Why are we fundraising for Research4Life?

Published: miércoles 11th enero 2023
Category: Blog

For the past 20 years Research4Life has sought to bridge the digital research divide for researchers, librarians, doctors, policymakers and many others in lower income countries.

However, despite our contribution to sharing knowledge by serving 11,5000+ institutions, we have only achieved a small fraction of Research4Life’s potential in terms of awareness, reach, understanding, effective usage and impact – as revealed by the most recent User Reviews. While we have accomplished a tremendous amount through volunteer efforts and in-kind contributions, scaling-up remains challenging. And that’s where Friends of Research4Life can help.

What is Friends of Research4Life?

Friends of Research4Life is a nonprofit based in the United States. It was launched to support the critical mission of the Research4Life partnership to enable full participation in the global information environment.

The Board of Friends of Research4Life is composed of nine external members. There are also two ex-officio positions from Research4Life: the Chair of the financial oversight committee, and the Chair of the fundraising committee. The Board helps us to focus our fundraising initiatives, vet the type of projects we’d like to allocate resources to, and it holds us accountable of our work and progress.

After nearly 20 years of participation in Research4Life, I have been privileged to observe first-hand the opportunities it has provided to the research community. But the many thousands of individuals who have benefited from the partnership’s activities are only a fraction of its potential. Additional funding will enable Research4Life to extend its outreach and further narrow the gap between scientific communities in the northern and southern hemisphere.

Richard Gedye, President of the Friends of Research4Life Board

What type of projects are we hoping to fund through Friends of Research4Life?

Launching a new content portal in 2021 was an important milestone for us, enabling Research4Life to better support our users in 11,500+ institutions around the world. But due to severe under-resourcing, major updates such as this one are extremely hard to achieve.

Our users are asking for expanded MOOCs and webinars that are instrumental for effective usage. Expanded support for addressing gaps and sudden changes in content is also a high priority, as well as resources to fix underlying technical constraints and provide offline accessibility. Professional CRM software to expand awareness, streamline communication and build community is also a key factor for the visibility, and survival, of Research4Life.

In 2022, we were proud to launch the Country Connectors project, supported in part by the Elsevier Foundation, to implement local interventions to heighten awareness about Research4Life resources in six pilot countries — supporting user communities at local level by building networks and partnerships. We look forward to continuing growing together.

By becoming a member of Friends of Research4Life you will be directly supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ vision of an inclusive and equitable world.

If your organization wants to support the day-to-day work to ensure that researchers all over the developing world can benefit from Research4Life, we recommend an annual donation to our Core Mission Fund. Your contribution will help us expand outreach and training activities, and improve Research4Life’s essential infrastructure: computer systems, content delivery systems, technical support and more.

We are also keen to collaborate on specific projects through our Project Investment Fund. Our partners have already started to help:

  • Hindawi stepped up and fully funded our User Drop Off Analysis Study
  • The Elsevier Foundation funded $210,000 for the Country Connector project, leaving $470,000 remaining to be funded

Examples of potential projects and initiatives include:

  • Translating the Research4Life MOOC into different languages
  • Scaled up training courses
  • Modern CRM software to serve 11,500+ institutions
  • Specific technology to improve our platform
  • Series of impact stories from the field