The Open Public Health Journal


ISSN: 1874-9445 ― Volume 10, 2017
LETTER

Unknown Unknowns: We Need to Know How Many People Experience Imprisonment in Canada



Fiona G. Kouyoumdjian1, 2, *, Kathryn E. McIsaac3
1 Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
2 Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Research Services, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Abstract

Background:

Understanding the size of a population is necessary to define the burden of disease, evaluate opportunities to improve health, inform service planning and assess demographic trends over time.

Methods:

In this article, we described available data on the number of admissions and number of people admitted to custody in Canada. We identified gaps in data, and described the potential value of these data for public health and health care purposes.

Conclusion:

We recommend the systematic collection and dissemination of relevant data on this population in Canada.

Keywords: Prisoners, Prisons, Demography, Canada, Health, Population, Disease.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2017
Volume: 10
First Page: 226
Last Page: 231
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-10-226
DOI: 10.2174/1874944501710010226

Article History:

Received Date: 07/07/2017
Revision Received Date: 06/10/2017
Acceptance Date: 20/10/2017
Electronic publication date: 14/11/2017
Collection year: 2017

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© 2017 Kouyoumdjian and McIsaac.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, David Braley Health Sciences Centre, 100 Main Street West, 5th Floor, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P1H6, Canada; E-mail: kouyouf@mcmaster.ca




1. BACKGROUND

International and Canadian data reveal that the health of people who experience imprisonment is poor compared to the general population [1Fazel S, Baillargeon J. The health of prisoners. Lancet 2011; 377(9769): 956-65.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61053-7] [PMID: 21093904]
, 2Kouyoumdjian F, Schuler A, Matheson FI, Hwang SW. Health status of prisoners in Canada: Narrative review. Can Fam Physician 2016; 62(3): 215-22.
[PMID: 27427562]
]. The health of this population may affect the general population directly through the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis C, the costs of recidivism and health care due to untreated illness such as substance use disorders, and effects on public safety [3Kinner SA, Wang EA. The case for improving the health of ex-prisoners. Am J Public Health 2014; 104(8): 1352-5.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301883] [PMID: 24922122]
]. A focus on the health of people who experience imprisonment could reduce inequity and advance population health [3Kinner SA, Wang EA. The case for improving the health of ex-prisoners. Am J Public Health 2014; 104(8): 1352-5.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301883] [PMID: 24922122]
], and efforts to improve health could build on the emerging evidence base regarding effective interventions [4Kouyoumdjian FG, McIsaac KE, Liauw J, et al. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of interventions to improve the health of persons during imprisonment and in the year after release. Am J Public Health 2015; 105(4): e13-33.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302498] [PMID: 25713970]
].

Over three hundred years ago, John Graunt articulated the value of population statistics for understanding the “nature of society, the changes taking place within it and the issues arising for government and policy-making” [5Rowland DT. Demographic methods and concepts 2003.]. Data on the size of the population of persons who experience imprisonment could enhance our understanding of the burden of disease, the assessment of the impact of interventions, the development of health and social services and the measurement of trends in incarceration rates.

In Canada, responsibility for correctional facilities is shared between provincial, territorial and federal governments. Provincial and territorial governments administer correctional facilities that hold persons who are detained prior to sentencing (“remand”) and those sentenced to less than two years in custody, and the federal government administers facilities for individuals sentenced to two years or longer in custody. A person who is admitted to custody almost always enters a provincial or territorial facility, whether he/she has been sentenced or is admitted on remand. From the provincial or territorial facility, a person would most often be released to the community, with or without parole. If a person was sentenced to two years or longer, he/she would be transferred from the provincial or territorial facility to a federal facility.

While the criminal justice system maintains detailed records of involved persons, there are challenges to determining the number of people who experience imprisonment in Canada beyond the number of persons in custody per day [6Reitano J. Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016 2017.]. Potential barriers include the involvement of multiple jurisdictions, the common use of aliases [7Martin RE, Hislop TG, Grams GD, Moravan V, Calam B. Beware of multiple names in database linkage research: prevalence of aliases in female prison population. BMJ 2005; 331(7512): 335-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7512.335] [PMID: 16081448]
], and the lack of collection, aggregation and dissemination of data.

In this article, we describe publicly available data in Canada on people who experience imprisonment, compare this data with the data obtained through requests and identify the potential value of better data for public health and health planning purposes.

2. METHODS

2.1. What We Know

Annually, Statistics Canada publishes the average daily count of adults in custody, the number of adult admissions per year and the number of initial entries to the correctional system for adults per year [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm]. However, the Statistics Canada definitions of “admission” and “initial entry” limit the usefulness of these data for public health and health planning purposes. Statistics Canada defines an admission as each time a person “begins or moves to a new type of custody or community supervision.” Therefore the same person could be counted multiple times within a single period in custody as his/her legal status changes. For example, if a person was admitted to custody and his/her legal status changed from remand to sentenced custody to parole, this would be counted as three “admissions” [9Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2013/2014. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2015001/article/14163-eng.htm], even though the individual had only one period in custody. In this way, the number of “admissions” overrepresents the number of admissions to custody. As per Statistics Canada, an initial entry represents the first point at which an adult “commences uninterrupted supervision within the adult correctional system” [9Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2013/2014. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2015001/article/14163-eng.htm]. If a person was admitted to custody, released on parole, and then re-admitted to custody prior to the end of the parole period, this would be counted as a single initial entry even though the individual experienced two periods in custody [2Kouyoumdjian F, Schuler A, Matheson FI, Hwang SW. Health status of prisoners in Canada: Narrative review. Can Fam Physician 2016; 62(3): 215-22.
[PMID: 27427562]
]. In this way, “initial entries” may underrepresent the number of admissions to custody.

Statistics Canada data for 2014/15 (Table 1) reveals that the mean number of adults in custody in provincial, territorial and federal facilities on any given day was almost 40,000 [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm]: over 15,000 persons in federal facilities and over 24,000 in provincial or territorial facilities. There were more than 200,000 admissions in the same year (excluding Alberta): 7,565 in federal facilities and 197,454 in provincial or territorial facilities [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm]. Data on initial entries per year were available for only six provinces, in which there were almost 53,000 initial entries [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm].

Table 1
Summary of data for adults admitted to custody, initial entries to custody, and admissions, Canada and Ontario, 2014/2015 [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm, 10 In an email from J. Smith (Jonathan.Smith@csc-scc.gc.ca) in December 2016., 11 In an email from M. Kirk (Michael.Kirk@ontario.ca) in November and December 2016.].


Data obtained on request to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services reveals that there are large differences between the number of admissions and initial entries as defined by Statistics Canada and the number of actual admissions to provincial custody in Ontario [10 In an email from J. Smith (Jonathan.Smith@csc-scc.gc.ca) in December 2016.-12 In an email from K. Underhill (Kathy.Underhill@ontario.ca) in May 2015.]. The Ontario Ministry reports that there were 58,778 admissions to custody for 40,444 persons in 2014/15 (Table 1) [11 In an email from M. Kirk (Michael.Kirk@ontario.ca) in November and December 2016.]. The number of unique persons admitted to provincial custody (40,444) is higher than the number of initial entries (36,117) and lower than the number of admissions (75,657) as per Statistics Canada [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm], as shown in Fig. (1).

Fig. (1)
Comparison of data from Statistics Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for adults admitted to provincial correctional facilities in Ontario, 2014/15 [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm, 10 In an email from J. Smith (Jonathan.Smith@csc-scc.gc.ca) in December 2016., 11 In an email from M. Kirk (Michael.Kirk@ontario.ca) in November and December 2016.].


We can use data from requests to estimate the number of adults who spent any time in provincial custody in Ontario in a given year, which is an indicator of the number of persons with a history of recent detention or incarceration. The number is between the number of people admitted to custody in that year (40,444 in 2014/2015) and that number plus the number of people who were in custody at the start of the year (8,171 on March 31st, 2014), since some of those in custody at the start of the year would have been re-admitted over the course of the year [11 In an email from M. Kirk (Michael.Kirk@ontario.ca) in November and December 2016.]. Therefore between 40,444 and 48,615 adults spent time in provincial custody in Ontario in 2014/2015. With a total adult population in Ontario of over 11,001,497 [13 CANSIM Table 051-0001. Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories. Statistics Canada. Available at: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?id=510001], this represents approximately 1 in 300 adults.

We can also use data from requests to estimate the number of people with any history of incarceration in Ontario. For Ontario provincial correctional facilities for adults, 52,407 persons were admitted, making a total of 74,526 times in 2005 [12 In an email from K. Underhill (Kathy.Underhill@ontario.ca) in May 2015.], 174,449 persons were admitted 389,364 times in the five-year period between 2005 and 2009, and 272,428 people were admitted 724,474 times in the 10-year period between 2005 and 2014. Using a conservative estimate that 9% of the 272,428 adults admitted to Ontario provincial facilities died over that 10-year follow up period [14Kouyoumdjian FG, Kiefer L, Wobeser W, Gonzalez A, Hwang SW. Mortality over 12 years of follow-up in people admitted to provincial custody in Ontario: A retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open 2016; 4(2): E153-61.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20150098] [PMID: 27398358]
], these data suggest that the proportion of adults in Ontario who have a history of incarceration in the past 10 years is more than 1 in 50, i.e. there are about 250,000 adults with a history of incarceration in Ontario out of the total adult population of over 11,001,497 in 2014 [13 CANSIM Table 051-0001. Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories. Statistics Canada. Available at: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?id=510001]. This is a crude estimate, as the numerator does not account for people who may have moved out of Ontario during this period and includes some people who were admitted to custody who were not residents of Ontario, and the estimate of deaths is likely too high, however, it illustrates that a history of imprisonment is likely common in people in Ontario.

Regarding other criminological and demographic data, Statistics Canada publishes the number of people in remand and sentenced to custody in each province or territory on an average day [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm]. They also present data on the distribution of age, gender, “Aboriginal” identity and length of stay in custody for admissions each year, though not for unique individuals [8Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm]. Public Safety Canada publishes data annually on people in federal custody including admissions by sex, age, Aboriginal status, race, religion and length of sentence [15Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview 2015. Available at: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/ cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ ccrso-2015/index-en.aspx].

2.2. What We Don’t Know

Data on the number of persons admitted to custody per year in each province and territory and the number of persons admitted over a several year period are not routinely available. We cannot identify the number of people who entered the provincial and territorial correctional system who were transferred to the federal system; they may be included in the figures for provincial and territorial facilities and for federal facilities as reported in the available Statistics Canada data. Another gap is the number of people who are admitted to custody in more than one province or territory over time. We also do not know important characteristics of this population such as the distribution of age, gender, race and ethnicity.

2.3. Why Size Matters

Understanding the number of admissions and the number of persons admitted to custody in Canada is important for several reasons: to justify a focus on this population, to define the potential impact of interventions, for health and social services planning, and to monitor population-level exposure to incarceration, including inequitable exposure.

Decisions regarding health priorities in Canada should be made based on a variety of factors, including population size, burden of disease and equity [16Erickson LJ, De Wals P, Farand L. An analytical framework for immunization programs in Canada. Vaccine 2005; 23(19): 2470-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.10.029] [PMID: 15752833]
]. If we do not know how many people spend time in correctional facilities each year, or how many people have a history of incarceration, it is difficult to justify focus on this population. For example, understanding the number of persons each year in correctional facilities as well as the disease burden reveals that this setting is key for some prevention efforts in Canada, including for overdose and hepatitis C [17Kouyoumdjian FG, McIsaac KE. Persons in correctional facilities in Canada: A key population for hepatitis C prevention and control. Can J Public Health 2015; 106(6): e454-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.106.5132] [PMID: 26680439]
, 18Groot E, Kouyoumdjian FG, Kiefer L, et al. Drug Toxicity Deaths after Release from Incarceration in Ontario, 2006-2013: Review of Coroner’s Cases. PLoS One 2016; 11(7): e0157512.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157512] [PMID: 27384044]
].

Similarly, assessing the impact of an intervention requires knowledge of the size of the total population or of relevant subgroups. For example, in order to estimate the population-level impact over five years of a universal screening program in prison for bloodborne infections, we would need to know how many people are admitted to correctional facilities.

Data on population size and characteristics are also needed for planning health and social services in custody and in the community post-release. If we want to plan an overdose prevention program in provincial correctional facilities, we would want to know how many people are admitted to and are released from these facilities each year in order to estimate the resources required to deliver this program. If we want to anticipate human resource requirements, for example to project the amount of time required for nurses to conduct intake assessments, we would need to know the number of admissions to custody.

Finally, since incarceration is associated with a variety of adverse health and social consequences [19Freudenberg N, Heller D. A Review of Opportunities to Improve the Health of People Involved in the Criminal Justice System in the United States. Annu Rev Public Health 2016; 37: 313-33.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032315-021420] [PMID: 26789388]
, 20Wildeman C, Wang EA. Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA. Lancet 2017; 389(10077): 1464-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30259-3] [PMID: 28402828]
], it may be conceptualized as a risk factor. At a population level, it is therefore, important to track the number of people who are incarcerated over time and as a consequence of public policy and other factors. In addition, human rights and equity concerns suggest the importance of following specific characteristics, such as detention without trial [21Doob AN, Webster C. M.: Back to the future? policy development in pre-trial detention in Canada.Canadian Criminal Justice Policy: Contemporary Perspectives 2012.], the length of pre-trial detention [21Doob AN, Webster C. M.: Back to the future? policy development in pre-trial detention in Canada.Canadian Criminal Justice Policy: Contemporary Perspectives 2012.] and the number of indigenous people and other marginalized groups admitted to custody [22Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Calls to Action Available at: http://www.trc.ca/ websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/ Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf]. In light of the risk of stigma, this work should involve affected populations and observe the best practices regarding data governance, including for data on first nation people [23The First Nations Principles of OCAP Available at: http://fnigc.ca/ocap.html].

CONCLUSION

While the term “unknown unknowns” is borrowed from another field [24Johari window Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window] and perhaps is best known for its use in a specific political context [14Kouyoumdjian FG, Kiefer L, Wobeser W, Gonzalez A, Hwang SW. Mortality over 12 years of follow-up in people admitted to provincial custody in Ontario: A retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open 2016; 4(2): E153-61.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20150098] [PMID: 27398358]
], we think this term appropriately describes the state of data on the population that experiences imprisonment in Canada. The data published by Statistics Canada appear to present important demographic information but are not in fact the data we need for public health and health services planning. This leads us to not knowing what we do not know, i.e. unknown unknowns. Further, the general lack of health status data for this population [2Kouyoumdjian F, Schuler A, Matheson FI, Hwang SW. Health status of prisoners in Canada: Narrative review. Can Fam Physician 2016; 62(3): 215-22.
[PMID: 27427562]
, 25Kouyoumdjian FG, Schuler A, Hwang SW, Matheson FI. Research on the health of people who experience detention or incarceration in Canada: A scoping review. BMC Public Health 2015; 15: 419.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1758-6] [PMID: 25943182]
] represents a combination of known unknowns, that is the data that we know we do not know, and unknown unknowns, as described.

Decades into the era of “big data” [26A very short history of big data Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/05/09/a-very-short-history-of-big-data/], provincial, territorial and federal governments in Canada have provided the opportunity to safely collect, aggregate and share data. We recommend that Statistics Canada collects and presents data for each province and territory and for Canada on the number of admissions to custody per year, the number of people who spend time in custody in a one year period, and the number of people admitted to custody in one-year, five-year, and 10-year periods. Further, Statistics Canada should present key characteristics of persons admitted to custody including socio-demographic characteristics such as age, sex and race/ethnicity and criminological characteristics such as whether people are remanded or sentenced on admission and during their time in custody. Any such work should be done in collaboration with affected populations and other stakeholders to ensure the relevance and use of these data while minimizing the risk of stigma.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

CSC  = Correctional Service of Canada
MCSCS  = Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

ETHICS APPROVAL AND CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE

Not applicable.

HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS

No Animals/Humans were used for studies that are base of this research.

CONSENT FOR PUBLICATION

Not applicable.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors declare no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We appreciate the provision of data by Kathy Underhill and Michael Kirk of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Jonathan Smith of the Correctional Service of Canada.

REFERENCES

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[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61053-7] [PMID: 21093904]
[2] Kouyoumdjian F, Schuler A, Matheson FI, Hwang SW. Health status of prisoners in Canada: Narrative review. Can Fam Physician 2016; 62(3): 215-22.
[PMID: 27427562]
[3] Kinner SA, Wang EA. The case for improving the health of ex-prisoners. Am J Public Health 2014; 104(8): 1352-5.
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[http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302498] [PMID: 25713970]
[5] Rowland DT. Demographic methods and concepts 2003.
[6] Reitano J. Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2015/2016 2017.
[7] Martin RE, Hislop TG, Grams GD, Moravan V, Calam B. Beware of multiple names in database linkage research: prevalence of aliases in female prison population. BMJ 2005; 331(7512): 335-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7512.335] [PMID: 16081448]
[8] Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2014/2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14318-eng.htm
[9] Adult correctional statistics in Canada 2013/2014. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2015001/article/14163-eng.htm
[10] In an email from J. Smith (Jonathan.Smith@csc-scc.gc.ca) in December 2016.
[11] In an email from M. Kirk (Michael.Kirk@ontario.ca) in November and December 2016.
[12] In an email from K. Underhill (Kathy.Underhill@ontario.ca) in May 2015.
[13] CANSIM Table 051-0001. Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories. Statistics Canada. Available at: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?id=510001
[14] Kouyoumdjian FG, Kiefer L, Wobeser W, Gonzalez A, Hwang SW. Mortality over 12 years of follow-up in people admitted to provincial custody in Ontario: A retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open 2016; 4(2): E153-61.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20150098] [PMID: 27398358]
[15] Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview 2015. Available at: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/ cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ ccrso-2015/index-en.aspx
[16] Erickson LJ, De Wals P, Farand L. An analytical framework for immunization programs in Canada. Vaccine 2005; 23(19): 2470-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.10.029] [PMID: 15752833]
[17] Kouyoumdjian FG, McIsaac KE. Persons in correctional facilities in Canada: A key population for hepatitis C prevention and control. Can J Public Health 2015; 106(6): e454-6.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.106.5132] [PMID: 26680439]
[18] Groot E, Kouyoumdjian FG, Kiefer L, et al. Drug Toxicity Deaths after Release from Incarceration in Ontario, 2006-2013: Review of Coroner’s Cases. PLoS One 2016; 11(7): e0157512.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157512] [PMID: 27384044]
[19] Freudenberg N, Heller D. A Review of Opportunities to Improve the Health of People Involved in the Criminal Justice System in the United States. Annu Rev Public Health 2016; 37: 313-33.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032315-021420] [PMID: 26789388]
[20] Wildeman C, Wang EA. Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA. Lancet 2017; 389(10077): 1464-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30259-3] [PMID: 28402828]
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[23] The First Nations Principles of OCAP Available at: http://fnigc.ca/ocap.html
[24] Johari window Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window
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[http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1758-6] [PMID: 25943182]
[26] A very short history of big data Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/05/09/a-very-short-history-of-big-data/
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Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."


Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."


Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."


Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."


M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."


Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."


Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."


Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."


Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."


Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."


Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)


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