AMSTERDAM, December 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Elsevier-Library of Alexandria Memorandum of Understanding drives research usage and access with virtual knowledge community in developing countries Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Library of Alexandria (BA) announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries across the globe with access to ScienceDirect, Elsevier's online scientific research platform with 11 million full text articles and Scopus, an abstract and citation database containing 21,000 peer-reviewed journals from 5,000 publishers. The new agreement will provide courtesy access for a period of three years. As an integral part of this initiative, the BA will also facilitate research capacity building, or the development of strong research skills through a closed Virtual Knowledge Community (VKC) to provide the scientists with regular support including: research best practices, information literacy and authorship skills training. "Science can help feed the hungry, heal the sick, protect the environment, bring dignity to work and create space for the joy of self-expression... But if we do not build capacity for the deprived to have access to the best of science, the gap between the rich and the poor will increase," said Dr. Ismael Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, "This collaboration between Elsevier and the Library of Alexandria is intended to empower many researchers in Africa to have access to the best of science today." Many of the 150 scientists who will be granted access to ScienceDirect and Scopus focus their research on areas relevant to the UN Millennium Development Goals including the treatment and prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; promoting rural development with improved water, sanitation and food security.