Developing world research grows faster thanks to information access

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Free and low-cost access to health research in developing countries is boosting research output, according to the HINARI Access to Research Initiative.

A recent impact analysis, conducted by Elsevier, found that researchers in the countries benefiting from HINARI have begun to publish their findings in international peer-reviewed journals at a much faster rate than that seen in the rest of the world.

The study looked at research output from 105 HINARI countries and 102 non-HINARI countries over the five-year period from the programme’s launch in 2002 to 2006. During this period, the HINARI countries saw a 63 per cent growth in the number of authors publishing in peer-reviewed journals, while the non-HINARI countries saw a 38 per cent growth.

‘The fact that the countries benefiting from HINARI have seen such a large increase in the number of their researchers publishing in international journals is a great testament to the success and a strong indicator of the need for the HINARI programme,’ said Barbara Aronson, WHO library coordinator at the World Health Organization. ‘The ability to share information with researchers around the world is key to enabling developing countries to advance their scientific capabilities and tackle issues important to them, such as disease control and health policy planning.’

The HINARI programme, from the World Health Organization and the world’s leading biomedical publishers, provides health sector institutions in developing countries with timely access to high-quality research at low or no cost. HINARI has recently announced that 2500 developing-world institutions now have access the research information through this programme.