Editorials

Closing the digital divide

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7383.238 (Published 01 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:238

Remarkable progress is being made

  1. Richard Smith, editor
  1. BMJ

    As recently as September 2000 a scientist from the World Health Organization wrote that global inequity in access to the internet was greater than any other inequity.1 Less than three years later more than 100 health institutions in the developing world have free electronic access to over 2000 journals—access that is equal, and sometimes better, than in institutions in New York, London, and Paris. This week access is being extended beyond the 68 countries with incomes of less than $1000 (£612; €922) a head to 42 countries with incomes between $1000 and $3000 a head.

    Until very recently health institutions in low income countries had almost no access to international journals, and the few textbooks available were often years out of date. 2 3 These institutions simply couldn't afford the journals. Many small organisations worked hard to try to provide information, but international organisations such as …

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