Access to American Heart Association Journal Content Free to Developing Countries Through HINARI
Circulation Research is one of the more than 230 journals participating in a global theme issue on poverty and human development, conceptualized and coordinated by the Council of Science Editors (CSE).1 For our part in this initiative, we would like to highlight the participation of the five American Heart Association Journals—Circulation Research, Circulation, ATVB, Stroke, and Hypertension—in the HINARI project, the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (http://www.who.int/hinari/en/), sponsored and administered by the World Health Organization. Since its start in 2002, HINARI has provided free or low-cost online access to major medical and biomedical journals for institutions in developing countries. The types of institutions eligible for access to HINARI are universities, research institutes, professional schools (medicine, nursing, pharmacology, public health, dentistry), teaching hospitals, government offices, and national medical libraries.2 In a recent statement released by the HINARI project,3 the WHO celebrated a milestone with the 2500th institution registering for HINARI access. This success, and the generosity of the participating publishers and medical societies, has ensured that the HINARI project will continue to at least 2015, to match the objectives of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.2
The World Health Organization has designated developing nations as either Level 1 or Level 2 countries, using Gross National Product (GNP) per capita as a standardized metric. Developing nations with GNP per capita below $1000 are deemed Level 1 and are therefore eligible for free institutional access to HINARI content. Developing nations with GNP per capita from $1000 to $3000 are designated as Level 2, making them eligible for low-cost institutional access.2 The Table lists Level 1 and Level 2 countries, and displays the number of daily unique visitors from these countries accessing Circulation Research online.
The purpose of this editorial, then, is two-fold. First, we wish to publicize the fact that, through HINARI, the American Heart Association has made the content of Circulation Research and the other four journals free to institutions in both Level 1 and Level 2 countries. This is not clearly defined to users on the HINARI site, which lists outdated information about AHA Journal access to Level 2 countries. Additionally, the upcoming launch of newly redesigned AHA Journal homepages will have clearly defined links for international visitors to the sites, which will make the link to HINARI even more apparent for eligible users.
Second, we wish to publicly encourage institutions in Level 1 and 2 developing nations to register for HINARI access to journal content. It is clear that underdeveloped, impoverished nations struggling to provide even the most basic health care do not spend money on biomedical research. The Editors of Circulation Research feel that the first steps toward biomedical research are made by clinicians who have free access in their home countries to the most essential and expert research published in the global literature. This is precisely why our participation in the HINARI project is vital, and why the HINARI project itself is critical to the health care of individuals in impoverished and developing nations. Institutions in eligible countries wishing to register for free access to Circulation Research will find an application for HINARI is available at http://extranet.who.int/hinari/en/registration.php.
Council of Science Editors. Global Theme Issue Press Release. Available at: http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/globalthemeissue.cfm. Accessed September 20, 2007.
HINARI, Access to Research Initiative. About HINARI. Available at: http://www.who.int/hinari/about/en/ Accessed September 20, 2007.
HINARI. Press Release: 2500th Member Joins Developing Country Institutes with Low-Cost Access to World’s Medical Literature. Available at: http://www.who.int/hinari/2500th%20member.pdf. Accessed September 20, 2007.
HBX Analytics from Visual Sciences. Available at: http://www.hitboxsuite. com. Accessed September 20, 2007.