Yesterday, that National Academies Press celebrated its first year of offering free PDFs of many of its reports. NAP reported in an anniversary email that website visitors have downloaded over 1.3 million PDF versions of books — and that over the next year NAP will be adding more books (new and old alike) to the list of free downloads. Among the most downloaded so far are:
- The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
- Relieving Pain America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research
- To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System
The reports on nursing and pain were released in 2011, but To Err is Human is a classic — published in 2000, it warned about the thousands of people (98,000 by one estimate) who die each year from medical errors in US hospitals.
Over the past year, I’d been pleasantly surprised to find some new and old National Academies reports available as free PDFs, but I hadn’t realized it was part of a special initiative to make more free PDFs available. (Because around 85% of National Academies funding comes from the federal government, it makes sense for taxpayers to be able to access publications easily and for free.) Here are just a few of the public health publications available:
- Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century
- The Future of Drug Safety: Promoting and Protecting the Health of the Public
- Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation (which I blogged about here)
- Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action (which I blogged about here)
- Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response
- Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care
- Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the Evidence
- Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Threat To Human, Animal, and Plant Health – Workshop Summary
- Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
- For the Public’s Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges
- Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration
Browsing through the NAP catalog reminds me how fortunate we are to have the National Academies (specifically, the National Research Council, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences) distilling the latest research and expert opinion into publications. And while it’s always been possible to read the publications online by clicking through them page by page, I find the free PDFs to be much more user-friendly — and therefore more likely to lead to dissemination of the valuable knowledge the National Academies collect.
You can browse National Academies Press publications at NAP.edu.