It is 10 years since Research4Life’s HINARI programme first leveraged the resources of the World Health Organisation, Yale University Library, and six leading medical publishers to provide developing world institutions with free or low cost access to a body of the world’s most important published medical research. During that time the programme has proved hugely successful, as judged by such metrics as number of participating publishers, number of contributed journals and other information resources, and number of institutions registering for access.
Efforts to measure the impact on recipient communities of the newly available research have been undertaken on two fronts – bibliometric analysis and the collection of individual testimonies and case studies. Methodological challenges have prevented what bibliometric analyses that have been conducted so far from reaching firm conclusions about impact. With these methodological issues firmly in mind, Research4Life has gathered a team of specialist bibliometricians and analysts among its library and publisher partners to develop a specification for the most rigorous attempt yet to measure the impact of access to Research4Life content in terms of quantity and quality of research output.
In addition to developing statistical analyses however, we have also taken seriously the narrative power of true stories as a powerful indication of the impact that our programmes have had in the field. This presentation will discuss some of the impacts revealed by these case studies (now collected together in a published booklet) and the background to how they were developed, as well as providing an introduction to our plans for a bibliometric impact analysis and the work we have undertaken so far.