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AFRO-NETS> Health InterNetWork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI)

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Health InterNetWork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI)
  • From: Dieter Neuvians MD <neuvians@mweb.co.zw>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:12:40 -0500 (EST)

Health InterNetWork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI)

Source: HIF-net at WHO <hif-net@who.int>


In February 2001, the World Health Organization asked six leading
publishers (Blackwell, Elsevier Science, Harcourt International STM
Group, Springer Verlag, John Wiley and Wolters Kluwer) to consider
allowing heavily discounted access to key research journals to insti-
tutions in developing countries. The publishers responded enthusias-
tically, and have since been working with the WHO to develop the
Health InterNetWork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), under the
guidance of Dr Michael Scholtz, Special Representative of the WHO Di-
rector General, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland. In response to Dr
Brundtland's call, the publishers went further: they volunteered to
waive all access fees to their on line biomedical information to most
of institutions in the poorest economies.

HINARI is designed to benefit not for profit health care, teaching
and research institutions in two bands of countries: those whose an-
nual per capita Gross National Product is less than US$ 1,000 per an-
num, (HINARI Phase 1) and those between US$ 1,000 and US$ 3,000
(HINARI Phase 2). The programme conforms to the concept of Public
Private Partnerships as outlined by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General,
in his Millennium Report "We the Peoples", April 2000 in which he an-
nounced the creation of the Health InterNetwork.

Since the announcement of the programme by Dr Brundtland in London,
July 2001, the publishers and WHO staff, joined as partners by the
BMJ Publishing Group and Yale University Library, have been develop-
ing the HINARI portal, which is housed on the WHO server in Geneva.
Phase 1 was successfully launched on Friday 25 January 2001. From now
on, institutions in nearly 70 of the poorest countries will enjoy ex-
actly the same access to more than 1,400 key journals as libraries in
the richest nations. The list of journals is expected to grow sig-
nificantly in the next few months.

Access to the HINARI journals is through the HINARI menu:
<http://www.healthinternetwork.net> click on "scientific publica-
tions" on the top of the screen. Using this easy to navigate portal,
authorised users will be pointed to whichever journal they wish to
access. Once there, they will enjoy all the functionality offered by
the publishers, including the full bibliographic and linking services
of PubMed and CrossRef.

This is the beginning of a truly major initiative. Many other pub-
lishers have already expressed in interest in joining the programme,
and the WHO and the publishers mentioned above now invite other pub-
lishers to participate in this key global initiative. HINARI is not
the first programme to attempt to bridge the information digital di-
vide. There are other initiatives such as PERI, eIFL, etc, and many
individual publishers have been offering free or discounted access to
their journals; indeed, HINARI hopes to work with these important
programmes to the benefit of libraries in the developing nations.
However, HINARI is unique in two ways: it will offer an almost ex-
haustive list of content targeted to meet the specific needs of the
research and clinical community in the developing nations, and be-
cause it is creating a new framework for information delivery, it is
likely to be permanent.

HINARI PHASE 2 The WHO is already working with the publishers to of-
fer access at substantially discounted rates to the same information
to health care, teaching and research institutions in those countries
whose annual GNP per cap. is between US$ 1,000 and US$ 2,999. All
partners recognise that this will be a more complicated process than
Phase 1, but they are confident that agreement can be reached by the
summer of 2002.

The HINARI Publishers Statement, 9 July 2001:

Countries within HINARI:

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