May 27, 2022

Research Article: “With Open Science Gaining Traction, Do We Need an Australasia PubMed Central (PMC)? A Qualitative Investigation”

The following article was recently published by PLoS One. 


With Open Science Gaining Traction, Do We Need an Australasia PubMed Central (PMC)? A Qualitative Investigation


Lisa M. Kruesi
Monash University

Frada V. Burstein
Monash University

Kerry J. Tanner
Monash University


PLoS ONE 14(2): e0212843
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212843


Open biomedical repositories, such as PubMed Central (PMC), are a means to make research discoverable and permanently accessible. Assessing the potential interest of key stakeholders in an Australasia PubMed Central was the objective of this research. The investigation is novel, assisting in the development of open science infrastructure through its systematic analysis of the potential interest in, and viability of a biomedical repository for managing openly accessible research outputs for the Australasia region.

The research adopted a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Forty-four stakeholders located throughout Australia and New Zealand participated in the research. Participants expanded upon their experience of PubMed, MEDLINE, PMC and their use of information resources for research and clinical practice. The Evidence Based Healthcare (EBHC) pyramid was the theoretical model adopted to explain open biomedical repository processes. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis identified support for exploring membership of an international PMC system, in particular Europe PMC. Lessons learnt from PMC US, Europe PMC and PMC Canada (collectively known as PubMed Central International) informed the investigation.

A major strength identified was that PubMed Central International has been able to achieve high levels of compliance way beyond that of most institutional repositories. A great threat faced is overcoming the difficulties of working together with other major world bodies and financially sustaining an Australasia PMC. Improving Australasian biomedical knowledge management processes may be possible from adopting a PMC for retrieving and transferring research, linked to the data underlying the research. This in turn could help put regional research under a brighter spotlight, potentially leading to improvements in research quality. There is an opportunity for a potential Australasia PMC to harvest biomedical research from the National Library of Australia’s aggregator database, Trove and work closely with Europe PMC to avoid duplication of effort.

Overall, establishment of an Australasia permanent biomedical digital open repository is perceived as important, with significant potential flow-on benefits to healthcare, industry and society.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.