The Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), which arose in response to medical literature needs in developing countries, gives online access to scientific information to a variety of institutions throughout the world. This is a great resource; however, little research has been performed on the effectiveness and usefulness of HINARI, specifically to medical schools. Our study sought to find out whether the textbooks (e-books) available on HINARI could form a virtual library that would cover the curriculum of a medical school. After categorising and reviewing the medically relevant e-books on HINARI, we found that they were insufficient in providing adequate subject material relevant to medical school curricula from Rwanda, the United Kingdom and the United States. This literature gap could be closed by additional medical textbooks being made available from contributing publishers. An increase of only 14% in HINARI e-book resources would provide material for the entire medical school curriculum.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.