Publications and information services
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Launched in 2003, AGORA provides free or subsidised journal access to not-for-profit institutions in eligible countries. Once details are finalised, all institutions in countries with a GNP per capita under US$1,000 will be given access to participating literature. The journal collection focuses on agriculture and related sciences, and includes titles from major publishing houses. AGORA is an FAO initiative. Click here for more details about registering.
AJFAND is an academic journal — published quarterly — by the Rural Outreach Programme, a non-profit company based in Kenya. The journal's free-access website features peer-reviewed articles about poverty, food security, disease and agriculture in Africa. It also provides commentaries, short communications, book reviews, and relevant news and events. Students can submit work to the student section.
AJOL is an online database that hosts more than 400 peer-reviewed, African-published research journals. Over a quarter of these journals are open access. The website provides access to tables of contents, abstracts and links to full-text articles in PDF format, as well as author guidelines and contact details for each journal. It also provides useful resources for researchers and publishers.
The Agricultural Research Journal, published by Argentina's National Institute for Agricultural Technology, is an open access science journal that publishes new research in diverse fields of agricultural research. The website provides information about the editorial process, including guidelines for submitting scientific papers, and publishes relevant news articles. It is available in Spanish and Portuguese.
arXiv is an open-access repository of physics papers. It was launched as an experiment in 1991 by physicist Paul Ginsparg. Physicists have always exchanged pre-prints of their research. Ginsparg designed a piece of software that would allow the community to pool and search these papers. arXiv is now one of the primary sources of literature for physicists.
This is a virtual library of Latin American social science papers maintained by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). It provides open and free access to more than 4,000 full-text books, periodical articles and other documents, in Spanish.
Bioline International is a not-for-profit electronic publishing service that provides access to research journals published in developing countries. The website features a growing number of peer-reviewed journals
, and provides a range of other material of interest to bioscientists (reports, books, technical documents, conference proceedings and newsletters). Bioline International is a joint initiative of the University of Toronto Libraries
, Canada, the Reference Center on Environmental Information
, Brazil and Bioline/UK.
BMC is an open-access publishing house, and is part of Current Science Group. It publishes more than 100 peer-reviewed open-access journals
, such as the Journal of Biology. Instead of being based on subscriptions it operates an article-processing charge. To view BMC's Open access charter, click here
BioMed Central is an independent publishing house committed to providing immediate free access to peer reviewed biomedical research. This site provides links to BMC's articles on medical ethics, some of which relate to developing countries (prospective authors can submit their articles for peer review and publication). Other relevant journals on the site include BMC International Health and Human Rights and the International Journal for Equity in Health. One linked site
, provided by the West African Doctor's network, allows researchers in developing countries to conduct searches of PUBMED via email.
The BMJ is a weekly journal providing original scientific studies, review and educational articles, and papers commenting on the clinical, scientific, social, political, and economic factors affecting health. Access to the online version of the journal – which seeks to be at the forefront of the international debate on health – is free.
BOAI aims to speed progress in making research articles from all academic fields freely available on the Internet. It recommends two complementary strategies: self-archiving, whereby scholars deposit refereed journal articles in electronic archives; and open-access journals. The initiative was launched in 2002 following a meeting in Budapest held by the Open Society Institute, part of the Soros Foundation. The meeting also resulted in a declaration that is still inviting signatures from those wishing to pledge their support to the open access movement.
The CGVLibrary — run by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) — is a search engine for agricultural information. It has an easy-to-use interface for accessing documents and abstracts in all of the CGIAR centres' libraries, as well as 160 other databases. Subscribers also have access to an image library.
DOAJ is a directory of open-access research journals, and was launched by Lund University, Sweden in May 2003. In order to be listed, journals must fit certain criteria, for instance, they must be peer-reviewed, or subject to an equivalent form of quality control. To read more about the selection criteria, click here
. DOAJ is currently developing a searchable index of participating journal papers.
DSpace is a groundbreaking digital library system to capture, store, index, preserve, and redistribute the intellectual output of a university's research faculty in digital formats. Developed jointly by MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard (HP), it is freely available to research institutions worldwide as an open-source system that can be customised and extended. DSpace software manages and distributes digital items, made up of digital files (or bitstreams) and allows the creation, indexing, and searching of associated metadata to locate and retrieve the items.
Set up by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
(ICTP), eJDS aims to facilitate access to scientific literature for free in the fields of Physics and Mathematics, by distributing scientific articles via email to developing-world scientists with poor Internet connectivity. Several major publishers have adhered to the programme, with exact rules over access dependent on each publisher. Access to eJDS is granted on an individual basis and requires registration.
EIFL works with libraries and other partners around the world to increase access to knowledge for research and sustainable community development. One of the programmes run by the organisation, the Public Library Innovation Programme, gives small grants to public libraries in developing countries to implement community development services using information and communication technology (ICT). The programme supports 37 services in 22 countries, as well as studies to evaluate their impact. Projects include using mobile phones to deliver health messages to communities, and providing farmers with access to libraries' online resources on market prices and farm technology. The website publishes news, information on grants, events, case studies and information about the impacts of projects.
The GBIF is an intergovernmental organisation committed to making information on the world’s biodiversity freely available on the Internet. It hosts an online data portal providing free access to scientific records on plants, animals and microbes, including 12 million records on biological specimens. The data are provided by natural history museums, botanic gardens and herbaria as well as conservation organisations.
HINARI provides free or subsidised journal access to developing nations according to their GNP per capita. It allows research and healthcare institutions within a registered company to gain online full-text access to all 2,000 participating journals in biomedical and related social sciences. HINARI is led by the World Health Organisation. Click here
to find out more about registration.
HighWire Press is the largest online repository of free full-text life science papers, with over 600,000 papers organised by topic and journal (though many of these are from back issues). A large number of journals
are directly available free-of-charge to those in developing countries. Highwire Press is a division of Stanford University Libraries.
INASP Health Links is a catalogue of more than 500 online resources for health professionals, medical libraries, nongovernmental organisations and publishers, provided by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
. The linked sites are categorised for ease of use and sites that target users in developing countries are highlighted. Each link is accompanied by a brief summary of the site.