02 July 2009

Research4Life website launched today

In London this morning, the Research4Life partnership website was launched at the World Conference of Science Journalists.

Research4Life is the collective name given to HINARI, AGORA, and OARE, the three public-private partnership programs of the WHO, FAO, UNEP, Cornell and Yale Universities and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers.

Speaking in London today, Andrew Plume (Associate Director of Scientometrics and Market Analysis at Elsevier) showed data suggesting that Research4Life has a "profound impact on the scholarly landscape" in the countries where the partnership is active.

His analysis of data from the Thomson Reuters database shows a "dramatic rise in research outputs by scientists in the developing world since 2002." The study compared growth in research outputs for the periods 1996-2002 and 2002-2008 - before and after HINARI was launched.

His data showed growth of research publications in countries that are 'non-eligible' for Research4Life to be 67% in the 2002-2008 period. In the same period, Research4Life 'Band 1' countries (institutes get free access) reported 145% growth while 'Band 2' countries (institutes pay a small fee) reported 194% growth.

According to Plume: "We can attribute this, at least in part, to the provision of literature through the Research4Life programme."

It seems that these initiatives are improving the abilities of scientists from developing countries to publish in international peer-reviewed journals.

Note: the analysis is based on peer reviewed publications outputs in the Thomson Reuters database and does not include other factors such as changes in levels of research funding, improved connectivity, or efforts of other initiatives. [See also critical blog post]

The video explains how Research4Life helps researchers in Kenya:

More videos from research4Life

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