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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Health Information Resources for Developing Countries: FAQ

Information about providing health related resources to support clinical, research or educational programs in developing countries or resource-poor settings. Audience: University of Washington faculty, staff and students.

Common Scenarios

1.  I'm doing a research project with a faculty member in a developing country who does not have access to some of the articles that will support our work.  I have access to these licensed materials via the UW Libraries.  May I share articles with them?

Responsible Use of Electronic Resources  states, "Some publishers do not allow sharing with non-UW users, and only allow this activity with other authorized users within the University of Washington community."  You can check a publisher's policy by looking up the title in the UW online catalog and clicking on the Package and License link to the right of the holdings statement.

2.  Our department is partnering with a university department in a developing country.  How can the faculty get the right to log on as UW users? The faculty must have UW appointments in order to gain access to UW resources.  Contact your departmental administration.
3. How can I get free books for the resource center where we are teaching? Obtaining free materials will take work on your part.  You need to identify sources of materials and to obtain funds for shipping materials overseas.  Hard copies of materials are very important in these settings, but are also very difficult to obtain.  Building a Library provides some tips.
4. What materials should be acquired to support the AIDs/HIV resource center? There is no updated list of materials to buy to support specific subject areas.  You need to check with faculty both in the US and overseas to see what they would recommend.  You can also consult with other projects to see what they have purchased or check online catalogs.  You might also consult with your UW HSL Liaison.  See tips under Building a Library.
5. The library needs to be strengthened. Check with your HSL Liaison as this can be a complex undertaking.
6. The books in the resource center need to be cataloged. Check with your HSL Liaison or health sciences librarians in the country where you are working.
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