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14 January 2011

Access to Springer content in Bangladesh

In the 11 January 2011 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2011; 342:d196 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d196), Springer is mentioned as having withdrawn free access to health and biomedical online journals through the World Health Organization’s Health InterNetwork for Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) program. HINARI is part of the Research4Life partnership between UN agencies, STM publishers, university libraries and technology partners, which is one of many initiatives that allows free and/or reduced-cost access for research and health institutions in developing countries.
Springer is one of the founding publishers of HINARI, and provides access to over five hundred of its journals to various eligible developing countries through this program. Springer remains committed to the Research4Life programs until the end of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. The article implies that Springer has recently “...withdrawn 588 of its journals from the [HINARI] program...”. This is incorrect. Bangladesh has not had access to Springer content through HINARI since 2006.
However, since 2006, institutions in Bangladesh – including the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (mentioned in the BMJ article) – have had access to over 1700 Springer journals through the International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).
INASP helps developing countries not only to address their national priorities for access to national and international scholarly information and knowledge, but also assists with the use, creation, management and uptake of scholarly information and knowledge via appropriate ICTs. INASP also promotes national, regional and international cooperation, networking and knowledge exchange.