Access to relevant and current knowledge is central to ensuring the quality of graduate training and research. However, universities from low-income countries are faced with the challenge of providing students and research teams with access to relevant knowledge resources. This is due to the prohibitive costs associated with knowledge acquisition.
Since 2003, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has led the Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) programme, which provides access to thousands of journals, e-books, and other information resources covering agriculture, fisheries, food, nutrition, veterinary science and related biological, environmental and social sciences in public institutions across the world. The aim of the programme is to improve the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research, education and training in low-income countries.
Subscription-based journals and major scientific books remain important sources of high-quality scientific information that are crucial in advancing higher education, improving the ability to share findings, and informing about public policy decisions. AGORA is one of the five programmes that make up Research4Life.
Research4Life is a public-private partnership of the WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, ILO, Cornell and Yale Universities, the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers and individual international scientific publishers. The goal of Research4Life is to reduce the knowledge gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries by providing affordable access to critical scientific research. Hinari, AGORA, OARE, ARDI and GOALI are providing researchers in low- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences and law.