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Resources for Librarians in Developing Countries

The resources described below are programs specifically for libraries and institutions in developing countries. Many provide free access or subscriptions at dramatically reduced rates to individuals or institutions in particular countries. Several provide online registration forms.                   

Bioline International
Bioline International is a not-for-profit electronic publishing service committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI's goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development.

CABI Digital Development
Sharing knowledge with farmers through digital development. Digital development can help bring practical agricultural knowledge to smallholder farmers and help them grow more healthy, nutritious and profitable crops. Technology also makes the agricultural sector more attractive to young farmers and helps us to target and reach more women farmers. This is just one of the many projects CABI supports to increase access to information for agricultural sectors throughout the world. See more projects at their Projects Page.

Electronic Information for Libraries
The core service of eIFL.net is the provision of access to commercially produced electronic journals and databases, through collective negotiations with publishers and aggregators. See their EIL In Action page to browse EIFL’s work in copyright, open access, licensing, public library innovation, and the development of library consortia 

The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, developed by UNESCO, is a virtual dynamic library with contributions from thousands of scholars from over 100 countries and edited by hundreds of subject experts, for a wide audience: pre-university/university students, professional practitioners, informed specialists, researchers, policy analysts, managers, and decision makers. The EOLSS is made available free of charge to universities in the UN list of least developed countries and disadvantaged individuals worldwide. Universities from developing countries also receive an appropriate discount. It is available to others at nominal subscription rates.

IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions)
Building on its unique global reach, IFLA provides the space, opportunities and tools for library and information workers globally to meet, exchange, and learn from each other. IFLA drives the development of libraries and library services through sharing information and ideas, animating communities of practice, and developing standards and guidelines. They work to safeguard and strengthen the world’s cultural heritage in all of its diverse forms.

INASP (International Network for Advancing Science and Policy)
INASP was established in 1992 as the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. Founded by the International Council for Science (ICSU) in cooperation with UNESCO, TWAS and AAAS, the organization’s original goal was to improve worldwide access to science information. INASP is an international development organization with over 30 years’ experience of working with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia. They believe that contributing to stronger and more equitable ecosystems will enable and empower knowledge producers and users to address the key development challenges and improve lives. To realize this potential, they work in partnership to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions to produce, share and use research and knowledge, in support of national development.

ISTEC (Ibero-American Science & Technology Education Consortium)
From a project at the University of New Mexico. The Consortium has been established to foster scientific, engineering, and technology education, joint international research and development efforts among its members, and to provide a cost-effective vehicle for the application and transfer of technology. 

Research4Life provides institutions in lower income countries with online access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content. Their aim is to improve teaching, research and policy-making in health, agriculture, the environment and other life, physical and social sciences. Since 2002, Research4Life has provided researchers at more than 11,000 institutions in over 125 lower- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to up 205,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences and legal information. There are five content collections:

AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture)
The AGORA site provides access to over 700 journals from major scientific publishers in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. It is available to students and researchers in qualifying not-for-profit institutions in eligible developing countries. It is produced by a unique collaboration of public and private partners, including: FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), major scientific publishers, Cornell University's Mann Library, the Rockefeller Foundation, the UK's Department of International Development (DFID) and others.

ARDI (Research for Development and Innovation) 
The Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) program, coordinated by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) together with its partners in the publishing industry, provides free online access to major scientific and technical journals to local, not-for-profit institutions in least-developed countries and low-cost access to industrial property offices in developing countries across the world.

GOALI (Research for Global Justice) 
Global Online Access to Legal Information is a programme to provide free or low cost online access and training to law and law-related content to research, public and not-for-profit institutions in developing countries. The aim of GOALI is to improve the quality of legal research, education and training in low- and middle-income countries, and in turn strengthen legal frameworks and institutions and further the rule of law. GOALI contributes to further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 16 relating to Access to Information and Access to Justice.

HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative) 
Hinari Programme set up by WHO together with major publishers, enables low- and middle- income countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Up to 21,000 journals, up to 69,000 e-books, up to 115 other information resources are now available to health institutions in more than 125 countries, areas and territories benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers, and in turn, contributing to improve world health.

OARE (Research in the Environment) 
Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE), an international public-private consortium coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading  science and technology publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of environmental science research.

Page information
The resources on this list were originally compiled by Lorraine Pellack (Head, Science & Technology Department, Iowa State University), date unknown.

Page last updated by Kiri DeBose (Associate Director, Health Sciences Libraries & Head, Vet Med Library, Virginia Tech), May 2, 2023

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