Research4Life MOOC

Our MOOCs help users get the most out of Research4Life and its five programs: Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI. The course delivered regularly throughout the year. Check our site, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or DGroups to receive updates about future editions.

Upcoming courses

Research4Life MOOC26 April – 28 May

Before registering for the course, check if you have a login to Research4Life. If you are not sure, talk to your librarian or contact the Research4Life helpdesk. If you don’t have access, your institution might qualify for access!

Read testimonials from the first MOOC.

The presentations used in the course are also available to download. They can be useful to refresh your knowledge about Research4Life as well as in online or face-to-face trainings.

Who should apply?

The target audience for this MOOC is aligned with Research4Life’s eligibility criteria. Eligible institutions include: national universities, professional schools (in medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, public health, socio-legal studies, engineering, etc.), research institutes, teaching hospitals and healthcare centers, government offices, national libraries, agricultural extension centers and local non-governmental organizations.

The Research4Life MOOC was developed for librarians, information professionals, IT specialists, researchers, academics, lecturers, educators, students including graduates and post graduates, and professionals, such as doctors, policy makers, extensionists, lawyers, social workers and statisticians in the eligible countries and institutions.

How much time does it take?

Participants are expected to spend on average six to eight hours per week on lessons and activities, such as contributing to discussion forums and webinars.

What do you get from this course?

The MOOC allows participants to study their area of interest throughout a five-week period. The course covers topics such as the scholarly communication landscape, information literacy skills, advocacy and capacity development strategies. Additionally, it provides discipline-specific information for Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI.

Participants of the course will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance after completing the exam at the end of the course. Those who pass the exam with a grade of at least 7.0, will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Course content

Module 1: Scholarly communication and Research4Life: overview on scholarly communication, the publishing landscape, key concepts about Research4Life including the details about the partnership, programmes, eligibility criteria and registration. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 1.1: Scientific landscape
  • Lesson 1.2: Research assessment and bibliometrics
  • Lesson 1.3: Research4Life

Module 2: Discovery and re-use of scholarly literature explains key concepts of information literacy skills and competencies, including academic ethics, licensing and academic collaboration tools. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 2.1: Identifying information sources
  • Lesson 2.2: Using information resources
  • Lesson 2.3: Intellectual property and copyright – Ethics and plagiarism
  • Lesson 2.4: Citing, reference management and collaboration tools

Module 3: Discipline-specific browsing and searching gives an overview of the five Research4Life programmes (Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI, GOALI), including how to conduct discipline-specific searches, an introduction to Summon to search across programmes and the bibliometric analysis tools Scopus and Dimensions, which are available through Research4Life. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 3.1: Hinari: Research in Health
  • Lesson 3.2: AGORA: Research in agriculture
  • Lesson 3.3: OARE: Research in the Environment
  • Lesson 3.4: ARDI: Research for Development and Innovation
  • Lesson 3.5: GOALI: Research for Global Justice
  • Lesson 3.6: Search across Research4Life programmes
  • Lesson 3.7: Citation databases

Module 4: Additional discipline-specific resources in the five main disciplines of the Research4Life programmes. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 4.1: Health
  • Lesson 4.2: Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, food security, related biological and environmental sciences
  • Lesson 4.3: Environment
  • Lesson 4.4. Development and innovation
  • Lesson 4.5. Global justice
  • Lesson 4.6. Interdisciplinary resources

Module 5: Advocate on Research4Life and facilitate capacity development teaches you how to design advocacy strategies to address decision-makers and upper management. It also guides you on how to train local groups on how to use Research4Life. Lessons included in this module are:

  • Lesson 5.1: Research4Life Advocacy Toolkit
  • Lesson 5.2: Training Your Audience on How to Use Research4Life

Meet the trainers

Dr. Gracian Chimwaza (ITOCA, Executive Director) has more than twenty years experience in developing and deploying online training courses on information discovery and management, including, but not limited to Research4Life courses. Gracian holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and an MBA from Thames Valley University in the UK.

As an information specialist, Mercy Moyo (ITOCA, senior program officer), has over ten years of experience in capacity building, information and knowledge management and project management. Mercy has degrees in Development Communication and Information Science and a certificate in Knowledge Management. She is currently working on a PhD in Information Science.

Marcia Mabhula is currently involved in several capacity-building projects at ITOCA. Her expertise includes course development and delivery, training courses, participant recruitment, developing and implementing marketing plans and contributing to grant proposal development, project design and data collection. Marcia has a degree in Library and Information Science.

Lenny Rhine, Ph.D. is the coordinator of the Librarians Without Borders® training program of the Medical Library Association (USA), which has been funded by the Elsevier Foundation since 2007. He conducts workshops and develop training material for Research4Life. A University of Florida emeritus librarian, Lenny has worked with libraries in low-income countries since 1990.


At the end of the course, participants do a graded online exam. There are two types of certification for this course:

  • Certificate of Attendance: for those who complete and submit the exam at the end of the course
  • Certificate of Achievement: for those who complete the exam with 7.0 and higher mark.

Previous courses