MEDBOX | the aid library


FAQ




Where did the idea of MEDBOX come from?

It all started during an UN-organised Health Cluster Meeting in Myanmar in 2008. During a discussion concerning the sharing of information many participants observed that they were struggling to access WHO guidelines and other practical guidelines, although internet access was not a problem. That was the moment when the Medical Mission Institute in Wuerzburg had the idea of creating an open-access website where all the relevant health documents are collected and readily available for everyone and everywhere. Finally, in October 2013, the vision became reality and MEDBOX went online.

The MEDBOX team of the Medical Mission Institute received support by over a dozen internationally active humanitarian and development organizations to start this innovative project. In December 2015, two years after its launch, the MEDBOX has had over 1.800.000 views and over 1.400.000 downloads.


Do I need to pay user fees?

No, MEDBOX is free of charge and follows the strategy of open access.


If it is for free, what is the advantage of registering with MEDBOX?

Registered users have access to individualised tools such as creating own favourites in their individualised folder structure. The registration is free of charge. The additional information that you will have to fill out is being treated confidentially according to German data protection law and is used by the administrators to better understand the user profiles, allowing to cater for the registered users interests and professional foci.


How is MEDBOX financed?

MEDBOX is an independent platform providing information free of charge. We are dependent on your financial support for the continuous management and quality assurance of the website. Please support us to continue this project! 


Is the homepage available in other languages?

Although MEDBOX was set up in English, French, Spanish and Russian. The documents hosted here are available in many languages. MEDBOX wants to make a special effort to collate information, educational and communication material in local languages (such as health education posters). Having said this, we are planning to add more languages for the homepage and the search function at a later stage.


How do you assess which materials are suitable to go into MEDBOX and which ones are not?

Apart from the most common documents used by experts around the world we have a constantly growing group of experts for each technical subgroup of documents, who screen and approve the relevance of documents. Users have the option to rank (and later comment on) the relevance of the documents. Additionally, the transparent statistics of clicks and downloads are a helpful tool for new users to observe what other users look at.


How up-to-date are the documents in MEDBOX?

The MEDBOX team ensures a weekly screening of new online publications. One of our main roles is to establish open communication channels and share knowledge and information with our partners to ensure that the highest quality of medical information is being made available. The close cooperation with the library of the Medical Mission Institute helps to screen and find the latest documents.


Is MEDBOX designed only for health professionals?

MEDBOX is targeting national and international actors of health action in humanitarian assistance and development contexts alike. This includes governmental and non-governmental institutions and their employees. It is also directed towards teachers and learners.

Users of MEDBOX are e.g. responsible persons of the ‘provincial disaster committee’ and the regional health cluster in the Pakistani Region Balochistan dealing with flood relief; the cluster team of the ministry of health in Bangladesh after a cyclone; or the medical team of a ‘community based organisation’ (CBO) in Zimbabwe dealing with cholera cases or epidemic typhoid.


Is MEDBOX merely a data collection for academics or is it also accessible for, say, community health workers?

MEDBOX is designed for all people working in the context of health. Everyone with interest in improving quality of their health related work is a potential user. This includes community health workers at all levels as well as decision makers at political level.


Reports say that a high ratio of potential users e.g. in Africa or after a natural catastrophe don’t have internet access to start with, so how useful is MEDBOX really?

A growing number of internet users access this medium through their mobile smartphones. MEDBOX can be used on Smartphones and tablets, and the option to save documents in the favourites “MY OWN MEDBOX” will allow saving documents of interest without the necessity of downloading on the spot. An App Version will allow offline access of these documents.


How can I support MEDBOX?

http://medbox.org/support-us


Copyright

Our website and its contents are subject to Federal Copyright Law. Unless expressly permitted by law (§ 44a of the copyright law, Urheberrechtsgesetz, UrhG), every form of utilising, reproducing or processing works subject to copyright protection on our website requires the prior consent of the respective owner of the rights. Individual reproductions of a work are allowed only for private use and must not serve either directly or indirectly, commercial activities. MMI and MEDBOX follow the philosophy of creative commons licencing and open access.