Press release: New nonprofit boosts Research4Life’s mission to build research capacity in lower- and middle-income countries

22 April, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

New nonprofit boosts Research4Life’s mission to build research capacity in lower- and middle-income countries

Friends of Research4Life <https://friendsofresearch4life.org/>, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in the United States, was launched to support the critical mission of the Research4Life <https://www.research4life.org/> partnership to enable full participation in the global information environment. Organizations and individuals can now make contributions that directly benefit Research4Life programs.

The United Nations’ Agenda for Sustainable Development clarifies that knowledge and education drive development and are inextricably linked to a sustainable future. Research4Life aims to minimize technical and commercial barriers to information access by providing institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), areas and territories with academic and professional peer-reviewed content. It is a partnership of United Nations agencies, Cornell and Yale Universities, STM and more than 180 international publishers.

Since 2002, Research4Life has provided researchers at more than 10,000 institutions in over 125 low- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to up to 140,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences and legal information and beyond.

Despite Research4Life’s contributions to bridging the digital divide over the past two decades, the partnership has yet to achieve its full potential in terms of awareness, reach, understanding, effective usage and impact due to under-resourcing. Friends of Research4Life aims to create more opportunities for Research4Life to offer high-quality, evidence-based information to even more researchers, health professionals, policymakers and lecturers in its target countries.

“This is really about increasing impact. Friends of Research4Life will enable us to catalyze support for Research4Life, so that we can scale up the important contributions made over the past two decades in access, information literacy and capacity building in developing countries. We invite like-minded organizations to join us in ramping up support,” said Ylann Schemm, Chair of the Research4Life Executive Council.

The Board of Friends of Research4Life includes five external members: Barbara Aronson (World Health Organization, retired), Richard Gedye (STM, retired), Charlotte Masiello Riome (UNESCO International Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications), Mark Seeley (SciPubLaw), and Daisy Selematsela (University of South Africa). Two ex-officio positions from Research4Life have also been established: the Chair of the Financial Oversight Committee, Andrea Powell (STM) and the Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Michael Oldham (Portsys).

“After nearly 20 years of participation in Research4Life, I have been privileged to observe first-hand the opportunities it has provided to the research community. But the many thousands of individuals who have benefited from the partnership’s activities are only a fraction of its potential,” said Richard Gedye, President of the Friends of Research4Life Board. “Additional funding will enable Research4Life to extend its outreach and further narrow the gap between scientific communities in the northern and southern hemisphere.”

So far, six organizations have made an inaugural donation to Friends of Research4Life. We invite you to pledge your support alongside ACS Publications, Brill Publishers, Elsevier, IOP Publishing, the Journal of the American Medical Association and Springer Nature. These have been joined by contributions from individual donors as well.

For more information or to support Friends of Research4Life, please visit: friendsofresearch4life.org