Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon


North/South Initiative Opens Access to Bioscience Research from Developing Countries

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2006

Jennifer Heffelfinger
(202) 296-2296 x121

Washington, DC – SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced a partnership with Bioline International, an online publishing service that provides open access to peer-reviewed research journals published in developing countries. 

Founded in 1993, Bioline ( helps journals from developing countries reap the benefits of open access. By providing a platform for the free and open distribution of these scientific publications, otherwise largely invisible to the international scientific community, Bioline seeks to fulfill the promise of open access publishing.

Evidence is mounting that Bioline’s efforts are bearing fruit. The use of publications on Bioline’s platform has increased dramatically over the past several years, with downloads of articles from the service’s 50-plus journals now averaging in excess of 200,000 per month. Bioline studies suggest that increased awareness and usage translate into improved journal quality by inspiring higher submission rates - especially from international authors - and improved citation rates.

”We see the advent of open access to research information as a huge boost in strengthening science in less developed nations,” said Leslie Chan, Associate Director of Bioline. “Without international visibility, researchers in poorer nations will remain isolated, partnerships with not be formed, and the knowledge generated in these regions will remain unrecognized.”

Increasing access to scientific research from developing countries benefits the entire international scientific community. In the struggle to counter emerging diseases, climate change, or environmental disasters, access to regional information is increasingly important. Bioline contributes by making this valuable regional research available throughout the world, and Bioline considers speeding this dissemination to be its principal mandate.

“SPARC has a longstanding commitment to expanding publishing options and equitable access across the globe,” said SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph. “Bioline’s early commitment to open access and open standards as well as its efforts to facilitate the worldwide distribution of high-quality, peer-reviewed research exemplifies the best of what the scientific publishing industry can achieve.”

Bioline’s service includes a technical platform and document conversion – both free to journals that wish to offer free online access to readers yet lack the financial and technical resources to do so. The wide range of subjects and disciplines covered by Bioline include biotechnology, biodiversity, environmental and ecological sciences, food science, agriculture, veterinary science, medicine, microbiology, and taxonomy.

In recognition of its efforts, Bioline has received a $30,000 grant from the Open Society Institute’s Open Access Project, which has supported the incorporation of ten additional bioscience and health journals published in developing countries into the Bioline system.



SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and SPARC Europe are an international alliance of more than 300 academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is located on the Web at


Bioline is a collaborative initiative of the University of Toronto Libraries, the Reference Center on Environmental Information in Brazil, and over thirty publishing partners from around the world. Its business office is located in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.