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BMJ journals now free for the 100 poorest countries

BMJ journals free to the developing world BMJ Volume 324, pp 380

BMJ specialist journals, such as Gut, Heart and Thorax, are now free online to anybody in the 100 poorest countries of the world, which between them include most of the worlds population.

For almost a year, the 23 journals have been free to the 50 poorest countries in the world. Extending the scheme should fuel a virtuous circle of increasing access, writes Dr Richard Smith, in this weeks BMJ.

The BMJ is by no means alone in providing free access to those in the developing world, but some cynics wonder if such initiatives might be an empty gesture as internet access in the developing world is limited. Yet access in the developing world is skyrocketing. Around 40 million people in India are expected to have internet access within five years, and similarly dramatic increases are expected in Nigeria.

The magic of information is that increased access means more value for everybody, writes Dr Smith. A piece of information that might mean nothing to most people might lead to a deep insight in somebody. This is how science develops. And that remarkable person perhaps a Neils Bohr (Nobel Prize winner for physics) is just as likely to be in the developing world as anywhere else.


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Contact: Emma Wilkinson
ewilkinson@bmj.com
44-20-7383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
14-Feb-2002


Page: 1

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