Introductory Comments by David Ruth
One of the most gratifying aspects about our work for all of us at Elsevier is helping to increase global accessibility to the enormous amount of scientific, technical and medical information produced by our community of authors, editors, reviewers and Elsevier publishers.
Our books and journals have a particularly important role to play in the developing world where information resources are scarce but knowledge about health, the environment, food and agriculture is critical to economic development and human welfare.
Since developing countries can least afford information resources, Elsevier has taken a number of steps to bridge the gap. In partnership with other publishers, we are founding members of three programs — HINARI, AGORA and OARE — that make our journal articles available for free or at very low cost to institutions in developing countries. Additionally, we support other philanthropic initiatives that focus on getting information resources into the hands of libraries and researchers in the developing world. These additional initiatives include Book Aid International and The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the Social Science Library. Further, we work with the library community internationally to help train researchers, physicians and educators on how to use HINARI, AGORA and OARE as well as similar programs to which they have access. And, through the Elsevier Foundation, we help libraries in the developing world to expand and preserve their information resources, often through partnerships with libraries in the developed world.
These efforts have two-way benefits. Not only do they bring vital information to whole groups of institutions and users, they also open the door to greater scholarly contribution from researchers and scientists in the developing world.
Professionals and researchers already benefiting or likely to benefit from these programs include medical educators, lecturers and tutors seeking to improve research capacity and education in a wide range of disciplines; public health researchers and policymakers working to adopt the best clinical practices and treatments; clinicians and researchers working in preventative medicine, STDs, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer and malaria; and field researchers working to develop new agricultural practices, stop deforestation and pollution, and eradicate sleeping sickness. Scientists, academics and practitioners working in these areas and located in developing countries consistently report that their access to STM information has the power to transform their work and their capacity to contribute to the scientific record.
All of us in the information arena can be proud of philanthropic programs such as those described in this pamphlet and the impact they will continue to have on the advancement of science, health and development in emerging regions. In the following pages, you can find details on specific philanthropic programs and learn how to get involved in these programs or benefit from them.
David Ruth, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Relations, Elsevier, New York, NY, USA
David Ruth serves as a senior vice president in Elsevier’s Global Corporate Relations team and is responsible for
external communications initiatives, media relations and corporate philanthropic programs worldwide.