Free patient access to articles in JCO and JOP

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO have announced an initiative called “patientACCESS” that is designed to provide patients being treated for cancer and their caregivers with free access to medical research articles published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) and Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP).

The following information is reproduced from the patientACCESS page of the web site:


This initiative — known as patientACCESS — offers access to full-text JCO and JOP articles to patients and caregivers for their own use, or to bring to their doctor. These articles can help you learn more about new discoveries and advances in cancer treatment.

PatientACCESS is an initiative between six publishers: ASCO, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Elsevier, SAGE, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer Health, as well as the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).

To obtain an article, follow the steps below.

  • Visit the JCO or JOP website.
  • Browse the table of contents or search for topics of interest. When you find an article you’d like access to, click on the PDF version, then click the link entitled patientACCESS on the bottom of the screen.
  • The link will take you to the RightsLink website. You will be asked to enter your email address and password or set up an account if you do not already have one. This is a quick, three step process.
  • You will be asked to review and accept the Terms and Conditions.
  • You will receive an email confirmation message from Copyright Clearance Center that RightsLink has received your order.
  • You will receive the requested article through email within 24 hours as a PDF attachment


The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink hopes that this information will be useful  to those patients who like to be able to read full text copies of specific articles on new developments in the management of prostate cancer (and to bring that information to the attention of their physicians when appropriate). We would, however, remind readers that copyright law does not allow you to reproduce such articles and distribute them to (for example) the 20 members of your prostate cancer support group. To do that, you need appropriate permission.

4 Responses

  1. From one who uses PubMed all the time, this is good news. So many vital studies are owned by Elsevier and others who are now making this information available. I have often wondered why publication of research funded at least in part by public monies should not be available free to the public. Nevertheless, this is a great step forward.

  2. This is indeed excellent. It is my pleasure to have played a tiny part in the academic revolt against Elsevier and others, but particularly Elsevier, whose late boss, Pierre Vinken, helped establish the License System. I was a resident of Amsterdam, where he was active. When he was interviewed by Dutch media and asked about his goals at Elsevier, his answer (in my translation) was simple: “Profit, profit, and still more profit.” Although I have no statistics about this, I do assume that the difficulties he helped erect to obtaining full information have cost lives. Having free access at my university helped Swedish oncologists and urologists save my life, at least for the time being. In my opinion, all academic journals should be fully and freely online. As my literary colleagues say, “Information wants to be free.”

  3. Dear George:

    I doubt if the publishers of the books and magazines of your literary colleagues would agree with the idea that “information wants to be free” … and neither would an awful lot of writers and other artists who believe in the copyright system because they make a living through their creativity. There is a fine line between free public access to information and creative rights, and often the scientific and medical community can find itself sitting right across that line.

    I do, however, agree with the idea that scientific research funded by governments and not-for-profit third parties should be freely accessible, on publication, to whoever wants to access it. Getting to that point is going to take some time yet, but we are moving steadily in that direction.

  4. You are right, Sitemaster. I wrote too quickly. I intended to refer only to scientific journals, especially medical ones. The line is indeed there, and I was also wrong to imply that all my literary colleagues think that information wants to be free. In fact, it is largely used as a slogan or trope in Science Fiction works about communication and society, by writers who often (IMHO rightly) don’t believe that slogan.

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