Research4Life Partners Newsletter March 2015

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015
Category: News, Partner Newsletter

Table of Contents

Ylann Schemm

Note from the Editor

Dear Partners, The Research4Life Programme is bursting with news for you to enjoy and share with your colleagues and customers. Top of mind is the MLA 2015 Louise Darling Medal which HINARI will receive for their stellar collection development in Health Sciences at the upcoming MLA conference. Well done HINARI! We hope you’ll take some time to browse the newsletter. We have videos, case studies, milestones, program updates and social media campaigns. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook. It should be easier than ever to stay abreast of ourprogram and share the important work we are all supporting with our content and expertise. Interested in getting more involved? We have teams focused on everything from communications to training, fundraising, technology and impact. Contact us at [email protected].
– Ylann Schemm, Chair of the Research4Life Communications Team and Elsevier Foundation Programme Director

New “Unsung Heroes” video launched with Nasra Gathoni

On February 11th we released our latest Research4Life video, featuring “Unsung Hero”, Nasra Gathoni, Medical Librarian at the Aga Khan hospital and two-term AHILA president. We made the video with special support from SAGE, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Springer and Elsevier. Help us promote the video across your social media channels. The video highlights the important work of one of our “Unsung Heroes” featured in our 2014 case study book.

Kimberly Parker

HINARI wins MLA’s 2015 Louise Darling Medal

The HINARI programme has been awarded the Medical Library Association 2015 Louise Darling Medal for Collection Development in the Health Sciences. Kimberly Parker, HINARI Programme Manager, noted, “This honour is due to the hard work and contributions not just of the HINARI team and the colleagues at Yale who do so much behind the scenes, but also all the publisher partners who have contributed their content. We would be delighted to have partners join us in Austin, Texas at the MLA awards ceremony on 18 May 2015 so that everyone who contributed to the collection can partake in the recognition.”

New AGORA Web site

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new AGORA Web site at on 9 February 2015. The main change is the new domain, clearly expressing the close relationship of AGORA with FAO. Also, the look and feel have been improved to make the use easier. The new site includes links to the newly updated AGORA training materials and the new Research4Life training portal.

5 Years on: How Are We Doing?

At the July partner meeting, we will discuss two specially commissioned reviews which provide a critical comparator with those done in 2010. Below is a brief overview of what we are looking to achieve. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Richard Gedye, Chair of the Research4Life Executive Council and STM’s Research4Life publisher liaison.

  • The User Experience Review is being conducted by the Natoma Group which successfully conducted the 2010 review. It will provide:
  • Evidence of the rate at which the Research4Life programmes are used
  • Views of users about the value of the programmes to them
  • The impact the programmes have had on their scientific and workplace productivity
  • Factors that constrain the wider use of the programmes.
  • The Infrastructure Review is being conducted by the Research Information Network and is surveying Research4Life’s publisher, administrative, and technical partners in order to:
  • Establish what if any financial costs each partner incurs as a result of participation in the Research4Life initiative
  • Review their level of satisfaction with Research4Life’s operation
  • Make recommendations for the future organization and management of Research4Life.

Spotlight on IFIS, Research4Life Partner

As a not-for-profit, charitable organisation, IFIS’ mission is to communicate and promote knowledge of food, drink and nutrition science, in order to stimulate global education, research and vocational training for the future benefit of humanity. IFIS is committed to improving knowledge, offering access to the FSTA® database to researchers in developing countries through the HINARI and AGORA programmes. Find out more.

Natalia Rodriguez

Meet Natalia Rodriguez, our Research4Life Communications Coordinator

We’re delighted to have Natalia join the Research4Life Communications team as our dedicated, freelance expert on social media. Over the past 6 months, Natalia’s launched effective campaigns to grow our online Research4Life community. Natalia is a communicator based in Germany with a passion for finding innovative ways to communicate science. She holds a B.Sc. in Biology and a M.Sc. in Science Communication from the Technical University in Delft. Her experience is diverse, from working as a deep sea researcher in the Caribbean to designing a science journal in Brisbane, Australia. While finishing her Science Communication degree in 2012, she worked for almost a year with the Elsevier Foundation and the Elsevier Newsroom as an intern. Originally from Colombia, Natalia was herself a HINARI user during her undergraduate marine biology days. Learn more about her work:

Brand new: The Monthly Newsflash

Given the huge potential for social media platforms to increase awareness and engagement around our programmes, we have been working to boost our presence through different social channels with the latest information on the partnership and news tailored to researchers and librarians. Over the past six months, our community has grown dramatically. To keep you and your organization informed and supplied with highly share-able news, we have created a quick monthly newsflash with upcoming news, articles and posts about Research4Life. You can help us spread the word by sending the Newsflash to your communications colleagues and community managers.

Research4Life Online:

  • 1100 followers on Facebook
  • 778 followers on Twitter.
  • We are now also present on LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • The traffic in our website has also increased. From May to November 2014, we went from 10,000 to 13,000 page views/month.
  • Posting regular content on our new blog and creating a new Training Portal are some of the strategies we have implemented to keep our audience engaged and to provide educational material to support librarians and researchers.

Have an idea for a post or article to share on our website, social media or Newsflash? Contact Natalia Rodriguez at [email protected].

Richard Gedye

Update from the Research4Life Executive Council

The Research4Life Executive Council met on 22 January and was chaired by Richard Gedye. The main item on the agenda was a discussion on whether it would be desirable to develop a formal legal entity which could support Research4Life by attracting funding to improve and enhance critical Research4Life infrastructure, training and outreach. For example:-

  • Improving our technology architecture
  • Pursuing more detailed and comprehensive usage statistics
  • Growing our training and capacity building
  • Enhancing communications and marketing to our user communities
  • Facilitating contact and feedback from librarians and end-users

Such a legal entity would have power to seek out and attract funding to enable Research4Life to invest more in training, outreach, and enhancements to its underlying technology – all of which would significantly increase the usage and the usability of our partners’ content in developing countries. But there would of course be resource and perhaps even partnership implications in becoming a legal entity and in embarking on a programme of targeted fundraising from potential donors and sponsors.

Our partners’ views on this are solicited in a section of a survey which is being circulated as part of the Infrastructure review. If you would like to express your views on this issue independently of the survey, please contact Research4Life Publisher Coordinator Richard Gedye through [email protected].

Research4Life Advisors through Mendeley

When Mendeley joined the Research4Life partnership last year, they made the commitment to utilize both their free, cloud-based apps to open up science, as well as their global network of Advisors to help train, educate and increase awareness of research productivity tools.

In January, Mendeley Advisor Fidele Tugizimana, a Rwandan native doing research in South Africa, wrote about how he uses Mendeley to help his research. His work, “Why Mendeley has proved my ideal research companion – an author’s story,” was published in Author’s Connect. Tugizimana said he has found using Mendeley to be a “wonderful, effective and fruitful experience.” Join Fidele and the other Research4Life Advisors in the Mendeley Research4Life Group. We are looking to foster more discussions and connections using the Mendeley platform, but we need your participation and support. Want to learn more? Contact the team at [email protected]

The 2014 HINARI Impact Survey

In 2011, Research4Life launched a user experience competition, asking users to share how HINARI, and its other programmes in the fields of agriculture and the environment, had improved their work, life and community. Making a Difference, a subsequent book of case studies celebrated the stories behind some of these competition entries, providing insights into how access to the results of peer-reviewed research from Research4Life publisher partners was benefiting the health, well-being, and economic and social development of communities in the developing world, as well as contributing to greater environmental health and awareness.

In the wake of Making a Difference, Research4Life approached academic research consultants Information Power in 2014 with a brief to develop a broader view of HINARI’s impact, via the medium of an extensive online survey of known and potential users of the service.
The results:

  • Of the 1034 individuals who responded, 81% were aware of HINARI and 67% defined themselves as HINARI users.
  • Of these users, nearly two-thirds were accessing HINARI at least once a week.
  • Interestingly, when asked when they first started using HINARI, approximately 10% of users revealed that they started in each of the past five years, suggesting that the HINARI user base is growing at a fairly constant annual rate.
  • The full results of the survey are available at Please contact Richard Gedye, Chair of the Research4Life Executive Council for more information.
  • We received some excellent testimonials as well:
  • For us in developing countries, the value of HINARI cannot be overemphasized. It is impossible to conduct meaningful research without access to full text articles of previous research and only HINARI provides this for us in developing countries
  • HINARI and AGORA are the two sources which are complete and user-friendly to me and many colleagues of mine. In the absence if these sources, scientific research and manuscript preparation would be practically improbable to me and many others in Ethiopia.
  • Thank you for making access to publications available to us. I personally value this. I am not where I was 5 years ago as a junior scientist and now on my way to being an independent scientist and training MPH students on research design and conduct. It has greatly improved the quality of my work and the ease with which I work. I cannot thank you enough.
  • As a young optometry student in Ghana, I was introduced to HINARI by a lecturer in the Optometry Dept in KNUST, Ghana, Dr. David Ben Kumah. By this, I downloaded my first journal article in ophthalmic epidemiology. This great introduction and tutorials on how to use HINARI for research, created a passion for research which I will forever be grateful for. Instead of pursuing clinical work after my Doctor of Optometry degree, I competed for a phd scholarship from the European Research Council which was being offered thorough the Waterford Institute of Technology. I am a product of what HINARI access can do. I believe there are many more researchers that are benefiting greatly from this program. Please keep on expanding this program. Thank you.

AHILA Highlights

The 14th Congress of the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 20-24 October, 2014. Several R4L partners attended the Congress including Blessing Chataira and Chipo Msengezi of ITOCA, Gaby Caro of HINARI, Lenny Rhine, Librarians without Borders and Ylann Schemm, Elsevier Foundation.

The theme of the meeting was ‘ICTs, Access to Health Information and Knowledge: Building Strong Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development in Africa’ – a topic that the R4L programs address. Lenny and Gaby delivered an authorship skills workshop, a HINARI update plus a HINARI users’ meeting with strong representation from the African Users Group. Equally important was all the networking before during and after the sessions including a wonderful gala dinner on the Indian Ocean beach.

Librarians without Borders Update

2014 activities included ‘Train the Trainers’ workshops in Yemen, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Zanzibar and Cambodia and several distance learning courses. Also, the HINARI training material has been significantly updated and streamlined ( with inter-programme material transferred to a new Research4Life Training Portal ( ). This material benefits numerous trainers and users. Besides the basic Research4Life training modules, many of the participants at workshops have responded very positively to the Reference Management Software Tools and Authorship Skills material.

Research4Life in the News

Latest Research4Life Stats & Facts

At the start of every year, we take a look at the numbers and growth indicators. Below is a breakdown looking at Research4Life as a whole and the different programme elements. In terms of Research4Life partners, the tally currently stands at 194, with a total of 549 publishers of which 155 provide subscription based content.