Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

2016 MLA Hinari/Research4Life Grant Recipients

14th September 2016

The Medical Library Association (MLA)mla and the Elsevier Foundation have announced the recipients of the 2016 MLA HINARI/Research4Life Grants.

hinlogo-05Funded by the Elsevier Foundation, these grants will support HINARI/R4L training activities that promote the use of the programs’ scientific research resources in emerging/low income countries. The recipients will use the grants to benefit individuals to obtain skills to effectively and efficiently use the Hinari/Research4Life resources and also become trainers for their institutions or country.

The recipients will be honored at the Presidents’ Awards Dinner during MLA’17 in Seattle, Washington.

  • Martha Cecilia Garcia, Coordinator National Library of Medicine, Honduras, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.
  • Karin Saric, Information Services Librarian, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California, USA.
  • Alemayehu Bisrat, Health Informatics Expert and Project Coordinator, Center for eHealth, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
  • Dativa Tibyampansha, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Tanzania.
  • Megan von Isenburg, Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

Congratulations to the winners!

Ready to Submit an Application for the 2017 Grants?

Choose the 2017 MLA Hinari/Research4Life Grant online application form. The completed online form and supporting documents must be received by December 1.  Be certain to follow the application checklist, as submissions lacking required information will not be reviewed.

For more information visit

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Namibia hosts Forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture in Africa in the context of Sustainable Development Goals, 18 April 2016

12th April 2016


The second of four forums organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and partners, the forum is targeted at experts from senior government, academia and NGOs.

Strengthening access to agricultural science and technical information (Open Data and Open Science*) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is vital if Africa is to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to ending hunger, alleviating poverty, gender equality, climate change and health.

Due to challenges at both an institutional and national level much agriculture-related data produced in SSA isn’t visible or accessible, hindering any meaningful impact on food security in the region. A UN report found that in 2015 more than 40% of the population of SSA was still living in poverty and that the region faces daunting challenges with regards rapid population growth, high levels of poverty and conflicts.  Data has become a key asset for agricultural transformation in Africa. Indeed greater access to and sharing of agricultural data and science are two of the keys to unlocking change, allowing innovative solutions to be developed to address food insecurity and poverty on the continent.

However, in order for Open Data and Open Science initiatives to make any meaningful impact on SDGs and on the lives of Africans, most of whom make a living in the rural domain, they must draw together and galvanize players from the full agricultural spectrum.

An enabling environment where agricultural researchers and experts can share their innovations on open platforms is imperative. Farmers, rural populations and development specialists must also be empowered to adopt new innovative technologies and solutions aimed at combatting hunger and poverty in the region.

Sustainable Development Goals

As the eight Millennium Development Goals of the last 15 years came to a conclusion in 2015, a new set of transformative Sustainable Development Goals took their place. While the MDGs made huge strides on a global scale towards eradicating extreme poverty and inequality, development in SSA has been patchy and the challenge is now on to transform the demands of the new SDGs into action. 

Formally signed by the UN in September 2015 The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda included 17 new goals and 169 targets with individual governments expected to create national frameworks for achieving them.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the new SDGs as a “shared vision of humanity, and a to-do list for people and planet and a blueprint for success”.

The new SDGs go a step further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development. They place increased emphasis on the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. With the spotlight increasingly on sustainability, Open Data and Open Science initiatives in agriculture in Africa come into even sharper focus. 

Namibia totemGoal of the forums

The chief objective of the forums is to provide a dialogue platform where senior agricultural experts in SSA can articulate some of the challenges to Open Data and Open Science and propose possible strategies.

The forum in Namibia, where around half the population depends largely on subsistence agriculture for a living and the national level of income inequality is one of the highest in the world, asks how enhancing access to Open Data and Science in agriculture can enable the country and indeed, SSA to fulfill SDGs.  

Senior experts in agriculture will:

  • exchange knowledge on institutional and national initiatives aimed at enhancing access to agricultural data science
  • share knowledge and discuss national global trends on data and science access
  • discuss potential mechanisms for enhanced knowledge sharing initiatives in agriculture in SSA.

Expected outcomes

  • A common understanding the role of open data and open science in achieving Africa’s SDGs. 
  • Clarification of the institutional, national and regional policy implications for open data and open science
  • Agreement on the mechanisms, technologies and standards for sharing open data and open science initiatives


Spearheaded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO of the UN), the collective forums in Kenya (June 2015), Namibia (April 2016), Ghana (July 2016) and Tanzania (May 2016) gather together senior specialists from policy, research information and technology in agriculture and related fields. 

In Namibia two senior policy panel discussions will be followed by facilitated discussions in plenary. Panelists include high profile experts in agricultural and rural development, science, technology and library and information management from Namibia and the sub region.

Part II of the Namibia forum (19-20 April 2016) is a two-day workshop on access to scientific information in agriculture. Transforming the overarching theme of the forum into practical training sessions, the workshop is targeted at agriculture information workers with the core focus on Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA)

The first forum in Kenya

44 participants gathered in Nairobi in June 2015 (see photo above) where they agreed that Open Science and Open Data requires an enabling environment framework, including appropriate policies and strategies on a governmental and institutional level. Furthermore, researchers and scientists required a more rewarding system that supports open publishing and collaborative research work, especially with regard to young scientists.

One of the key issues is a lack of understanding of the mechanics of Open Data and Open Science with unclear intellectual property rights policies leading to an “over protection” of data.

However, the forum highlighted several Kenyan initiatives already in place to support open science and to foster processes to improved access to agricultural data. Advocacy on an institutional and governmental level was a key recommendation and the Kenya Agricultural Information Network (KAINet) secretariat and member institutions are focused on driving this forward.

Scheduled follow-ups to the forum will be aimed at consolidating permanent dialogue between stakeholders.

Take a look at the full report

Forum on Open Data and Open Science in Agriculture in Nambia

The forum takes place on 18th April at the Avani Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia – speakers to be confirmed.  It is co-organized by FAO alongside the National University of Namibia (UNAM), GODAN, Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA), and Research4Life.

Since 1975 FAO has supported initiatives aimed at opening up access to agricultural data. It is currently working closely alongside several partners, including the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), Open Agriculture Knowledge for Development (CIARD), and Research4Life to improve access to available agriculture and nutrition data, with a view to contributing to enhance food security in Africa.  All four forums are part of this initiative.

Forum dates:

Namibia: 18 – 20 April 2016
Tanzania: 23 – 25 May 2016
Ghana: 11 – 13 July 2016

*Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

Open science is the umbrella term of the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge.”

Source: Wikipedia 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Myanmar Universities Hosting Training Workshop on Access To Global Online Research in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 25-29 April 2016

12th April 2016


FAO of the United Nations in conjunction with WorldFish and Research4Life is organizing two workshops at the University of Yangon and Yezin University in Myanmar this month. The workshops are aimed at raising awareness of key trends in scientific publishing in agriculture, fisheries and forestry, as well as providing access to information and research in these fields.

2015 marked a shift in scientific publishing. While the research community still has to compete for funding there is fresh emphasis on research data sets being “intelligently open” (otherwise known as Open Data*) so that others can use them. Since the adoption of the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda the question of Open Data and Open Science* – and in particular ways of accessing and managing those information sources, is at the forefront of the debate.

With the goal of drawing together experts from research organizations in Myanmar, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, WorldFish and Research4Life are organizing a series of workshops aimed at raising awareness of key trends in scientific publishing in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. These workshops will look at ways that free access to information and research on agriculture, forestry and fisheries is provided, as well as supporting researchers in data management and publication. 

Myanmar: background

Myanmar_LakeFisheries play a crucial role as a source of livelihood for millions of people in Myanmar with fish being one of the most important food groups. Forestry regeneration in the country has the power to enhance the livelihood benefits of the population both through livelihood oriented forest management and marketing development.  

Although Myanmar is the largest country in South East Asia it also one of the poorest, with poverty disproportionately concentrated in rural areas where the majority of the population lives. Compounding this, visibility and access to information about poverty in Myanmar is lacking, making it hard to identify key restraints to the future development of aquaculture and forestry management, especially their role in alleviating poverty.  Emerging threats from population growth, conflict and climate change, particularly natural disasters, exacerbate the challenge.

According to a national survey on social protection and poverty reduction presented by the FAO in conjunction with Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development, priority in Myanmar should be given to vulnerable fishing communities for poverty reduction and rural development, particularly to increase access to appropriate and effective social assistance.

In the context of these overlapping demands there is a need for well-designed programs and projects that draw attention to the range of free agricultural information resources available to researchers. Strengthening access to agricultural, forestry and fisheries-related data, and indeed training people to use these research tools in Myanmar, has enormous potential to make a difference to people’s lives, as well as for the country to fulfill wider Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

Myanmar totem

Workshops: approach

The main focus of the workshops is to introduce two databases: AGORA and the International System for Agricultural Science and Technology (AGRIS) – two research tools that give researchers in low-income countries access to a wealth of scientific research and information on agriculture.

The workshops will provide an overview of the overarching structure of the two databases, giving guidance on how best to search through the range of research materials.

A further section focuses on existing tools for accessing information to agricultural research, including Google Scholar, Google Books, Aquatic Commons, PubAg, and TEEAL.

In addition, day two of the Yangon University workshop features a special panel session on “Access to Scientific Information in Myanmar” with presentations from two speakers.

AGORA, AGRIS, Research4Life

Set up by FAO of the UN together with major publishers (Elsevier has provided over a quarter of the content), AGORA provides developing countries with access to an outstanding digital library in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences, providing a collection of over 6,000 journals and 5,800 books in over 100 low-income countries.

AGRIS is a FAO-maintained global public database providing bibliographic information on agricultural science and technology. Like AGORA its chief goal is to improve access to and the exchange of agricultural information in developing countries.  Over 150 institutions from 65 countries contribute to the AGRIS network. Alongside search results AGRIS links to other sources on the web, further enriching knowledge. 

 The goal of Research4Life is to reduce the knowledge gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries by providing affordable access to critical scientific research. Research4Life is the collective name for the four programmes – HINARI, AGORAOARE and ARDI – that provide developing countries with free or low cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content online


The organizers of these events are WorldFish, Research4Life, FAO of the United Nations, GODAN, University of Yangon and University of Yenzin.

Asian Development Blog
World Food Programme

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Research4Life Training: An Overview of the Past Year

29th July 2015

To make the best use of the Research4Life resources, training is one of the key and most important activities that our partners and programmes are committed to offer to our users. During the year thousands of librarians and researchers make use of our training material around the globe.

Research4Life offers long-term support on the use of the HINARI, AGORAOARE and ARDI online platforms, Reference Management Tools and also training on how to write, read and publish research papers. Training workshops and courses are offered online via our Training Portal, Programme Portals and ITOCA Moodle Platform, but users can also attend National Training Workshops in different countries. Most of the Training workshops are hosted and funded by partner organizations and universities, and others are directly funded by Research4Life.

The following map presents an overview of the National Training Workshops conducted during the past year. This map is a comprehensive overview of the workshops notified to the Training Team, if you or your organization hosted a Research4Life workshop during the past year, and it is not on the map, please let us now by sending an email to:

Are you joining a Research4Life workshop in the future? would you like to follow an online workshop? stay tuned for upcoming training!

(click on the image to enlarge)


About the author

Natalia Rodriguez

Natalia Rodriguez

Natalia Rodriguez @rodrigueznats is the Communications Coordinator for Research4Life. She works with different organisations finding innovative ways to communicate science and development.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn

Free AGORA online course

30th April 2015

If you are a researcher, librarian or a professional working in Agriculture, the new AGORA online course is for you. Delivered online through the ITOCA Moodle platform, the course takes around 6-8 hours to complete, is self-paced and contains a short set of exercises to complete. You will learn key skills that are necessary for the efficient and effective use of the resources in the Programme. Participants will receive a certificate after finishing the course.

The AGORA programme is a collection of more than 5700 key journals and 4100 books in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. 2800 institutions in more than 100 countries have registered for free or at a low cost to the programme.

In order to join you must be from an AGORA registered institution.

Registration opens the 4th of May following this online form. You will need your name, email address, institution and AGORA userID.




Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn