Democratizing Health Research




academic publications, health research, journals, knowledge, Munin, Open Access, Open Data, Open Health, Open Science, Plan S, publications, scholarly publishing, Tromsø, World Health Organization, WHO, cOAlition S


Is it fair that researchers and policymakers in low-income countries have to pay to read new research on diseases they treat? Today's guest is Robert Terry from the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), where he works as a manager of research policy. His background is from both the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust. For Terry, achieving open access requires addressing barriers across political, technical and cultural barriers, with the culture of research assessment and reward needing the biggest change to democratizing science.

The host of this episode is Erik Lieungh.

This episode was first published 16 December 2019.

Author Biographies

Robert Fraser Terry, World Health Organization

Robert Terry is a senior strategic and project manager with more than 20 years experience in strategy development and implementation. He has specialized knowledge in natural resources, development, health and research policy in low and high income countries for governmental, non-governmental, philanthropic and UN organizations.

Robert joined the World Health Organization in 2007 and led on the development and implementation of the Organization’s strategy on Research for Health. He is one of the lead authors of the 2013 WHO World Health Report– Research for Universal Health Coverage and developed the concept which led to the creation of the WHO Global Health R&D Observatory. Currently he works for the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) where he is responsible for knowledge management, open access, data sharing and ensuring evidence is translated into policy and practice.

His early career in research and development was in agriculture and he went on to positions at the Royal Society where he ran the international research exchange programme and the Wellcome Trust where he was senior policy advisor. He led the development of Wellcome’s first open access policy and the subsequent establishment of Europe PubMed Central.

He has lived and worked in the Middle East and undertaken development consultancies in a number of African and Asian countries for Oxfam, UNAIS and DFID. He has a BSc in Botany from the University of Sheffield and an MPhil. in Plant Breeding (crop genetics) from the University of Cambridge.

Terry was a keynote speaker at the 14th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing.

Erik Lieungh, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Erik Lieungh is a digital adviser at the University Library and the host and editor of Open Science Talk.



How to Cite

Terry, R. F., & Lieungh, E. (2020). Democratizing Health Research. Open Science Talk, (25).