Research4Life Announces Winner of “Unsung Heroes” Library Impact Competition
Onan Mulumba, of Makerere University, is awarded First Prize in the global case study competition to raise awareness about the essential role of librarians powering research in developing countries.
London, United Kingdom 1 July 2013 – The Research4Life partnership announced today the winner of the case study competition to recognize the role played by librarians in building research capacity and boosting output among scientists, doctors and policymakers. Onan Mulumba, Agricultural Librarian for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University in Uganda was chosen from among 45 highly competitive applicants by a panel of 12 distinguished judges and international experts in the field of research capacity building. As part of the first prize, Onan Mulumba has been invited to serve as the first user to join the Research4Life Executive Council. The prize includes an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Partners’ General Meeting in Rome, Italy in September 2013.
“Research4Life has significantly boosted teaching and research at Makerere University, and is the main source of reference for both students and faculty. In addition, Research4Life databases have drastically reduced the use of print resources and this has helped to minimize congestion in the libraries,” said Onan Mulumba, “As a result, researchers have come to acknowledge the efforts and roles librarians play in promoting teaching and research at Makerere University.”
“AGORA, Research4Life’s agricultural programme, will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary, and we’re delighted that the winner of the Library Impact Competition highlights the work of an agricultural librarian from a prestigious African university,” said Stephen Rudgard, AGORA Programme Manager at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Onan Mulumba has clearly succeeded in influencing Makerere’s scientists, academics and students to make greater use of AGORA and so to improve the quality of their research, their lectures, and their dissertations, possibly bringing them into the international stage.”
An Honourable Mention for a second case study was awarded to Cynthia Kimani, Librarian at the Kenya Medical Research Institute Library. Cynthia has been invited to attend the annual Research4Life partner meeting and serve on Research4Life’s newly founded library advisory council which provides a forum for direct engagement between the Research4Life user community and the partnership. The Council aims to give Research4Life’s customers a prominent voice and support the early identification of trends, challenges and opportunities from the research and library communities in developing countries
“The Research4Life programmes began because we heard and responded to our users’ needs,” said Barbara Aronson, competition judge and founder of HINARI. It’s very gratifying that these two librarians, who have made such an important impact in their institutions, will be continuing our tradition of user voices helping guide our work.”
Research4Life (www.research4life.org) is a public-private partnership between over 200 international scientific publishers, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, Cornell and Yale Universities in collaboration with the WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, and technology partner, Microsoft. Research4Life aims to help attain six of the UNs eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015, reducing the scientific knowledge gap between industrialized countries and the developing world. Since 2001, the four programmes, Access to Research in Health (HINARI), Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA), Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) and Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI), have grown and developed to the point where they now give researchers at more than 6,000 institutions in over 100 developing world countries and territories free or low cost online access to over 35,000 peer-reviewed international scientific journals, books, and databases provided by the world’s leading science publishers.