We’re really happy to share the news that from now on Mendeley will be actively supporting the Research4Life partnership and helping to disseminate cutting-edge scientific information to researchers in over 100 developing countries.
Research4Life is a public-private partnership that’s aiming to help the achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by reducing the huge knowledge gap that exists between industrialised and developing countries. It brings together institutions from across government, academia and industry such as (to name but a few) the World Health Organization, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, the Food and Agriculture Organization, Microsoft, the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell and Yale Universities, and approximately 200 publishers, who provide accessible scholarly content to over 7000 institutions worldwide.
It’s one of the many initiatives already supported by Elsevier that helps researchers get access to the information they need in places where resources are often scarce or problematic to get to. There are currently over 40,000 peer-reviewed resources made available to them through Research4Life, and as a founding partner, Elsevier contributed a quarter of those through Scopus and Science Direct, including about 3,000 journals and 12,000 books.
These resources are really crucial in enabling researchers to carry out their work in developing countries, and in 2013 there were over 3 million article downloads from Science Direct alone. Since Mendeley was acquired by Elsevier last year, we’ve been excited about the possibility of getting involved in such projects, as they tie into Mendeley’s original vision of making science more open and broadening access to scientific content where it can make a real difference to people’s lives.
Since first launching in 2001, the program has expanded to 4 targeted areas, supporting crucial research into Health (HINARI), Agriculture (AGORA), the Environment (OARE) and Development and Innovation (ARDI), and Elsevier has committed to providing the programme with free or low-cost access to this content until at least 2020. In addition, they also provide strategic, technical and communication expertise that helps advance Research4Life. For example, the Elsevier Foundation’s Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries Program gives grants for programs that build the infrastructure, improve information literacy, and provide training to further the use of Research4Life content.
And that’s where Mendeley comes in, because we’re providing all those researchers with a cloud-based, open and easily accessible tool to not only manage all those resources, but also to communicate and share insights and valuable information with other scientists all over the world. Mendeley already has over 160,000 users in Research4Life countries, and more than 100 of our advisors help to train, educate, and increase awareness about how researchers can use Mendeley to facilitate and advance their work. A big part of Mendeley’s involvement in the project will be to celebrate and promote those stories of success and collaboration to the wider Mendeley community and connect researchers who might be working on the same problems in different parts of the world.
“So far researchers on the program have been using patchy solutions involving various workflow and citation management tools, but these are often expensive, and if you’re trying to collaborate on a joint project with a researcher who does not have the same tool, that can be really problematic,” says Jan Reichelt, Co-founder and President of Mendeley. “So we’re hoping that Mendeley, with its vast community of over 3 million researchers worldwide, will help to really facilitate and accelerate the pace of discovery for Research4Life Scientists.”
Are you a researcher benefitting from the Research4Life program? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and other similar initiatives. Get in touch by leaving a comment below or join the Mendeley Research4Life group!