Free access to medical information for African countries battling Ebola

New initiative gives healthcare professionals access to Elsevier’s medical content online and via mobile

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As countries in West Africa and beyond battle the Ebola outbreak, various programs are providing free access to medical research online and through mobile devices. Here is a description of the programs and how to gain access:

Access to ClinicalKey

For West Africa, Elsevier is granting free access to its primary online clinical information and reference tool, ClinicalKey, for the next two months.

Countries included in this program are Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and Malawi.

"Our thoughts and prayers during this crisis are for the people of West Africa, especially the healthcare workers there from all over the world, who are working hard to contain this outbreak," said Jay Katzen, President of Elsevier Clinical Solutions.

ClinicalKey is a search engine that provides evidence-based clinical answers drawn from the single largest body of clinical content available, including Medline, 600+ journals, 1,100+ books, drug information, guidelines, and patient education. Its "smart search" technology allows the most clinically relevant results to be presented because all of the content has been tagged using Elsevier's medical taxonomy, enabling it to go beyond keyword searches to understand clinical terms and the relationship between them.

Access to ClinicalKey is IP-validated for hospitals, institutional libraries and other healthcare organizations supporting those battling the Ebola outbreak. Healthcare and disaster aid workers in West Africa will be able to access ClinicalKey by going to


Emergency Access Initiative

Elsevier is one of many publishers contributing to the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI), a program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)in partnership with the US National Library of Medicine, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. The NIH activated the program in August in response to the Ebola outbreak.

The EAI provides free access to full-text articles from over 650 biomedical serial titles and more 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters.  It serves as a temporary collection replacement or supplement for libraries that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users in disaster areas. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. For more details, visit[divider]

The Lancet Ebola Resource Center

In addition to these efforts, The Lancet, has set up an Ebola Resource Centre, where both healthcare professionals and the public can read the latest updates, research, reviews, editorials, correspondence and commentary on the outbreak. This hub brings together existing Ebola content from The Lancet and Cell Press journals along with new Ebola research as it is published.

The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre

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John McConnellIn "Fiddling while Ebola Burns," John McConnell, Editor of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, looks at how Ebola turned into an epidemic, and what measures should – and should not – be taken to stop it. The article includes travel tips and infographics from the CDC.


Elsevier Connect Contributor

Christopher Capot

As Director of Corporate Relations, Christopher Capot (@Chris_Capot) heads up public relations for Elsevier's Health Sciences division. He has been a public relations and media relations professional at agencies and corporations for more than 10 years. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist, last working as a business reporter at the New Haven Register in Connecticut. He works in Elsevier's New York office.

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    Fiddling while Ebola burns
    By John McConnell | Posted on 13 Oct 2014

    The Editor of The Lancet Infectious Diseases looks at how Ebola turned into an epidemic, and what measures should – and should not – be taken to stop it