Research4Life e-learning Program

Research4Life is a public-private partnership of the WHOFAOUNEP, WIPOILO, Cornell and Yale Universities, the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers and up to 180 international publishers. The goal of Research4Life is to reduce the knowledge gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries by providing affordable access to scholarly, professional and research information.

Bridging the digital divide in research

Many researchers, physicians, students and policymakers in developing countries continue to struggle with up-to-date, peer reviewed scientific literature, essential for research, dissemination and practice. Over the past two decades, UN-publisher Research4Life (R4L) partnership has worked to bridge the digital divide, providing free or low-cost access to research for publicly funded institutions in the world’s least resourced countries. Over 10,000 institutions in 125 countries are now registered to access  the more than 119,000 resources in R4L. Elsevier is one of the 6 original founding and driving partners, providing a quarter of that research.

Through Open Access and programs such as Research4life, training rather than access has become the dominant issue for the global South.  Traditionally, much of R4L information literacy capacity building has happened in a face-to-face, train-the-trainer capacity through the UN partners and the Elsevier Foundation-funded MLA/Librarians without Borders program. In order to significantly scale up virtual training, a 2019 grant from the Elsevier Foundation was awarded to the FAO-led R4L Capacity Development Team to create a pilot MOOC. The MOOC aims to equip Research4Life users with the knowledge and skills needed to develop capacities in information use, scholarly communication and information management in least developed countries. 

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