Photo: Two Research4Life users during a workshop in Papua New Guinea, December 2019.

Research4Life User Review

Project description

Research into user experiences will inform Research4Life’s future work in reducing the knowledge gap between researchers in industrialized nations and those in low- and middle-income countries.

Research4Life, which works to address global imbalances to access to scientific and professional information, has appointed a team led by INASP to conduct an independent and wide-ranging review of Research4Life’s users’ experiences across a range of countries and institution types. The user review will inform decisions on the long-term strategy behind Research4Life’s programme development, content expansion, user training and support, and technical upgrades.

Research4Life comprises five programmes (Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI). The aim of Research4Life is to reduce the knowledge gap between industrialized nations and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by providing free or low-cost access to peer-reviewed academic and professional content. The five programmes are widely available in more than 120 countries in the Global South, providing access to up to a hundred thousand journals, e-books and other resources.

To inform future developments, the user review will research, identify and analyze:

  • Patterns and trends in the use of Research4Life content from 2015 to now.
  • The perceived value of Research4Life’s training, outreach, platform and contents by users.
  • The impact of the programmes on the (scientific) productivity users.
  • Constraints affecting the wider use of Research4Life, particularly relating to technical problems or the quality of the user experience.

The work involves a desk-based review of available institutional monitoring and other data collected across Research4Life; in-depth interviews of stakeholders in multiple countries; case studies of the usage journey and experience of a range of users; and surveys. In addition to INASP staff, regional consultants will undertake field interviews. The team will also draw on the experience and expertise of Research Consulting, which recently conducted Research4Life landscape and infrastructure reviews.

Key conclusions and recommendations will be shared with Research4Life stakeholders in mid-2021 at the annual General Partners’ Meeting.

Photo: Two Research4Life users during a workshop in Papua New Guinea, December 2019


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