickly as possible. Chief among these is PCORI's process for peer reviewing and making its research findings widely available through its website, which is required by PCORI's authorizing law.
PCORI contracted with Oregon Health and Science University in February to help manage peer reviews of the draft final reports submitted by PCORI-funded research teams. Once awardees have responded to reviewers' comments to PCORI's satisfaction, PCORI will work with awardees to prepare abstracts of study results for health professionals and the public, along with summaries of the peer review process, for posting on PCORI's website. These summaries, along with additional information outlined in the law, will be available on PCORI's website within 90 days of the final report being accepted. The full report generally will be posted on PCORI's website within 12 months of acceptance. PCORI will work closely with awardees to be sure the steps involved in the process are clear and appropriately incorporated into their project timelines.
PCORI is also developing a policy to facilitate and manage access to data from funded studies and plans to make a draft of that policy available for public input in the near future. Open access to source data and study protocols can provide independent researchers with tools to reproduce an original study's analyses, thereby improving the integrity of research findings. It also can encourage use of the data in additional analyses, which augments the knowledge generated from the original study.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.
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SOURCE Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute