Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Training for HINARI and AGORA

Siân Harris, Training increases HINARI and AGORA benefitsResearch Information, June/July 2007.  Excerpt:

...In 2002, medical staff and researchers in the world’s poorest countries began to have access to the latest cutting-edge research thanks to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative) programme. Through this, around 100 biomedical publishers – from the giants with hundreds of journals to small society publishers with one or two titles – opened up electronic access to their products to those who cannot afford to subscribe to any journals. This resource currently gives access to around 3,750 biomedical journals, which would be equivalent to around £1.5 m per year in subscription costs. This gives trainee doctors in Sierra Leone, for example, access to the same range of resources as their counterparts in Oxford University or Harvard. Such resources have the potential to transform clinical practice, medical training and research in such countries, and 2,500 institutions in the developing world have so far signed up to access these resources.

However, there is a challenge: until recently many institutions in the developing world have been relying on 20 or 30 year old books for their research and teaching and have little or no experience of using the internet. This is where [Lenny Rhine, retired librarian from the University of Florida] comes in. He runs training courses to teach medical librarians and health workers how to use the massive array of resources that have now become available to them. ‘They have gone from nothing to almost too much, so we spend a lot of time teaching search skills,’ he commented....