The theme of Open Access Week 2018 is designing equitable foundations for open knowledge. Wiley helped start such a foundation way back in 2002, when it became one of the founding partners of HINARI (Research in Health), a public-private program launched by six leading medical publishers in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Its aim was to bring online access of peer-reviewed biomedical research journals to researchers and physicians in the world’s poorest countries.
Of course, the HINARI program evolved into Research4Life, the collective name for the five programs – HINARI, along with AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment), ARDI (Access to Research for Development and Innovation), and now GOALI (Global Online Access to Legal Information)–that provide developing countries with free or low-cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content online.
According to the Research4Life website, the program has provided researchers at more than 8,700 institutions in more than 115 low- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to up to 85,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, and applied sciences. GOALI is the newest R4L program, having just launched this past summer with the aim of promoting the rule of law and increasing access to legal research and content for students and researchers, as well as policy makers, judges and legal experts.
The Research4Life Capacity Development working group, meanwhile, delivers face-to-face workshops and standardizes curricula to ensure the effective use of research materials available in the participating libraries. In addition, and echoing this year’s OA Week theme, a UN project with Research4Life to promote digital access to research (DAR) is now kicking off with a focus on specific countries first (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania).
Besides providing access to research, Wiley ensures that the opportunity to publish research exists for authors from Research4Life developing countries by providing automatic waivers and discounts on Article Publication Charges (APCs) for authors accepted to publish in our open access journals.
The goal of ensuring these researchers have an opportunity to participate and publish has resulted in nearly 20,000 peer-reviewed articles being published by authors from Research4Life Group A and Group B Countries (as of September 2018) over the past decade. The highest number of articles were published in 2017, and 2018 output is on pace to surpass these numbers.
“Wiley is extremely proud to be recognized as a founding partner of what ultimately became Research4Life,” says Sarah Phibbs, VP, Society Management. “We are delighted to be actively involved in the Research4Life Council, and to ensure we continue to meet our shared goals of widening access, developing local training to increase research impact, and increasing authorship from low-income countries. We’re excited to see what the next decade has in store.”