Elsevier Empowers Researchers in Africa

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Researchers are the engines that drive the progress of societies, and knowing this Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, medical information products and services has signed an agreement with the Library of Alexandria (BA) to provide 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries across the globe access to ScienceDirect. This is Elsevier’s online scientific research platform with 11 million full text articles and also includes Scopus, an abstract and citation database containing 21,000 peer-reviewed journals from 5,000 publishers.

This collaboration will run for a period of three years and aims to further advancement in the developing world and empower many researchers in Africa to have access to the best of science today. Many of the 150 scientists who will have access to ScienceDirect and Scopus will focus their research on areas relevant to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) including the treatment and prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and promoting rural development with improved water, sanitation and food security.

The eight MDGS, ranging from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, have the target date of 2015. The MDGS is an international agreement that includes all the world’s leading development institutions that have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. 

As an integral part of this initiative, the BA will also facilitate research capacity building, which is the development of strong research skills through a closed Virtual Knowledge Community (VKC) to provide the scientists with regular support including: research best practices, information literacy and authorship skills training. The BA is located close to the original site of the ancient Library of Alexandria and is dedicated to recapturing the spirit of the original library. It aspires to be the world’s window on Egypt and Egypt’s window on the world. The complex contains space for millions of books, a centre for the internet and its archive, museums of antiquities, manuscripts, the history of science and more. 

This access to information for the deprived nations in the world will help to build capacity for these vulnerable regions, giving them access to the best of science, which will help lessen the gap between the rich and the poor countries, bringing researchers closer to their peers internationally. This carefully targeted South-South knowledge exchange is part of Elsevier’s overall effort with Research4Life and the Elsevier Foundation to provide clinicians, researchers, and policymakers in the developing world with access to the information they need to address critical health and sustainability challenges. Science drives social progress, helping to feed the hungry, protect the environment and heal the sick. After all, what would the world have been like without the technological advances that have occurred? The word bleak springs to mind…

Photo Credit: Elsevier Foundation

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