Getting In The Access Loop

Anne Radl | PLoS | May 29, 2012

I wish I could attend your webinar on enabling more health researchers in Africa to effectively publish their work but, ironically, I will not be able to get to the Internet at that time . . .

Several times in the past few weeks, I have heard these regrets from researchers in Africa who I have invited to participate in a webinar called “Getting in the Access Loop”—which explores how health research from Africa can have greater representation in journals, and therefore greater influence and impact.

The webinar will be the 2nd HIFA2015 webinar and will take place on Friday 1st June at 4pm BST. If you want to join in more information can be found on the Humanitarian Centre’s website.

The irony of the RSVPs lies in the fact that the Internet is crucial for accessing research and, in turn, effectively disseminating one’s own.  If you can’t access the Internet to participate in the conversation about how researchers can more effectively “participate in the conversation,” your absence speaks volumes about the degree of technological and academic isolation you may be facing.

These regrets reinforce the importance of having an on-going and open dialogue about overcoming the barriers to accessing health research.  Just a couple of weeks ago, we heard that “millions of Africans are one step closer to being connected to the global Internet” through the launch of the West African Cable System.  But being one step closer certainly doesn’t mean that we’re there already.