Health Research Web (HRWeb) is being developed as a web-based platform to stimulate the impact that research can have on health, equity and development globally – but especially in low and middle income countries and low income populations. Its major contribution towards this goal is that it is the only web-based resource that focuses on optimizing research systems information – providing information useful for national and institutional management of research, for public accountability, for use by informed citizens – or to become an informed citizen, by donors, research sponsors, government departments, research institutions, civil society groups and many more.

HRWeb started in 2006 as a simple database of policies, priorities, institutions and resources useful for reseach and researchers. (see 'milestones') From 31 August 2009, HRWeb developed another characteristic as a 'first': it changed into a platform that can be used by and changed by users of various backgrounds. This 'interactive' version has been in preparation since November 2008 and has developed to a level where it can be made public – for use by anyone interested in promoting research for health, equity and development anywhere.

But HRWeb is far from developed to full potential. Your inputs and feedback will be crucial to develop its functionality, its reach and impact, its ease of use and its potential to create a global community interested in impacting on health, equity and development.

This version is therefore labelled a 'beta'-version. While fully operational, much remains to be done in terms of data entry, information availability, functions and scope. COHRED will continuously improve HRWeb – and would like you to assist (see 'how you can contribute').

This beta version already ensures that:

the data you enter are available for download at any time as own backup;

the HRWeb platform will be placed in the public domain (see also: 'editorial policy') and will have its servers independent of COHRED, so that all data will remain available, even if COHRED should stop operating HRWeb.