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RE: Google in Wall St. Journal

It is good to learn that HINARI, and its parallel programmes AGORA and OARE provide a valuable service to researchers in countries with low per capita GDP. It is also useful to have Tony Mcsean's opinion that it has been an "enormous success".

However he also says that the recent growth in usage has come about

"... despite serious lock-out problems with a terminally sick authentication system."

HINARI may well be admirable (I am sure that it is), but if a supporter can say this, it would seem that we still have a long way to go. Serious lock-out problems from an authentication system which is no longer economically necessary? That looks to me like one more vote for open access to biomedial research.


On 12/5/06, Tony <T.Mcsean@elsevier.com>"@lists.yale.edu <"Mcsean,> wrote:
It is not true to say that access to medical information in the
world's poorest countries is severely limited by IP
considerations, and in the article Professor Sulston does not say
this.  Over 100 publishers, covering almost all the world's
leading medical journals, make our e-journal services available
through the WHO's HINARI programme. Non-profit organisations in
the world's 50 poorest countries (as measured by GDP/head)
receive this content wholly free of charge, and the next 50
receive it for $1,000/year* - which is 100% ploughed back into
training and direct support.

The programme has been running for three years and during that
time it has been enormous success.  In 2006 we are expecting 5m
downloads from HINARI, an increase of 50% on the year despite
serious lock-out problems with a terminally sick authentication
system.  HINARI is Elsevier's fifth largest ScienceDirect
customer.  At the recent AHILA conference in Kenya it was
enormously encouraging to see the impact HINARI was having on the
culture of African medical libraries, their users and the
universities and hospitals in which they work.  HINARI, and its
parallel programmes AGORA and OARE, give full-strength access to
world class information systems - the same service is provided
to, say, the University of Sierra Leone medical library as to
Harvard or Cambridge.

And this is not, as is sometimes said, a short-lived experiment.
The programme's publisher partners have recently agreed to link
HINARI to the UN's Millennium Goals, which run until 2015.
Elsevier, like many of our partners is looking at what we can do
to expand programme content and to support initiatives that will
drive up usage in the poorest countries and cement evidence-based
working into their universities, hospitals, government
departments, NGOs and research institutes.

* There are some exclusions from this list by individual
publishers but as a broad generalisation this is valid.

Tony McSean
Director of Library Relations