Whether “information wants to be free” or not is arguable. But medical students seem overwhelmingly to want it to be free. The largest organization of medical students in the world, the “International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations” has joined the open access advocacy group Right to Research in its fight to make research and publication more free.

The Amsterdam-based IFMSA represents 1.2 million medical students from 97 countries and provides a substantive boost to open access efforts. Open access is the belief that scholarly research should be widely available instead of being siloed in fantastically expensive, gated journals and otherwise guarded.

Chijioke Kaduru, IFMSA’s President, expressed the organizations support.

“We believe that Open Access to research will positively benefit all aspects of health care; it will improve the knowledge of health care workers, researchers and medical students by making crucial information easy to access. Open Access will also improve and democratize medical education by expanding access to research articles so crucial to students’ training, strengthening the IFMSA vision of equity for medical students worldwide.”

The Right to Research Coalition is “an international alliance of undergraduate and graduate student organizations that promotes a more open scholarly publishing system through advocacy and education.” With the addition of the IFSMA it now represents seven million students globally.

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