Access to health research propels scientific activity in developing countries

HINARI countries saw growth in the number of authors publishing in peer-reviewed journals

Geneva, Switzerland, 19 May 2008 – HINARI Access to Research Initiative announced today that its collaborative efforts to provide free and low cost access to health research in the developing countries have made a significant impact on advancing scientific discoveries in these regions.

The program is designed by the World Health Organization and the world’s leading biomedical publishers to provide health sector institutions in developing countries with timely access to high quality research at low or no cost. An impact analysis, conducted by Elsevier, has shown that researchers in the countries benefiting from HINARI have begun to publish their findings in international peer-reviewed journals at a rate that is well in excess of the increase seen in the rest of the world.

Over the five-year period from 2002-2006, 105 HINARI countries saw a 63 percent growth in the number of authors publishing in peer-reviewed journals, compared to 38 percent in 102 non-HINARI countries – indicating that HINARI has had a significant impact on the participant countries’ ability to engage with the global scientific community.

"The fact that the countries benefiting from HINARI have seen such a large increase in the number of their researchers publishing in international journals is a great testament to the success and a strong indicator of the need for the HINARI program," said Barbara Aronson, WHO Library Coordinator at the World Health Organization. “The ability to share information with researchers around the world is key to enabling developing countries to advance their scientific capabilities and tackle issues important to them, such as disease control and health policy planning. We are thrilled to see HINARI making a positive contribution towards this goal.”

Since its inception in 2002, the program has been embraced by academics, researchers and policy makers throughout the developing world as essential to their ability to access and use research information. HINARI has two important sister programmes: AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and Yale University.

All three initiatives have the official commitment from the participating organizations at least until 2015, which marks the target for reaching the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Measuring growth in scientific output will help evaluate the continuing success of these efforts to support the growth of science in the developing countries.

For a list of all the partners, please visit http://extranet.who.int/hinari/en/partners.php.

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About HINARI
HINARI Access to Research Initiative provides online access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Over 5,000 journals are available to health institutions in 108 countries, benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers. The initiative was launched in 2002 under the leadership of the World Health Organization and with technical assistance from the Yale University Library. For more information, visit www.who.int/hinari.

About AGORA
Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) enables developing countries to gain access to information in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. AGORA provides a collection of 1,275 core journals to institutions in 108 countries. Launched in 2003, the initiative is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with support from the Mann Library, Cornell University and major publishers. For more information, visit www.aginternetwork.org.

About OARE
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) enables 108 low income countries to gain free access to over 2,000 environmental sciences journals. The initiative was launched in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Program, Yale University Library and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and leading science and technology publishers. For more information, visit www.oaresciences.org.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media Contact:
Kimberly Parker
HINARI Programme Manager
World Health Organization
parkerk@who.int
Phone: +41 22 791 4467