Dr. Rachel Vreeman
Children’s Health Services Research Program
IU School of Medicine
An interview with Dr. Rachel Vreeman
Q. Tell us about your involvement with Open Access.
I have published a number of research studies in Open Access journals. My research work is all conducted within our partnership in Kenya and focuses on improving long-term care for children with HIV in resource-limited settings. I have often targeted Open Access venues because it is very important to me that our findings be accessible to clinicians and researchers in resource-limited settings. Open Access journals make these articles more accessible to those working in poor places.
For example, we conducted a study evaluating the impact of post-election violence in Kenya on the care of HIV-infected children in western Kenya. We published this study in an OA venue, Conflict and Health, because we wanted to make sure that programs similarly struggling to care for this vulnerable population of children in other war-torn or conflict-affected areas would be able to easily access the findings.
Q. What impact has OA had on your research?
OA has increased the circulation of my research, particularly among the populations of clinicians and scientists working in resource-limited settings. I get regular reports of the numbers of citations of these papers, and they are accessed and used frequently. I think the circulation of our research has increased in general through our open access papers. Even more importantly, the circulation is increased for those in the settings most like our setting in Kenya — those who would benefit the most from our findings.
OA has somewhat changed how I search for resources. When I am looking for materials, particularly materials to share with our trainees and colleagues in Kenya, I am more likely to look for materials that can be freely accessed and shared in the manner that OA materials can be.
Q. Why is it important for faculty to know more about OA?
There continue to be some concerns that paying for publication of a manuscript means that the manuscript is of lesser scientific quality or validity. However, more and more of the costs of publications come out in other ways through non-OA venues. For example, there are costs for accessing an article. When a researcher pays the Open Access costs up front, this enables their work to be freely available in a manner that actually promotes worldwide access and breaks down disparities. I believe that it is important for trainees, faculty, program leaders, and researchers in developing countries to have access to our work, particularly our work that directly contributes to the understanding of how to care for children in poor places. To me, this is well worth the costs involved.
Dr. Vreeman’s work
- Vreeman R, Kamaara E, Kamanda A, Ayuku D, Nyandiko W, Atwoli L, Ayaya S, Gisore P, Scanlon M, Braitstein P. A qualitative study using traditional community assemblies to investigate community perspectives on informed consent and research participation in western Kenya. BMC Med Ethics. 2012 Sep 25;13(1):23. doi:10.1186/1472-6939-13-23.
Available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6939/13/23/abstract
- Vreeman R, Nyandiko WM, Meslin EM. Pediatric assent for a study of antiretroviral therapy dosing for children in western Kenya: A case study in international research collaboration. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 2009 ;4(1):3-16.
Available at https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/1873/
*Note: If you search using the full title, the IUPUIScholarWorks record comes up at the top and before the article as available on the journal website.
- Vreeman RC, Nyandiko WM, Sang E, Musick BS, Braitstein P, Wiehe SE. Impact of the Kenya post-election crisis on clinic attendance and medication adherence for HIV-infected children in western Kenya. Conflict and Health. 2009, 3:5. doi:10.1186/1752-1505-3-5.
Available at http://www.conflictandhealth.com/content/3/1/5
- Vreeman RC, Carroll AE. A systematic review of school-based interventions to prevent bullying. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 2007, 161(1):78-88. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.1.78.
Available at http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=569481