Developing World Access to Leading Research

The demand for scientific literature in developing countries had gone unfulfilled for many years with thousands of students, researchers and academics struggling to gain access to current scientific information. While students were unable to access the literature and acquire the knowledge they needed, researchers and academics were confronted with mounting difficulties in publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals, updating their teaching curricula and identifying funding.

The collective name for the four programmes – HINARI, AGORA, OARE and ARDI – Research4Life provides developing countries with free or low cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content online. Eligible libraries and their users benefit from:

  • Online access to over 44,000  peer-reviewed international scientific journals, books, and databases
  • Full-text articles which can be downloaded for saving, printing or reading on screen
  • Searching by keyword, subject, author or language
  • Resources available in several languages
  • Training in information literacy and promotional support
Research4Life is a public-private partnership of the WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, Cornell and Yale Universities and the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers. Working together with technology partner Microsoft, the partnership’s goal is to help attain six of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015, reducing the scientific knowledge gap between industrialized countries and the developing world.

The Power of Information – Closing the Knowledge Gap

The concept of Research4Life is simple: research in health, agriculture and the environment is better informed when it is based on the most recent, high quality and relevant scientific knowledge. Research4Life applies this, delivering knowledge to the world’s poorest countries. Research4Life is empowering universities, colleges, research institutes and government ministries as well as non-governmental agencies and hospitals, with access to scientific knowledge that was never before imagined. Research4Life is a partnership that functions entirely on the basis of good will. If you have resources that could add to the development of the Research4Life initiative, please contact: partners@research4life.org

Research4Life is a highly successful public-private partnership for international development

  • UN agencies working in unison
  • Providing 100 countries, areas and territories in the developing world free or low cost access
  • 180 publishers
  • Latest technology support
  • 7,700 institutions with access
  • Over 44,000 peer-reviewed international scientific journals, books, and databases available online
  • Usage increasing every year
  • All stakeholders committed to support the programmes at least until 2015
  • Ongoing plan to address the challenges and ensure a long term legacy of research in developing countries

Who Can Access Research4Life?

Research4Life is designed to enhance the scholarship, teaching, research and policy-making of the many thousands of students, faculty, scientists, and medical specialists, focusing on Health, Agriculture, Environment and other life, physical and social sciences in the developing world.

Institutions in eligible countries are: universities and colleges, research institutes, professional schools, extension centers, government offices, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), hospitals and national libraries.


Beyond the 2015 Horizon: Research4Life’s Current Strategic Plan

Our first strategic plan for Research4Life as a whole, The Path to 2015, was produced in 2006 and was based on the findings and recommendations of the previous year’s user and infrastructure reviews. Our latest plan, Beyond the 2015 Horizon, was published in 2011 and once again has built its content and structure from the findings and recommendations of detailed external reviews conducted during the previous year.

In addition to outlining the five strategic goals which form the heart of our strategy for the next five years, the plan document also summarises in one place a wide range of basic information about Research4Life, its provenance, mission, and modus operandi.

Download: A PDF file of the complete plan