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How BioOne Helps Support Researchers in Developing Countries with Research4Life

Research is a global enterprise that benefits from the broadest possible participation. Expanding readership enhances authorship and scholarship—and informs policy-making, which is especially meaningful for the agricultural, environmental, and life sciences journals that comprise BioOne Complete

On October 22, 2020, BioOne hosted a publisher forum with Research4Life, an initiative that aims to reduce the knowledge gap between industrialized and developing countries by providing free or affordable access to academic and professional resources. We were pleased to hear Andrea Powell, STM’s Outreach Director and Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life, share information about this impactful program and what it means for scholars and publishers alike.

Access to scholarly resources and content is increasingly difficult to attain for developing countries. BioOne is pleased to participate in the Research4Life program, which aligns with our organization’s mission to make scientific research more accessible. All 215 BioOne Complete titles are available at no cost to more than 80 countries all over the world through Research4Life. As BioOne was founded in 1999 by both librarians and publishers to address the inequities posed by commercial journal publishing, we remain committed to meeting researcher, library, and publisher needs

Research4Life does more than simply facilitate access to research content. It also offers a capacity development program including a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which has seen participation by over 7,000 individuals from almost 100 different countries. The curriculum includes modules on resource discovery, understanding the journal publishing landscape and managing a bibliography, as well as in-depth training on the content provided through the Research4Life portal. Regular user reviews demonstrate how the training increases the value of the content on offer.

In addition to supporting researchers, BioOne’s participation in Research4Life benefits our partner publishers and societies. Research4Life

  • Supports the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by removing barriers to access for researchers in emerging economies
  • Supports publisher mission or corporate social responsibility strategy
  • Increases publisher name awareness in growing markets, while protecting existing  business in other countries
  • Leverages the collective effort made by all of the participating partners
  • Attracts new authors, reviewers, and editors to publications
  • Promotes good practice in information retrieval
  • Improves the diversity and inclusivity of publications

To facilitate publisher and society participation in Research4Life, BioOne provides up-to-date publication details, which includes submitting changes to our participating country list, maintaining IP addresses, and publishing a current list of included countries and Research4Life contact details on the BioOne Complete platform.

What can BioOne publishers do to enhance their engagement in countries that participate in the Research4Life initiative?

  1. Visit our Developing World Programs page to see where your content is freely available.
  2. Make it easy for potential authors to find you! Update your publisher contact information with BioOne by contacting Publisher Relations Coordinator Alexandra Frankel.
  3. Share your society’s participation in Research4Life with your members. We have details on our Publisher Resources page.
  4. Cultivate connections with research communities in Research4Life countries to grow your own research community and submission pipeline.

Active BioOne publishers who were unable to attend are invited to contact us for a link to a recording of the full session. Please see our Publisher Resources page for a comprehensive guide to our resources and support information.