Without an institutional license, research papers can be expensive to access. Twenty years ago, Research4Life was formed to provide access to data to researchers in low- and middle-income countries, focusing on five different disciplines: health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences, and legal information. In a presentation at Congress 2022 hosted by the Canadian Association of Learned Journals, Kimberly Parker from the World Health Organization emphasized that the diversity of information available has expanded to include research in the humanities and fine arts as well.
Panelist Abdelkerim Belhommania from Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences all brought attention to the amount of training available to researchers who access the Research4Life platform. Users can receive certificates from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which show how to make the most out of a membership. Less intensive webinars are also available on demand, covering a variety of topics. Publishing Partners also share free resources that contain best practices for publishing.
Unlike many traditional library websites, Research4Life has marketing materials for libraries and partners to promote the platform to others who might be interested to join. Events such as the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences also serve as recruitment tools.
More and more institutions look for ways to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. A partnership with Research4Life may help to meet these objectives. A representative from the University of Toronto Press, Sandra Shaw, discussed how their involvement has evolved over the years. From her screen, we were able to see the partner dashboard as she spoke to the benefits of working with Research4Life.
Reseach4Life’s mission to reduce the knowledge gap can build relationships among organizations that might not otherwise interact. From these partnerships, solutions to the world’s most pressing problems may emerge. As conferences move to a hybrid model, maybe in the future we’ll see more presentations from countries who use this platform to help us all make the world a better place.
Sima Chowdhury is the author of Mindful Meditation available on Amazon and is a social work student at the University of Manitoba.