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Access to environmental research in developing nations grown to 1,500 institutions

Amsterdam, 14 May 2009 Research4Life today announces that the Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) program has registered 1500 institutions since its launch in 2006, an increase of nearly 700 percent. This means that scientists, researchers and environmental policy-makers in 1,500 not-for-profit institutions in the world's poorest countries can gain free or low cost access to the latest environmental science literature from the world's leading journals, books and databases.

OARE's sister programs, HINARI Access to Research Initiative and Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA), have also shown significant growth. Established in 2002, registrations for HINARI have grown by 61 percent since 2006 so that researchers at 3,866 not-for-profit institutions in 108 countries now have access to over 6,300 medical and health journals.

Registrations for AGORA (established in 2003) have increased by 77 percent since 2006, providing researchers at 1,760 developing world institutions with access to 1,276 food, agriculture, and related social sciences journals.

Research4Life is the collective name given to HINARI, AGORA and OARE, the three public-private partnership programs of the WHO, FAO, UNEP, Cornell and Yale Universities and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. 155 publishers now participate in the programs, including Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer and many university and society presses. Together with technology partner Microsoft, Research4Life seeks to help achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals by providing the developing world with access to critical up-to-date scientific research.

Mohammed Atani, OARE Technical Officer at the United Nations Environment Program, said: "It is positive to see the extent that developing nations are improving their research processes and creating expert professional and academic communities. By supporting scientific growth and productivity, these nations can improve their national economies, healthcare, higher education programs in environmental studies and increase their own research output."

Nyaora Moturi, Head of the Environment Studies Department at Egerton University in Kenya, and one of the institutes benefiting from free access to Research4Life said: "We are not only bettering people's lives, we are saving them. Throughout our mission, our free access to OARE plays a pivotal role. OARE serves as a source of critical information which we have researched and are now putting into practice."

Bob Campbell, Senior Publisher at Wiley-Blackwell, said: "We recognised several years ago that access to the latest scientific research is a critical issue in developing countries. Research4Life was set up as a responsible business initiative in order to support scientific development in the countries that need it most. It is now clear that our work with governments, research institutions and other international organisations is starting to make a real difference and we look forward to seeing the programs continue to grow in 2009."


Contact: Shira Tabachnikoff

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