Research matters for developing countries

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our 6th Publishers for Development conference last week and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. This year we wanted the perspectives of our presenters would help our audience to explore how participation in initiatives, such as access schemes, can help to make an important contribution to development. A vital part of this is in seeing and making the links between research, higher education and development. We aimed to provide insights into some of the challenges that remain, what is being done to help address them and also areas where we might collectively get involved.

So that you might easily share information from #pfd2014 with colleagues unable to join us – here are some useful information links:

  • Presentations from the day are now available in PDF format – video is on its way!
  • Twitter engagement via #pfd2014 was absolutely fantastic – we have produced a storify of some of the highlights, but please check out the # and follow @pubsfordev.
  • 2014 Press release is now available on the summary page.
  • We’ve also posted some photos of the day.
  • Finally, we will be following-up on the 5 questions we posed for you to consider during the day – and would like to thank those who have already been filmed for our vox pops!

If you have any other questions or suggestions you would like to make please contact us via: or you can email Lucy Browse.

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Research matters for developing countries – 2014 PfD conference

The countdown has begun to the 6th Publishers for Development conference on 14 August, 2014! For more details of the day, see the agendaspeakers and venue pages.

Registration for the event has now closed. However, if have not registered and would still like to get involved, you can follow the discussion twitter (#pfd2014) or respond to our request for feedback to our questions below.

On the day

We have an exciting line-up of presenters who will help publishers explore how participation in access schemes – as well as other developing country initiatives – can make an important contribution to development, and show why research and higher education matter for developing countries.

Our speakers include Rachel McIntosh from DFID, Ylann Schemm from Elsevier, Julie Brittain and Jon Harle from INASP, David Osei from the ACU, Matt Hodgkinson from PLOS, Francina Makondo from the University of Zambia, Patrick Mapulanga from the University of Malawi and Agnes Chikonzo from the University of Zimbabwe.

This one day conference is collegial in style and is open to those involved in information provision, access and uptake. It will enable attendees to share experiences, learn about what’s happening in other parts of the world and establish new relationships with colleagues. Ultimately it will also help encourage a greater understanding about the role of research in development and how we can collectively contribute to this.


This year we are asking attendees to consider the following questions:

  • What role do you feel research, with the use of academic journals at its heart, has in international development?
  • What barriers remain to research access (and publication) in developing countries?
  • What are the opportunities you see for research access and publication in developing countries over the next 5 years?
  • What kind of partnerships do you think universities and publishers could make to improve access for researchers?
  • How do you believe this conference and the work of PfD helps address these issues?

We’d also welcome comments and feedback on our key principles for responsible engagement with developing countries. You can read more about why we think these principles are important in our recent post Reconciling business interests and development needs: How can publishers ensure developing countries have access to the research they need?

If you have any questions about the day or would like to contribute your answers to the questions above, please email us at or find us on Twitter (@pubsfordev). Presentations will be filmed on the day and available online after the event.

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Reconciling business interests and development needs

How can publishers ensure developing countries have access to the research they need?

A successful partnership

INASP’s partnerships with publishers have always been an essential part of our work to support access to research in Southern universities and research institutes. Through the two phases of the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) we’ve been able to make many thousands of e-journals available and in some cases e-books too. 2013 saw 4.5 million full-text downloads, with 65,000 full text items available in our partner countries – and this is of course on top of access achieved through Research4Life and other initiatives, as well as the wealth of resources now open access.

The world of research communications has changed significantly in the last few years. OA has advanced rapidly, making a significant volume of research freely available, and there have been some steady, but marked improvements in the research systems of many of our partner countries – with library consortia developing and universities beginning to invest more in research and postgraduate training. And at the same time, publishers have begun to look increasingly to African, Asian and Latin American countries to develop new business and reach new readers and authors. Read the full post here.

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