“Research4Life programs make a significant positive difference to research experiences in low- and middle-income countries – but only when users know they are available and how to use them.
This is a key finding of an independent Research4Life user experience review conducted during 2020 using a combination of interviews, surveys and focus groups by INASP across a range of countries and institution types: the findings will guide Research4Life’s future work in reducing the knowledge gap between researchers in industrialized nations and those in low- and middle-income countries….”
“Friends of Research4Life, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in the United States, was launched to support the critical mission of the Research4Life partnership to enable full participation in the global information environment. Organizations and individuals can now make contributions that directly benefit Research4Life programs….”
“In the early 2000s, my role at Google was running web indexing: the system that crawls the web, making pages and content discoverable and accessible through search. Nowadays, there’s an assumption that looking for something via Google searches everything, but that wasn’t the case in the early days. Part of my role was to expand the index by reaching out to many different types of organizations – government, business, publishers – to make sure their web sites were included in the index.
A key group among these was scholarly publishers hosting journals and conferences. Having grown up on a university campus, scholarly articles had been all around and I wanted to make sure that they were as easy to find as everything else.
As a part of this, I reached out to HighWire to explore the possibility of indexing the hosted journals. I remember our first call in the Fall of 2002 with John Sack, Todd McGee and several others. A few quick calls, a couple of meetings in person and we were off….”
The report was undertaken by Research4Life to assess their strategic position using a variation on the PESTEL framework; it contains insights valuable to researchers, publishers, and funders working in developing countries.
Growth in research funding and the number of researchers who need access to scholarly literature and research data indicates a continuing need for Research4Life.
Open access (OA) and associated developments could undermine Research4Life’s value proposition, and similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI)?based search engines and scholarly social media platforms could render Research4Life’s existing interface uncompetitive.
The Covid?19 pandemic introduces some uncertainty into the overall picture, with the probability of significant budget pressures for universities, research funders, and publishers.
Following this, work has commenced on ways a transition can be made to OA in an equitable manner, avoiding creation of new barriers to access in lower? and middle?income countries….”
“My third point is on the OA model itself. The white paper assumes the Gold OA model as “the” model, and then explores avenues to bring the Global South in. In 2018, the LMICs constituted 5.5% of world’s publications indexed in Scopus. In the same year, 23% of articles published by these countries were in OA journals, while 75% were in subscription journals. While looking into how the South is doing with OA, we also need to convince OA journal publishers to engage with the South more — not only working with them as authors, but also as peer-reviewers and editors. We also need to look into the wide range of APCs available: from zero APC in subsidized Gold OA journals to US$ 9,900 to publish in Elsevier’s Cell. Transparency in determining APCs might clarify how much of it is actual expense, how much is profit, and how much the author is paying for the brand value.
My final point is that when we talk about OA, we essentially talk about journals published by big, commercial publishers from the Global North. We need to bring the OA journals of the South to the discussion. It could be argued that the editorial process and quality of these journals are not up to the mark, these journals are not indexed, they do not have “impact” as defined by Impact Factor or CiteScore. But, they do publish data and information important for a particular country or a region, and these data could be crucial in crisis moments, like pandemics, natural calamities, and climate change….”
Hinari Access to Research for Health Programme provides free or very low cost online access to the major journals in biomedical and related social sciences to local, not-for-profit institutions in developing countries.
“We have some great news for innovation professionals and researchers, as The Lens is now available as a resource through all Research4Life programs. What started out as a patent database is now a rich resource of linked information on scholarly communications and innovation. We talked to Osmat Jefferson, Director of Product Development, and Mark Garlinghouse, Director of Business Development at The Lens to find out more!…”
“Increasingly, the governments and private organizations which fund research are mandating that the research outputs they support are made available as open access content. These efforts are impacting both established and growing efforts to share research widely.
This panel discussion will feature four presentations that address how large-scale developments in open access, particularly in regard to those emphasizing the article processing charge (APC) model, are impacting or influencing other programs which enhance access to scholarly content under different models. A Question and Answer session will follow.
The events speakers will discuss the Open Library of Humanities, research database integration of open access content in Iran, an overview of the open access mandates and policies of Latin American countries, and the Research4Life program.”
“The origins of this White Paper can be traced to a discussion started in mid-2019 between a number of scholarly publishers and the Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life (a role that is supported financially by the STM Association). These interlocutors voiced concern that while the publishing and research communities in the developed world were making steady and positive progress towards universal Open Access based on a ‘pay to publish’ model, those same communities in the less developed lower and middle-income countries (often referred to as the “Global South”) were being excluded from these discussions. Following discussions at the STM Board in the summer of 2019, an informal Task Force of publishers and other interested parties was set up to explore ways in which a transition to Open Access could be made more equitable, avoiding a situation in which the new model would simply shift the barrier from one place to another. Crucially, a research communication process based on Open Access to all outputs should not be less inclusive than the current model….”
“IOP Publishing has joined Research4Life, a multi-organisation partnership aiming to reduce the knowledge gap between high-income and low-and middle-income countries by making scholarly, professional and research information more accessible.
It means that IOPP’s journals – which span more than 40 subject areas reaching beyond physics and into materials science, biosciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, engineering and education– will be accessible to institutions and organisations in 120 lower income countries….”