In 2019 the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Elsevier Foundation funded the Research4Life Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) as a pilot program to support existing and potential users with the knowledge and skills required to access and use the Research4Life’s knowledge platform. Research4Life provides online access to up to 100,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, innovation and law in more than 120 low- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online.
The first edition of the MOOC entitled “Research4Life Online Training Tools to develop capacities in information use, scholarly communication, and information management in the low-income and the least developed countries” had more than 2,200 participants, many of whom were eager to share their success stories and experiences.
With the objective to assess the impact and usefulness of the course through the feedback from some attendants, the FAO Information and Digital Data for Innovation Team performed interviews of participants from Nigeria, representing Group B; Sudan and Uganda, representing Group A. Sikiru Ibrahim-Olesin, Mohamed Siddig Hassan and Annette N. Kyamugambi kindly shared with us their experiences from the course.
When discussing the most important takeaway, the participants talked about a new knowledge and confidence to use the platform properly:
“The most Important thing I learned was a confidence to use Research4Life correctly and also to now be able to train others about how to use the platform,” said Annette N.Kyamugambi.
“The most important thing to me was learning about It's usability for literature review allowing me access, it provides a lot of very useful publications,” said Sikiru Ibrahim-Olesin.
“I learned research4life is a collection of databases, that research4life mechanisms and tools to use in these databases, and I also learned new terminology of scientific research and publishing, for example peer review techniques,” said Mohamed Siddig Hassan.
The Research4Life MOOC offered training tools to develop capacities in information use, scholarly communication, and information management. The participants discussed their favorite and most important tool they learned about during the course:
“The reference manager is another tool I'm enjoying and how to use it correctly,” said Sikiru Ibrahim-Olesin.
“I gained training skills to apply to library users such as using Boolen terms, advanced searching, use of summons and how to export my findings to my research which is vital to making good writeup,” said Annette N.Kyamugambi.
All of the participants had an excellent overall experience and appreciate the support and knowledge and are excited to move forward utilizing Research4Life. In fact, they plan to recommend the course to others:
“I have already recommended my Junior staff to keep looking out for the opportunities to train on the internet with research4life,” said Annette N.Kyamugambi.
“ I will definitely recommend this course, and as a matter of fact, I'm looking at ways to provide this kind of seminar for my students and fellow staff of my University, because we all need research for life. Getting access to peered review articles and journals is not easy for many of us in developing countries. Research4Life has really filled this gap of which I'm very glad and proud of,” said Sikiru Ibrahim-Olesin.
“Yes, I recommend my friends and other scientists in my university community to use research4life,” said Mohamed Siddig Hassan.
Learn more about the success of the first Research4Life MOOC and hear even more testimonials about participants' experiences here.
With the objective of supporting existing and future users to learn how to get the most out of the available resources in Research4Life, Research4Life and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations announce the second edition of the Research4Life Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The course will take place from 20 April to 24 May 2020. The call for applications is now open here.