An article published in Science last week discusses the value of creating a global map of health R&D activity to improve coordination of research and create a “global observatory” for health research. I encourage you to check it out, and I also thought it was a timely reminder for discussing updates to the world research reporting tool I blogged about in March last year.
The World Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (World RePORT) located at WorldRePORT.NIH.gov is an online database and map of research funded by NIH and other members of the Heads of International Research Organizations (HIROs). In July 2013, NIH Director Francis Collins and the heads of eight other major research-funding and research organizations published an article in Lancet Global Health. As they note in their article, the availability of a comprehensive database of funded research, including names of investigators and research abstracts, could be of significant value to governments, donor agencies, investigators, and the broader global health research community, particularly for those working in the regions covered by the map.
They used several examples to demonstrate the value of World RePORT, including “… a search with the keyword “malaria” [that] identifies more than 200 separate research efforts across 17 countries, funded by all nine organizations that provided data.”
The beta version of World RePORT released last year was limited to research being conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Since that time, one new funding organization has been added (the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership; EDCTP), and last month we took the next step to increase the utility of World RePORT by updating the site with projects funded by NIH in 2013 and expanding its coverage to include South Asia and East Asia/Pacific regions of the world. Now, a search of 2013 projects for ‘malaria’ shows not only NIH projects in sub-Saharan Africa, but a dozen additional countries in other regions. The other nine funders participating in World RePORT are now in the process of updating the database with projects funded in 2013 across this expanded set of regions.
We hope that the website will help researchers build more effective networks, and for governments and donors to consider new and more strategic investments. The usefulness of World RePORT will increase as we continue to expand coverage, both in regions of the world and also the research funders and research organizations participating. Complete information from all ten current organizations, as well as new organizations joining us, will be available on the site soon.
If you have any questions about World RePORT, please let us know!