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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
Research undertaken in developing countries increases six-fold
14 July 2009 / 10:43

[Dateline: Nairobi | Author: iSeek/OARE]

Research4Life A new research impact analysis has demonstrated a dramatic rise in research output by scientists in the developing world thanks in part to Research4Life  , a public-private partnership which seeks to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals  by providing access to critical scientific research.

The announcement was made at the World Congress of Science Journalists in London
by Research4Life partners -- the
UN Environment Programme  (UNEP), the World Health Organization  (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization  (FAO).

About the research

The analysis, conducted by Elsevier’s Associate Director of Scientometrics & Market Analysis, Dr. Andrew Plume, compared absolute growth in published research before (1996–2002) and after (2002-2008), revealing a 194 percent or 6.4-fold increase in articles published in peer reviewed journals in developing countries. 

Dr. Plume noted, “The massive and sustained growth in scholarly output from the Research4Life countries, over and above the growth for the rest of the world, is probably the result of many related factors such as scientific policy, government and private research funding, and other global developments. However, such a dramatic increase in research output also reflects a clear correlation with the launch of the Research4Life programmes. These statistics point to Research4Life’s profound impact on institutions and individual researchers’ ability to publish.” 

About Research4Life

Since it began in 2002, the three Research4Life programmes, WHO’s Health Access to Research  (HINARI), FAO’s Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture  (AGORA) and the UNEP’s Online Access to Research in the Environment  (OARE), have given researchers at more than 5,000 institutions in 108 developing world countries free or low cost access to over 7,000 journals provided by the world’s leading science publishers.

Key partners include Microsoft, UNEP, WHO, FAO, Cornell and Yale Universities, and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers.

Over 108 publishers, among them Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell and Oxford University Press provide the journal content.  

Jim Pringle, Vice President of Product Development at Healthcare and Science business of Thomson Reuters, said, "A partnership like Research4Life is so great because ultimately, it helps to extend the global research community and opens the door to new scientific discoveries. We have a profound respect for the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the United Nations Environment Programme and we look forward to working with them to bring our scientific research to many thousands of people in developing countries that would not otherwise have access to this critical information."

The results of the impact analysis are further illustrated by Research4Life’s recent institutional growth findings announced in May 2009. 

  • OARE has registered 1,500 institutions since its launch in 2006, an increase of nearly 700 percent.  
  • The HINARI Access to Research Initiative has grown by 61 percent since 2006 so that researchers at 3,866 not-for-profit institutions in 108 countries now have access to over 6,300 medical and health journals. 
  • AGORA has increased registrants by 77 percent since 2006, providing researchers at 1,760 developing world institutions with access to 1,276 food, agriculture, and related social sciences journals.