Access to the medical literature is essential for both the practice of evidence-based medicine and meaningful contribution to medical sciences. Nonetheless, only 12% of newly published papers are freely accessible online, and, as of 2014, only 3 million of the 26·3 million articles indexed on PubMed were available on the site’s repository of free materials, PubMed Central.
Access to paywall-protected literature remains primarily through institutional subscriptions. Such subscriptions are costly and many struggle to afford access.
The result is a disparity in access to the medical literature, particularly for those in low income and middle-income countries (LMICs).