Research4Life does more than removing barriers to access to journals that are normally only available by subscription. Its Capacity Development Team works to deliver training and education in a wide range of skills, including information literacy, how to use the Research4Life content portal and how to navigate the landscape of scholarly research communication.
Research4Life is a collaborative venture, founded in 2001 by the World Health Organization and 6 founding publishers, all members of STM. Today it reaches users in over 10,000 registered institutions and covers all subject disciplines. It relies on the volunteer effort of a wide range of individuals and organizations and is governed by an Executive Council that represents the different types of partner.
Traditionally, Research4Life has relied on the deeply discounted subscription fees paid by institutions in the second tier of eligible countries (so-called Group B institutions) to fund its annual programme of training and outreach. However, this is an unreliable and unpredictable source of income, particularly in the current global economic situation. In 2020 a new fund-raising vehicle, Friends of Research4Life, was established in order to secure a new source of income and to provide much-needed stability for an initiative whose importance has never been more apparent.