HINARI : Bridging the global information divide

Publication Date 
p 1190-1193

HINARI cannot reach everyone who might benefit. In many countries internet access is slow, expensive, and unreliable. Many poor institutions carrying out valuable research in countries with a GNP per capita of over $3000 per year are not eligible to use HINARI Information is often not available in electronic format - especially if it has been produced locally. The electronic format may be unsuitable for certain uses - for example, medical students in the developing world may benefit more from printed textbooks than from virtual textbooks that are only accessible from an unreliable internet connection at medical school. HINARI may also pose problems to researchers and health professionals working in the developing world. Allowing unrestricted access to much of the world's medical literature may produce an information overload and lead to valid and relevant information being difficult to find. This is particularly important for people who are not experienced in using information technology and reading primary research (but this problem occurs in the developed world too). Some valuable journals of specific relevance to the developing world (tropical medicine journals, for example) may not be available through HINARI as this may compromise publishers' commercial viability. Also, in a few countries, publishers withhold some journals because the sales of these journals are significant in these countries. However, institutions in these few countries are still able to access at least most of the key general medical and scientific journals without restrictions

Serial Title:
British Medical Journal
Serial Part:
Vol 328 no 7449
Type of material