Publishers open up digital backfiles for Research4Life users unable to visit their libraries

Published: Wednesday 29th April 2020
Category: News
© sergei_fish13 / Adobe Stock

Research4Life offers access to up to 108,000 academic and professional resources, including journals, books, databases and other reference sources. However, some older content is not available online, only in paper on library shelves.

Due to the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, public life has been heavily limited in many countries across the world and people are urged to stay home. As a result, researchers in low- and middle-income countries in need of a particular study dating from, say, 1995, might not be able to get it from their library.

We are therefore thrilled that several of our publisher partners have decided to give Research4Life users online access to their full journal archives until the summer or longer. Thieme, Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature are amongst them and we will continue updating this article if we receive updates from other publishers.

We would also like to use this opportunity to thank our publisher partners who already offer backfile access as part of their standard offering for Research4Life users, including, but definitely not limited to: BMJ Publishing, DeGruyter, The Royal Society, SAGE, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wolters Kluwer – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Additionally, The Royal Society, Annual Reviews and IWA Publishing have informed us that they have switched off all access controls until further notice.

Andrea Powell, Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life says, “We are truly grateful to all publishers who have answered our call for help during these extraordinary and difficult times.  Not only are we able to reconfirm to our many thousands of users that journal back volumes are already available online from many major publishers, we can now also add huge numbers of back issues to that collection from some of the largest publishers of scholarly research.  This will make a huge difference to those researchers who have lost access to their physical libraries.”

At this difficult moment, for Group B country institutions, the Research4Life partners have also agreed that institutions that are not able to make a payment for Research4Life 2020 access will not be required to do so.  This will ensure the broadest possible access to the available Research4Life content in those countries, areas and territories.

Can’t access Research4Life from your home?

First try to reach your librarian or the director of your institution. Your institution may have already set up an approach for remote access to Research4Life. If you are unable to reach your librarian or director, then contact the Research4Life helpdesk ([email protected]) and we will work with you to determine the best options for your institution in the current situation.