Update on membership benefits - EBSCO

December 31, 2019

Update on IAHPC Membership Benefits

Dear IAHPC member,

As you are probably aware, for almost 10 years, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) has provided access to the CINAHL database through EBSCO. This is one of the many benefits we offer to you as a member, including the possibility of applying to an IAHPC Traveling Fellowship or Traveling Scholarship grant, participating in IAHPC global research projects and in the IAHPC Advocacy Initiatives, and many others.

Providing and enabling access to evidence-based information and helping the dissemination of appropriate knowledge to improve patient care and relieve serious health related suffering is one of our priority areas of work. However, EBSCO (owner of the CINAHL database) has consistently increased the annual price that they charge to the IAHPC at a rate of 7% per year - which is quite onerous, especially when we are facing a decrease in funding and grants to cover our operating costs.

Based on the above and because we wanted to take a rational decision, we analyzed the number of users, the countries where they are located in, and the number of articles downloaded over the past three years. The results of our findings indicate that the vast majority of downloads were from members located in high income countries (New Zealand and the USA) and mostly downloaded articles are from two palliative care journals. The rest of the journals included in the CINAHL database are rarely used.

Additional analysis with our board members and in published reports, also show that researchers are increasingly using research platforms (ResearchGate, Academia, ORCID, KUDOS etc.) where many articles are available at no cost. This in addition to the fact that most Universities provide access to journals to their faculty and students, and that the Research4Life initiative, a public-private partnership involving five United Nations agencies, provides free access to a large number of paywalled journals and books for organizations based in low income countries, through the HINARI program. Other services such as Sci-Hub continue to grow, by providing access to articles bypassing paywalls (but also infringing copyright norms). In summary, our analysis shows that the majority of our members are not accessing journals through the IAHPC, and that most probably are now using other means to source articles.

Based on the above, the IAHPC has decided not to continue providing access to the CINAHL database as a benefit to our members. We will instead, use these funds to continue supporting the traveling scholars and traveling fellows’ programs as well as new programs that we will soon be implementing over the next year. The IAHPC is committed to continue enabling access to evidence based information and supporting members who have a keen interest in research. As such, we will provide selected articles to any member who is currently working in research and is not able to download an article through other means.

We will be updating our website to reflect these decisions and also add links and guidance on how to register for the research platforms. We are also exploring other possible alternatives. In the meantime, if you have any questions related to this decision, please direct them to Ms. Genevieve Napier, the IAHPC Programs Officer gnapier@iahpc.com

We look forward to our collaboration and any joint efforts to advance global palliative care and relieve serious health related suffering of millions of patients and families around the world. We are grateful for your membership and look forward to our continued collaboration.

Professor Lukas Radbruch, MD, Chair IAHPC
Ms. Liliana De Lima, MHA, Executive Director