1 May 2014

NICE to Support the NHS in Gaining Free Trial Access to Medical Research

NICE is participating in a pilot trial which aims to support the NHS in gaining free access to the latest high-quality clinical and scientific research.

The year-long pilot will make some of the latest research and trials published in medical and scientific journals available to NHS staff across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The trial follows the publication of the government-commissioned Finch report, which recommended that the UK should move towards a fully open access research environment. Among the report's recommendations were that more research journals should be made available to healthcare professionals.

To address this, the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) has signed an agreement with a number of scientific journal publishers to provide free trial access for their journals. Publishers who have agreed to take part include AAAS, Annual Reviews, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Royal Society of Chemistry and Springer.

NICE will be overseeing the user access element of the project, with a steering group that includes representatives from academic institutions, Jisc, NHS Education for Scotland, and the NHS.

Moira Godbert-Laird, Associate Director for National Commissioning and Contract Management at NICE, commented: "We are pleased to oversee this trial which aims to bring the latest and best research and evidence to healthcare workers.

"We believe the resources made accessible will greatly help NHS staff in their roles."

Dr Paul Ayris, Chair of the project steering group, said: "Practitioners in the NHS will benefit from the content that is being made available in this pilot, based on the recommendations of the Finch Report.

"Access to high quality information is key to good clinical practice and patients can only benefit from the well-informed clinical community that will result from this work."

Lorraine Estelle, Executive Director Content and Discovery and Divisional Chief Executive of Jisc Collections, added: "Jisc is committed to opening up research so that academics and clinicians can read the latest studies and develop a broader understanding of disease and treatment.

"This work is supported by the government-commissioned Finch report into research availability which recommended that more research journals be available to healthcare professionals."