On Tuesday morning, superlative medical research journal The Lancet debuted a free-to-access, creative commons global health journal designed to provide the latest research into international public health to practitioners around the globe, all free of charge.

The move to publish an easy access medical journal is a small nod to the need for more openly accessible global public health science literature. It comes in response to a growing call for medical research affecting poorer countries to be freed from paywall-protected services like Jstor, which is prohibitively expensive unless accessed through a university subscription.

Aaron Schwartz, the deceased Internet activist, was among the most vocal voices calling for more free information, writing in his guerilla open access manifesto: “Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.”

Opening up the spread of critical new information in the global health field will help close the digital information divide between researchers in poor and rich countries.
"The Lancet has long been a champion of global health research and our new online only journal follows this tradition by publishing high-quality original research, commentary, correspondence and blogs with direct relevance to practitioners and communities in low- and middle-income countries," the journal said on Tuesday.
The Lancet Global Health joins other journals like PLOS ONE in the open access, peer-reviewed space.
Creative commons photo by Terri Oda.\n