In 2016, Research4Life and INASP launched a competition to celebrate the critical role of advocacy in research and got a resounding response. More than 150 stories rolled in from researchers, doctors and librarians across the developing world. Many of them shared the hurdles they had overcome to boost leadership support for peer reviewed resources and for evidence-based policies based on that critical information. These include resources to improve access, infrastructure and funding, all of which contribute to improved evidence-based health care, agriculture and environmental policies. Our premise is that access can only be truly sustainable if leaders ‘upstream’ of doctors, researchers and librarians are fully supportive of this need.
From information literacy training to building infrastructure and outreach, librarians are critical to building a healthy research culture in the developing world and they are often the “unsung heroes” in the research ecosystem. This is one of the reasons that we launched a competition for case studies in 2013. Our goal was to highlight the dedication and capacity building of those who assist researchers everyday in accessing and using vital information within their institutions. Dr. Sami Kambire, a researcher who shared his story in our 2011 case study book, “Making a Difference” noted, “Researchers should thank librarians, who help find their bibliographies. The work they perform is science without acknowledgement.” Taking our cue from Dr. Kambire, we thought it was time to put the librarians in the spotlight.
To celebrate Research4Life’s 10th anniversary in 2011, we launched a user experience competition. We asked users to share with us how HINARI, AGORA or OARE has improved their work, life and community. In total we received some 60 entries from countries in all five continents. This impressive array of inspiring testimonies revealed a wealth of positive impacts brought about by Research4Life. This book celebrates the stories behind some of these competition entries. This illuminating series of case studies provides insights into how access to the results of peer-reviewed research from Research4Life publisher partners is 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.