Since 2001, a number of organizations have begun to develop or to publicize programs designated to bring high quality, peer-reviewed sciences journals for free or very cheaply to developing nations. This site identifies many such programs and provides links where readers may learn more about them.
Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA)
Students, researchers, and academics in some of the world’s poorest countries will gain free or low-cost access to a wealth of scientific literature under a new initiative announced by FAO and a range of public and private sector partners. Sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) initiative will provide access to more than 400 key journals in food, nutrition, agriculture, and related biological, environmental, and social sciences. AGORA was launched on October 14, 2003.
African Access Initiative (JSTOR)
JSTOR waives the standard participation fees (the Archive Capital Feel and the Annual Access Fee) for any not-for-profit institution in a country on the continent of Africa. Access will be for the entire JSTOR archive, including all content added to the archive during the period of participation. Information about each collection may be found at Currently Available Collections and Journals. Access also includes all collections developed by Aluka, an initiative uniting with JSTOR. Aluka developed collections will be available at www.aluka.org in the near term. Access to JSTOR is provided via the Internet, using IP addresses that are authorized at the institution to have that access. An institution must have stable IP addresses in order to participate in this program. All not-for-profit institutions interested in African Access Initiative participation are required to fill out the JSTOR Network Verification Form.
African Journals Online (AJOL)
Run by INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications), this African journals online service—www.ajol.info—now includes some full text. The service hosts about 200 African-published journals, with the abstracts and tables of contents free to view, and document delivery available (free to researchers from LDCs). However a few journals are now considering moving online, and some are considering Open Access to promote their content more worldwide. The first journal available in full text on the service is SAHARA-J (a South African Medical journal), and others are working toward placing their full text on the service. Subject areas include:
- Agricultural sciences and resource management
- Arts, culture, language, and literature
- Science and technology
- Social sciences
Web site: http://www.ajol.info
African Virtual University
The African Virtual University (AVU) is a “university without walls” that uses modern information and communication technologies to give the countries of sub-Saharan Africa direct access to some of the highest quality learning resources throughout the world. AVU is bridging the digital divide by training world-class business managers, engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals who will promote economic and social development and help propel Africa into the knowledge age. Since the launch of its pilot phase in 1997, AVU has provided students and professional in 17 African countries over 3,000 hours of interactive instruction in English and French. More than 24,000 students have completed semester-long courses in technology, engineering, business, and the sciences and over 3,500 professionals have attended executive and professional management seminars on topics such as strategy and innovation, entrepreneurship and e-commerce. AVU provides students access to an online digital library with over 1,000 full text journals. Over 45,000 free AVU e-mail accounts have been created and the AVU website currently receives more than 1 million hits per month. In November 2001, Elsevier Science announced a broad initiative to provide journal access through AVU.
Moderator’s Note: As of July 2007, neither LIBLICENSE nor Elsevier can confirm that AVU is still providing this service and we have not been able to contact AVU directly. We would welcome accurate information on the state of affairs there.
Web site: http://www.avu.org
American Mathematical Society
In 1997, AMS began the National Math Reviews Subscription Program in order to provide access to Math Reviews (paper, CD-ROM, online) to developing countries at extremely discounted prices. There are now 36 countries participating in the program, but over 100 are eligible.
American Medical Association
Dr. Norman Frankel of the American Medical Association noted (on 1/24/2002) that the ten scientific journals published by the AMA participate in a program to deliver their journals without charge to developing nations. The ten journals include:
- The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
- Archives of Dermatology
- Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery
- Archives of General Psychiatry
- Archives of Internal Medicine
- Archives of Neurology
- Archives of Ophthalmology
- Archives of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
- Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
- Archives of Surgery
Web site: http://www.amapubs.com
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society (APS) announces a new public access initiative that will give readers and researchers in public libraries in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide this access at no cost to participating public libraries, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding. Librarians can obtain access by accepting a simple online site license and providing valid IP addresses of public-use computers in their libraries. The license requires that public library users must be in the library when they read the APS journals or download articles. Initially the program will be offered to U.S. public libraries, but it may include additional countries in the future.
Association of Commonwealth Universities: Protecting the African Library
ACU’s Low Cost Journals Scheme aims to:
- Facilitate the purchase of high-quality print journals for ACU member institutions in developing countries.
- Collaborate with other journal support schemes to ensure a coordinated approach, in order to increase access to journals and provide a more streamlined and comprehensive service.
The scheme started as a pilot in 2002 for a selection of ACU member universities in Sub-Saharan Africa and is currently expanding to other regions, as the need for international journals remains strong for libraries throughout the developing world.
Association for Information Systems
At its December 2000 meeting, the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Executive Committee agreed that all university libraries in countries not listed in the World Bank’s list of high income economies should be granted free subscriptions to the Communications of AIS and the Journal of AIS. These are quality electronic journals with articles by leading IS scholars.
Web site: http://www.aisnet.org
Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress)
According to Greg Tananbaum, Vice President, The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) makes its current slate of journals freely available to researchers in the developing world. Interested parties who lodge their requests on institutional letterhead are given unrestricted access to the full text of bepress’s published articles. Bepress aims through its organizational and technological innovations to improve scholarly communication; to enhance the interaction among authors, editors, and readers; and to enable editors to produce scholarly materials without assistance or delays. Berkeley Electronic Press presents a dual-pronged approach to the problems scholars face in disseminating their work community-based solutions in the form of their own peer-reviewed journals, and university-based solutions in the form of bepress’s technology licensing. Taken collectively, they present a broad suite of alternatives for an academic community besieged by the high cost and slow speed of scholarly communication.
Web site: http://www.bepress.com
Bioline International is managed by scientists and librarians. It is a collaborative initiative of the University of Toronto Libraries, Canada (management office); the Reference Center on Environmental Information, Brazil (host computer and software development); and Bioline/UK (liaison). Bioline International is a not-for-profit electronic publishing service committed to providing access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. With peer-reviewed journals from Brazil, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and more to come, BI provides a unique service by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community worldwide.
Web site: http://www.bioline.org.br/
The full-text articles published in all BioMed Central primary journals are freely available to developing countries, without any exception (and to any developed countries, as well). Articles may be freely downloaded and stored or distributed further without prior permission for any non-commercial purpose, provided that the original author and publisher are acknowledged properly. Totally unfettered access is offered; not even registration is needed, although registration is appreciated. The articles are obtained via www.biomedcentral.com. In order to sustain this full open access, article processing charges ($500) are levied on the author’s institution, but a very generous waiver policy is applied to those who genuinely lack funds, e.g., authors from developing countries. Also, institutional memberships are available from January 2002, at highly preferential rates to institutions from developing countries, which, among other things, provide high visibility for the member institutions via the BioMed Central Web site. Details can be found on www.biomedcentral.com. BioMed Central also provides an automatic waiver to authors based in any of a list of countries, which were classified by the World Bank as Low-income economies or Lower-middle-income economies as of July 2009, and which have a 2008 gross domestic product of less than 200 billion U.S. dollars (reference: World Bank, July 1, 2009).
Web site: http://www.biomedcentral.com
Cambridge University Press Free Content
Cambridge University Press makes “free content” from its journals available at this site.
Developing Nations Access Initiative (JSTOR)
Developing Nations Access Initiative extends JSTOR efforts beyond Africa (see African Nations Access Initiative above). Under this initiative, not-for-profit institutions in 41 additional countries may gain access to the archive free of charge or at very low costs. This new initiative further complements JSTOR’s Developing Nations Fee Model—in place since 2005—and eliminates or further reduces fees for institutions in many nations. As a result, all of the collections in JSTOR and Aluka, an initiative uniting with JSTOR, are now free in 64 countries and available at low cost in 30 others.
Edinburgh University Press Developing Countries Initiative
Edinburgh University Press supports the dissemination of high-quality research and academic knowledge worldwide. The following initiatives are intended to increase the availability of EUP journals in developing countries, either as subsidized print copies or free online access. Edinburgh University Press journals are available free of charge, in electronic format, to countries classified as “low income” in the World Bank Country Classification 2007. You do not need to sign up for this service as the Web site detects the country you are connecting from and grants free online access automatically via EUP Journals Online.
eJournals Delivery Service (eJDS)
The electronic Journals Delivery Service (eJDS) is a tool that allows scientists who live and work in least developed or low-income countries to access current scientific literature, mainly in the fields of physics and mathematics.
The service requires registration and is cost-free. The articles are sent as email attachments so as to reach individual scientists who do not have access to sufficient bandwidth to download material from the Internet in a timely manner and/or cannot afford the connection.
eJDS is a programme of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy. It is run by the Marie Curie Library, with the participation of leading scientific publishing societies and companies.
Web site: http://ejds.ictp.it/
Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL)
The EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) Project aims to facilitate affordable access to electronic scholarly journals databases for libraries and their users in countries in transition. The project started in October 1999 as a joint initiative of the Open Society Institute and EBSCO Publishing, providing countrywide access to thousands of titles in social sciences, humanities, business, and management by libraries in nearly 40 countries of the Soros Foundations’ network. Content offerings are currently being expanded into science, technology, and medical journals. In order to ensure sustainability of the project, eIFL is also offering various other programs that support the building and enhancement of local library consortia in participating countries.
Electronic Publishing Trust for Development
The Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT) was established in 1996 to facilitate open access to the world’s scholarly literature and to support the electronic publication of reviewed bioscience journals from countries experiencing difficulties with traditional publication. The Trust is aware of the problems faced by scientists and publishers in many countries both in accessing the world’s research information and in gaining high enough visibility for their publications and research output because of printing and distribution costs. This can result in an unwillingness by regional scientists to publish in journals that have poor circulation levels. The outcome is the loss of much important scientific information that either remains unavailable to the international scientific community or suffers long delays in publication. The Trust is focusing on the biological sciences, which in the fields of medicine, biodiversity, microbiology, environmental, and agricultural sciences is of paramount global importance. Local scientific information is critical, particularly in the case of human, animal, and plant disease surveillance and conservation. The main activities of the EPT are to provide awareness of the benefits of electronic publishing; transfer e-publishing technology through training and other online resources; and provide management and distribution support.
Web site: http://www.epublishingtrust.org/
enLink: an Initiative of the Nestle Foundation
The education in nutrition link (enLINK) was created in 2003 as a capability building tool to bridge the digital divide in nutrition and health. The Nestlé Foundation has partnered with Ovid Technologies and a few publishers to create a collection of information resources in the area of nutrition and health including a selection of full text from key nutrition journals. Access to complete texts is available to registered users from low income countries.
Web site: http://demo.ovid.com/custom/enlink/about.htm
The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL)
TEEAL is an annually updated collection of the world’s most important scientific journals in the field of agriculture. Journal issues start from 1993 and updates are produced annually. TEEAL is an offline library, initially available as a CD-ROM set and more recently on an external hard drive for operation and access on a local area network (LAN). It is available at well below cost to 109 of the lowest-income food-deficit countries, as listed in the World Bank’s 1998–99 World Development Report. A number of donor agencies have supported TEEAL set purchases though many sets are also self-funded by institutions.TEEAL has been called a “Library in a Box.” It contains over 140 journals selected by 600 scientists from around the world as the most essential to research and education in: Rural Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, Food Processing, Veterinary Medicine, Range Management, Agricultural Engineering, Crop Development, Animal Management, Pest Control, Economics, Soil Science, Nutrition, Forestry. The project is managed out of A. R. Mann Library at Cornell University.
Web site: http://www.teeal.org/
GDN Journal Service
GDN works with partners to provide researchers working in developing countries with free access to a range of journals services through GDNet. The Global Development Network (GDN) is a global network of research and policy institutes working together to address the problems of national and regional development. GDN:
- Supports multidisciplinary research in social sciences
- Promotes the generation of local knowledge in developing and transition countries
- Produces policy relevant knowledge on a global scale
- Builds research capacity to advance development and alleviate poverty
- Facilitates knowledge sharing among researchers and policymakers
- Disseminates development knowledge to the public and policymakers
The site offers the following information: “The below journals offer free online access to all countries that appear in the World Bank’s list of ‘low income economies,’ plus Djibouti. You do not need to sign up for this service as our software automatically detects the country you are connecting from and grants access accordingly.” Additionally, the site contains over 350,000 articles from high-quality peer-reviewed biomedical journals that are available for free to all readers. Stanford University Libraries’ HighWire Press began in early 1995 with the online production of the weekly Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the most highly cited (and second largest) peer-reviewed journal. Scientists and societies rapidly saw the potential for new forms and features of scientific communication, and Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences soon joined JBC online.
See World Health Organization below.
IFORS: International Federation of Operations Research Societies
The aim of the IFORS Developing Countries On-Line Resources page is to offer the OR worker all publicly-available materials on the topic of OR for Development. It also aims to provide a venue for people who are working in the area to share their completed or in-process work, learn from others, and stimulate comments and discussions on the work. The International Federation of Operational Research Societies is an almost 60-year old organization which is currently composed of 51 national societies. Regional Groups of IFORS are:
- ALIO (The Latin American Ibero Association on Operations Research)
- APORS (The Association of Asian-Pacific Operational Research Societies)
- EURO (The Association of European Operational Research Societies)
- NORAM (The Association of North American Operations Research Societies)
INASP is a cooperative network of partners aiming to improve worldwide access to information. It was established in 1992 by the International Council for Science (ICSU) as a programme of the Committee for the Dissemination of Scientific Information (CDSI)/ICSU Press. Its stated objectives are: to map, support, and strengthen existing activities promoting access to and dissemination of scientific and scholarly information and knowledge; to identify, encourage, and support new initiatives that will increase local publication and general access to quality scientific and scholarly literature; and to promote in-country capacity building in information production, organization, access, and dissemination.
PERii is the second five-year phase of INASP’s Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information. Focusing on the needs of people in developing and emerging countries, PERii works with partners to support global research communication by further strengthening the knowledge and skills of people working in research communication, participation in international knowledge networks, and research communication policy and practice. The Information Delivery component of PERii enables library consortia in 22 partner countries to select multidisciplinary resources from over 50 publishers and aggregators. The negotiated content available includes over 25,000 online journals (18,000+ full text), and over 11,000 ebooks, citation and bibliographic databases, and document delivery from the British Library. PERii partners with Country Coordinating teams who identify the resources required within their country and coordinate training, promotion and evaluation of the resources available. On their behalf, the Information Delivery team negotiates (or supports local negotiation) with publishers and other content owners to obtain access to resources at a price that is proportionate to the socioeconomic situation and infrastructure within each country. Free content is negotiated for the 33 network countries with country coordinators.
Web site: http://www.inasp.info/
InfoMed is the computer net of the National System of Health Information of the Ministry of Health in Cuba. It has been operational since 1992. Goals: To facilitate the exchange of electronic information in the field of medicine, biomedicine, and health in general. Intends to facilitate linkages between professionals, academicians, researchers, functionaries, and public health workers in general in Cuba and abroad. Linkages: InfoMed is linked to the key nodules of the Cuban E-Mail Net and with the X.25 Net of the Cuban Academy of Sciences. For international e-mail it is connected to PeaceNet, allowing e-mail exchange with the world nets, including Internet and Satellife. With the exception of these international e-mail services, we lack direct connection with Internet. Users: Currently InfoMed provides services to users throughout the country with great possibilities of growth, only limited by the lack of equipment in the health institutions, given that the interest in the service health care workers is enormous. Up to now there are approximately 500 open accounts, 80 percent of which are of collective use in health institutions of Cuba. This makes the estimates of users harder to make. The amount of information traveling through the net is continuously increasing and currently the daily average is 14 MB.
For more information, contact CNICM:
Centro Nacional de Informacion de Ciencias Medicas
27 # 110 e/ M y N. Vedado. CP 10400. Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Tel: (537) 321991 Fax: (537) 333063
Iraq Virtual Science Library
A multinational partnership including the National Academies of Science and Engineering, Sun Microsystems, AGORA, HINARI, and Springer are sponsoring the establishment of an Iraq Virtual Science Library to provide Iraqi Scientists and Academicians with access to important journals in medicine, engineering, and physical sciences. The participating institutions whose members will be able to use the service include: Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Minerals, Ministry of Oil, Ministry of Electricity, University of Baghdad, Al-Nahrain University, University of Technology, Mustansireyah University, Basrah University, Sulamaneyah University, and Mosul University.
Web site: http://www.ivsl.org
Librarianship in the South
The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has launched a new portal offering free and full-text Internet resources on library and information management and knowledge sharing (including e-publications, Web sites, databases, audio-visuals, photographs). The Web site has been developed and managed by the Information & Library Services (ILS) department of KIT with support from all its project partners in the South and aims at library development. RSS and e-mail alerts will inform of the latest resources added, as well as of news and events. Librarians from all over the world are asked to contribute to this Web site. See also this initiative’s Twitter and Facebook pages for social media supporting this effort.
National Academies Press
The National Academies now offer free online access in more than 100 developing countries to the reports of the Academies, as well as to journal articles from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The goal is to help developing countries tackle challenges such as disease, hunger, and economic transition with enhanced scientific knowledge. Since January 2002, PNAS has offered developing countries free online access to the research articles, commentaries, and reviews published in the journal, which are now available free of charge in more than 130 countries, listed here. The National Academies Press (NAP) now allows readers in most developing countries to obtain Academies reports free from the NAP Web site in portable document format (PDF). Eligible nations are listed here. In the first two months of this year, NAP gave away 15,600 books and 6,500 individual chapters to people in these nations. In addition, NAP’s site will soon feature special “subject portals” on topics such as drought and water sciences, which are of particular interest in the developing world.
Web site: http://www.nap.edu
National Bureau of Economic Research
The NBER is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. Our research is conducted by more than 600 university professors around the country, the leading scholars in their fields. The NBER sells subscriptions to its online working paper series but offers free service to residents of developing countries and transition economies. Natural-resource rich countries are not on the free-distribution list. NBER provides a list of the country-code domains currently eligible for free downloads of NBER working papers. If your computer is in one of these domains, you should be offered a download on the bibliographic page for the paper. If that doesn’t happen, it is probably because your network does not support Reverse Name Lookup. Without that facility on your network, NBER can’t learn what your domain name is. However, selecting the “Information for subscribers and others expecting free downloads” link offers the opportunity to provide to NBER your email address, and NBER will then email you a URL for the paper. Further details are available here.
Web site: http://www.nber.org/
New England Journal of Medicine
The New England Journal of Medicine is made available to certain countries under its “Access for Low-Income Countries” program. The list of over 100 countries on its Web site was derived primarily from a World Bank list. Users from these countries will be recognized automatically by their IP addresses and allowed access to full text without charge.
Web site: http://www.nejm.org/
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE)
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE), an international public-private consortium coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers, enables developing countries to gain free access to one of the world’s largest collections of environmental science literature. More than one thousand scientific journal titles owned and published by over 200 prestigious publishing houses, scholarly societies, and scientific associations are now available in 70 low-income countries. Another 36 countries will be added by 2008. Research is provided in a wide range of disciplines, including biotechnology, botany, climate change, ecology, energy, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, environmental engineering and planning, environmental law and policy, environmental toxicology and pollution, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, urban planning, zoology, and many others.
Web site: http://www.oaresciences.org/en/
Oxford University Press Journals
Oxford Journals will continue to offer developing countries free (or greatly discounted) online access to many of our journals. Further information, including a list of countries that qualify for free or reduced access can be found here.
Web site: http://www.oxfordjournals.org
patientINFORM is a free online service that provides patients and their caregivers access to some of the most up-to-date, reliable, and important research available about the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases. Here, consumers have the ability to not only read the latest research, but also to find help interpreting that information and accessing additional materials. By making it easier to understand research findings, patientINFORM empowers healthcare consumers to have improved discussions with their physicians and make informed decisions about care. This service aggregates and provides access to content from multiple sources.
Web site: http://www.patientinform.com
American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., and the American Psychiatric Association make the books and journals available at www.PsychiatryOnline.com available to developing countries through the HINARI (WHO) program.
Web site: http://www.PsychiatricOnline.com
“Based at the University of Toronto, the Ptolemy Project aims to bridge the current digital divide in access to full text health information and to link surgical researchers from around the world with the extraordinary resources of the University of Toronto Library, North America’s 4th largest research library.”
Web site: http://www.ptolemy.ca
PubMed Central is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). It is not a journal publisher. Access to PubMed Central (PMC) is free and unrestricted. As of April 2012, 2.4 million articles are archived in PMC, with content provided in part by 1046 full participation journals, 300 NIH portfolio journals, and 1683 selective deposit journals.
Web site: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov
The Royal College of Psychiatrists
We have enabled free online access to all three of our journals (the British Journal of Psychiatry, the Psychiatric Bulletin, and Advances in Psychiatric Treatment) across 75 countries, collated from the World Bank list of lowest income countries and the OECD list of countries qualifying for Official Development Assistance based on per capita GNP. Any institution or individual in these countries should be able to access the online journals, as the system is based on recognition of IP addresses based on those areas. In collaboration with other HighWire publishers, we are also participating in a joint bid to eIFL (run by the Soros Foundation), which offers free or highly discounted online access to institutions in a number of countries. This is still pending. Countries in the program: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Cote D’ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Rep, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome And Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Web site: http://www.rcpsych.org/
Royal Society of Chemistry
(From BBC News, 3/1/2006): The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has announced that it will give Africa free access to its journal archives. A total of 1.5 million pages and 250,000 articles will be available electronically to African scientists. At the launch of the initiative, an Ethiopian researcher called on other chemistry journals to open their archives free-of-charge, too. Hareg Tadesse said: “It is not about only me, and only Africa – the whole of the developing world needs supporting.” The Archives for Africa scheme was launched on Tuesday at the House of Commons. “Access to scientific information is an essential ingredient for the establishment of a sustainable science base,” said Dr. Simon Campbell, the president of the RSC. “We believe that free access to the RSC Archive will make a major contribution towards building scientific capacity, which African leaders have stated is essential for social and economic development.” The decision to open access to the journals followed the recent G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, which highlighted the need for capacity building in developing countries in science and technology. Hareg Tadesse, a chemist from Ethiopia, who attended the launch, believes her research has benefited from access to the journals. “In order to do my work, I needed to know the results from previous research. And it was really hard in Addis for me to get hold of the right papers. This is where the archives are going to be so useful,” she explained. However, to aid African research, she said more scientific journals needed to give free access to their papers. “I would like to call on all publishers of chemistry journals to follow the lead of the RSC to support young chemists like me with their archives so that we can bring the benefits of chemistry to our great continent,” she added.
Sadly, many health professionals in developing countries do not have access to current information and research that is vital for diagnosis, treatment, and care of disease. Empowering them to deliver better health care in their communities, SATELLIFE:
- Connects health professionals in remote areas to critical information resources.
- Enables health professionals to share information on relevant health issues.
- Trains health workers in the use of information technology tools.
- Distributes current, peer-reviewed medical and public health content to health practitioners in the developing world.
Access to relevant, reliable, and current health information is essential to the practice of health care. To address this need, SATELLIFE has forged relationships with reputable content providers, including medical publishers and international development organizations, to offer a series of publications featuring clinical and public health information. Available at no charge to health professionals living in the developing world, SATELLIFE’s content is selected from over 40 peer-reviewed medical journals.
SciDev.Net is a free-access, Internet-based network devoted to reporting on and discussing those aspects of modern science and technology relevant to sustainable development and the social and economic needs of developing countries. The project is based on the premise that those who stand to benefit most from modern science and technology are also those who have least access to information about it. Such individuals are therefore left ill-equipped to take part in discussions about science- and technology-related issues that profoundly affect their lives. Our goal is to provide a focal point for both authoritative information and informed debate on these issues. By doing so, SciDev.Net seeks to empower both individuals and communities in developing countries, increasing their ability to ensure the effective contribution of science and technology to sustainable development, and thus to the general improvement of health and economic well-being.
Web site: http://www.scidev.net
Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO)
The Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) is an electronic virtual library covering a selected collection of Brazilian scientific journals. The library is an integral part of a project being developed by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME). The FAPESP-BIREME Project envisages the development of a common methodology for the preparation, storage, dissemination, and evaluation of scientific literature in electronic format. As the project develops, new journal titles will be added in the library collection. The objective of the site is to implement an electronic virtual library, providing full access to a collection of serial titles, a collection of issues from individual serial titles, as well as to the full text of articles. The access to both serial titles and articles is available via indexes and search forms.
Web site: http://www.scielo.br
University of Chicago Press
According to Kate Duff, Special Projects Manager (1/24/2002), the University of Chicago Press participates in a couple of programs that provide selected journal content as part of a CD database or electronic newsletter that is distributed to institutes in developing nations: SateLLife (contact: Leela McCullough, firstname.lastname@example.org) and The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL) (contact: email@example.com).
Virtual Health Library
BIREME’s mission is to contribute to the development of health in the countries of the Latin America and the Caribbean by promoting the use of health scientific and technical information. The Virtual Health Library is envisioned as broad scientific and technical knowledge based in health-entered, organized, and stored in electronic format in the countries of the region, universally accessible on the Internet and compatible with international databases. The Virtual Health Library is simulated in a virtual space on the Internet and consists of a collection or network of health information sources in the Region. Users from different levels and locations will be able to interact and navigate in the space of one or more information sources, regardless of their physical location. The information sources are generated, updated, stored, and manipulated on the Internet by producers, integrators, and intermediaries, in a decentralized manner using common methodologies for their integration into the Virtual Health Library.
Web site: http://www.bireme.br/
WiderNet (University of Iowa)
The eGranary Digital Library puts millions of documents instantly at the fingertips of scholars in developing countries without using an Internet connection. Since few schools in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet, and those that do spend enormous amounts of money for slow and unreliable connections, the eGranary Digital Library stores huge amounts of information on hard drives inside a school’s internal network. It contains books, Web sites, journals, movies, and audio files from hundreds of contributing authors and publishers who freely contribute to help bridge the digital divide.
Web site: http://www.widernet.org
World Health Organization: HINARI
HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme was set up by the World Health Organization together with major publishers. It enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world’s largest collections of biomedical and health literature. More than 8,000 information resources (in 30 different languages) are now available to health institutions in 105 countries, areas, and territories benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers, and in turn, contributing to improve world health.
Web site: http://www.who.int/hinari