Capacity building

Scientists in developing countries, early career researchers, policymakers and the public are all looking for ways to build their skills in the world of research. In doing so, they will be better equipped to tackle the challenges of the future and to contribute to the global scientific conversation. Elsevier has a role to play in this proves, partnering with these organizations, governments and research institutions to initiate mentoring programs, access initiatives, competitions, and dialogue on the need for evidence in all aspects of science and society.


Up-to-date, peer reviewed scientific literature is essential for researchers, physicians and students working in developing countries – but accessing it can be a challenge. To bridge the digital divide, the Research4Life (R4L) partnership has provided free or low-cost access to research over the past 15 years to publicly-funded institutions in the world’s least resourced countries. Through its 5 programs HINARI, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI, over 9,000 institutions are registered for R4L in more than 120 countries. In addition to open access R4L, with 100,000 peer reviewed resources, has become the primary means of access to research for a majority of users in developing countries. Elsevier is one of the 6 original founding partners and provides a quarter of that research with 3,00 journals and 20,000 ebooks from Scopus and ClinicalKey.

Librarians without Borders (LwB)

Before the digital revolution, practising evidence based health care, policymaking or education in developing countries was virtually impossible. Since 2007, Librarians without Borders, an “E-library Training Initiative” founded by the Medical Library Association (MLA), has helped build health sciences information capacity by providing information literacy training which forms the backbone of Research4Life. The Elsevier Foundation supports LwB with the Hinari/Research4Life Activities Grant, which enables the E-Library Training Initiative to continue the critical capacity building activities for the R4L programs and fund additional training.

African Journal Partnership Program/Research without Borders

African countries are performing invaluable research, but if it’s not widely available the world can’t benefit from it, and neither can other African research. To boost the impact and discoverability of African health research, the Elsevier Foundation created Research without Borders, a skills-based volunteer partnership with the African Journal Partnership Program tapping Elsevier expertise in publishing, marketing, operations and technology. Elsevier volunteers work closely with the journals and their mentors to provide strategic, editorial and operational guidance, depending on their area of expertise.

The Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge

Chemistry plays a critical role in developing a sustainable future and chemists themselves have a special responsibility to develop the new products, resources and processes to make that future happen. The Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge taps the key role that chemists play in developing solutions to pressing issues in developing countries and aims to encourage sustainability science research. Jointly run with Elsevier’s chemistry journals team, the contest aims to raise awareness around how chemistry can help us to make incremental, crucial progress towards the UN SDGs.

The Elsevier Foundation-TWAS North South Collaboration in Sustainability

From Elsevier and’s Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape 2015 report we know that in the sustainability science field there is a dramatic North-South research divide. The Elsevier Foundation built on its longstanding collaboration with The Word Academy of Sciences (TWAS) to support deeper involvement in sustainability science by developing countries. The Collaboration in Sustainability aims to boost the 2% sustainability research contributed by researchers in low-income countries, and to involve scientists to help find the solutions that work best for their communities. The partnership includes Ph.D. Travel Grants, a Sustainability Case Studies Competition and a Sustainability Visiting Experts program.

Sense About Science

Science is awash in information. The amount of research being published grows roughly 8% per year – and with new research, new data is made available. AI, big data and research can work towards the same goal: supporting the critical need for evidence-based science to ensure public trust and dialogue. Sense About Science (SAS) champions evidence and scientific reasoning, and Elsevier’s partnership supports SAS in engaging with policymakers, scientists and the public. Recognizing technological innovation as key to the scientific processes, whether to intelligently support the peer review process, help biologists synthesize data, or have systems automatically hypothesize and perform experiments – the partnership aims to stimulate public debate around science and technology.


The way that the media reports science and scientific discovery is vitally important, and misinformation can have far reaching results. REIsearch give researchers a chance to have a say on the way their work is presented in the media. Launched in 2016 by Atomium - European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy and supported by Elsevier, REIsearch connects citizens, researchers and policymakers on topics linked to scientific research and societal challenges in Europe – helping policymakers to make better use of knowledge and experience. Elsevier has been a key player in supporting the initiative, helping with funding and the platform itself, which has benefited from the use of Mendeley.

Pint of Science

What exactly happens inside a lab? And what do scientists really do all day? Connecting science with the public can be a hard challenge, but what if researchers could dialogue with anyone interested in the world of science over a beer at their local pub? Pint of Science, a global initiative that aims to shed light on science in a fun, engaging and approachable way. tries to make this happen. It offers established, early-career and non-professional researchers a podium to exchange information with colleagues as well as the public. Elsevier has been an active partner, sponsor and promoter of the Pint of Science festival supporting events.


Persecution, imprisonment and even torture, are still potential threats for researchers worldwide. Founded in 1933, the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), comes to their aid. Elsevier, through its Mendeley platform, is collaborating with Cara to help them leverage technology to enhance the work being done. Elsevier has also gifted 11 “Ambassador” accounts to Cara’s Syrian program, enabling full access to ScienceDirect. Cara focuses on extricating affected academics from immediate danger, relocating them and helping them develop new skills that will enable them to ultimately return to their homelands and take up positions to continue research and teaching while benefiting their own community.

Next Einstein Forum

Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance.

Book donations

As part of our commitment to sustainability and access, Elsevier donates returned or remaindered books to those who need it most. Since 2004, we have partnered with professional book donation organizations targeting schools, hospitals, universities and non-profits in developing countries.

Book Aid International promotes literacy in developing countries by creating reading and learning opportunities. Book Aid focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, working with partner organizations across 12 countries. As part of our commitment to sustainability and access, the RELX Group works in an innovative partnership with Book Aid International, donating over $200,000 and 750,000 books over the last ten years.

Books for Asia is the leading provider of donated information resources in the region, reaching thousands of institutions in 20 Asian countries, connecting students, educators, and local and national leaders with the knowledge they need to improve lives and expand opportunities. Through donations and technology initiatives, they help young students build knowledge in the business, legal and science professions; sharpen vocational and research ability; and enhance much needed English-language skills to compete in the global economy.