International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications

Newsletter

Number 6. May 1996.

In this issue:

Newsletter Editor: Ard Jongsma

Contributors to this issue:
Ana Maria Cetto, Adebimpe O. Ike, Birgitte Speet, Damtew Teferra, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, F. Woodroffe.

Editorial address:
INASP


About INASP

INASP is a co-operative network of donors and representatives of recipient institutions. It has three immediate objectives:

- to map, support and strengthen existing programmes involved in the distribution, local publication, exchange and donation of books, journals, and related materials (e.g. maps and charts, audio-visual materials, software and CD-ROM);

- to encourage and support new initiatives that will increase local publication and general access to quality scientific literature;

- to identify methods that will permit the ongoing and sustainable exchange and distribution of scientific publications.

INASP is a project of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) supported by the EU and UNESCO.

Chairman: Kai-Inge Hillerud
(President, ICSU-Press)
Director: Carol Priestley

Address:

INASP
27 Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HU
UK


New INASP initiative to support health information provision

As a result of meetings and consultations in collaboration with the British Medical Journal and many partners from both donors and recipients of health information, a new initiative - INASP-Health - was launched in April as a collective effort to keep a finger on the pulse in the world of health information provision.

INASP-Health up and running

In an earlier issue of this Newsletter we reported on a conference organised by the British Medical Journal and INASP in 1994, where more than 100 participants discussed the topic of improving health information provision to developing countries.

Delegates agreed that the following areas demanded increased priority:

The central recommendation was to establish a network and advisory service to support the activities of HIPs and to promote the development of collaborative approaches to health information provision.

INASP was appointed to manage this initiative and is meeting the challenge by the introduction of a new programme: INASP-Health. The programme will build on INASP's previous networking activities in the HIP field, which have already increased substantially in the past few years.

In addition to the current directories on information providers and partner institutions, a research and evaluation database will be established to collate research data that are likely to be of interest and practical value to network contributors.

An electronic bulletin-board service (BBS) will also be introduced to take advantage of the ever-increasing access to the internet - an unprecedented opportunity for sharing information, experience, and opinion. Key developments in the HIP field will be disseminated in a separate INASP-Health newsletter, which will be published twice a year and distributed to network participants and other interested individuals and organisations.

INASP Health will strengthen advocacy for the information needs of health professionals in developing countries, and will lobby for the political and financial support needed to achieve our common goal: universal access to reliable health information.

INASP-Health took off in April this year. Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, consultant editor of Medicine Digest and multimedia project officer at the Tropical Medicine Resource (Wellcome Trust) has been appointed as Programme Manager and will work three days a week on the programme.

The initial phase of the project will last 3 years.

Further information can be obtained from Neil Pakenham-Walsh at INASP.


Access to Science and Technology Information in Nigeria

The NADICEST initiative

Lack of information on science and technology is not the only problem in Nigeria when it comes to getting the right data to the right people. Often the information is available, but few people know where. A group of Nigerian librarians is trying to overcome this problem by joining hands in an effort to catalogue the country's resources.

Background

Nigerian research and development in the sciences was robust from colonial times up to the late 1970's while the nation's economy was buoyant. There was particularly active research in the university and science and technology research institutes but not much has been published about the research activities in the private and industrial sectors.

The strong belief is that there is abundant science and technology information in the country. These STI resources are, however, relatively untapped and not readily accessible to research scientists and the public.

The National Documentation and Information Centre for Science and Technology (NADICEST) was established to harness available STI resources and make them accessible to the public and scientists.

The NADICEST project was formally established by volunteering librarians in 1988. A survey of opinion of science and technology experts and research scholars as well as librarians was made between 1985 and 1987 to find out about the status of STI in the country. The survey showed that there was unsatisfied demand for information. It was followed by an international conference in February 1988.

Mandate

The conference proceedings strongly advocated the establishment of a centre to co-ordinate efforts for effective provision of access to STI to the academic world, to industry and to the general public throughout the country.

This was a huge task. The public institutions suggested for spearheading the STI co-ordination activities were unable to carry out the recommendations from the However, a few librarians agreed to formally initiate the project on a co-operative and voluntary basis.

Five 'Nodal Centres' at different universities and research institutions in the country were set up, each of them responsible for a separate part of the total of Nigerian science and technology information.

Activities

The programmes of NADICEST now include:

1. Raising nation wide awareness about the importance of access to STI for national development through conferences, seminars and workshops.

2. Making an inventory of STI resources in Nigerian libraries and publishing national catalogues for inter-library co-operation and resource sharing.

3. Compilation and publication of a directory of science and technology experts.

4. Compilation and publication of a directory of science and technology institutions, professional organisations, and societies.

Also in progress is a survey of STI demand, provision, and use patterns among research scholars in the country.

The project's first product came from the Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) which completed a compilation of STI resources in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology libraries.

This computerised database has been distributed and is in use in all Nodal Centres of the project.

A preliminary Union List of Serials in Biomedical Sciences was completed recently and is under review by its compiler, the University of Ibadan Nodal Centre.

Volunteers

The strategy of voluntary participation in NADICEST was adopted for various reasons, the main one being to identify where strong collections already exist and to build on these rather than develop new ones.

A second reason is a desire to encourage the Nodal Centres to become centres of excellence in their chosen subject coverage.

The final reason is to ensure the sustainability of the project. The government agencies responsible for the development of sciences and technology in the country have so far shown more moral than financial support to the project.

The volunteer participants on the other hand are committed to ensuring the development of their own STI resources.

NADICEST's ultimate objective is effective bibliographic control of science and technology so that research scholars, policy makers, industry and the general public will have easy and fast access to science and technology information throughout Nigeria.

Current participants in the project are:

National Institute for Medical Research
University of Jos
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University
College of Technology, Yaba
Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi
Federal University of Technology, Owerri
Federal University of Technology, Minna
National Mathematics Centre, Abuja
Nigerian Institute for International Affairs
Raw Materials Research and Development Council

For more information contact:

NADICEST
Prof (Mrs) Adebimpe O. Ike
National Project Co-ordinator
PO Box 1132
Awka
Anambra State
Nigeria


INASP news

More new projects to take off this year

During its four years of operation there have been a number of tasks INASP would have liked to perform, but was never able to because of financial constraints. A recent extra award from UNESCO is making it possible to develop two new initiatives to expand and further refine our inventory of activity in the field of science information flow.

The INASP database has been developed over the past 4 years and now holds considerable information of relevance to the transfer of scientific information to developing countries.

The focus has so far been mainly on:

- identifying and representing the donor community - almost entirely based in the North - and obtaining accurate and current information on the services and materials that they have to offer to developing countries;

- identifying and representing what is commonly called the 'recipient community' - i.e. those institutions in the South who have expressed a particular need for improved access to science information.

There are, however, a number of major institutions based in developing countries which are involved in supply of materials. These have to date not been listed in a format such as INASP uses for its databases.

Much of the materials they provide are of particular relevance to other countries in the South. This is especially true where topics related to agriculture, health, environment, and social development are concerned.

The problem with the dissemination of this information is that knowledge of its existence is not widely spread. On many occasions the results of research and development work carried out in the countries in the South remain within the countries that produced it. If the results are to be 'exported' it is most often to the North (e.g. to partner institutions' and funders' archives).

Distribution of such results to even neighbouring countries often requires unusual logistic constructions (often involving partners in the North) as can be seen with projects such as the Intra African Book Support Scheme and the African Journals Distribution Programme (see previous issues of this Newsletter).

Much work has recently been done to improve this undesirable situation but more remains to be done to bring together institutions in such a way that results of their work can be shared.

Even where networks exist (such as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), many other institutions which could take advantage of the information produced miss out mainly because they are unaware of the existence of such networks.

INASP has now proposed to extend its database coverage to identify south institutions which produce the results of research/experience in developing countries and which are willing to share them with similar groups in the South. The information concerned may be in conventional formats (monographs, journals, newsletters) or in electronic formats.

INASP will systematically collect and record data on these groups and institutions with details of the materials they have to offer.

A separate database will be designed for input and queries on the data. Searches can be done on similar variables as with the current databases, i.e. subject, services, language interest, etc.

Lists of institutions which express an interest in sharing the results of their work will be generated and circulated to all INASP members in the South.

Where existing networks are active INASP will advise them of other institutions which might be interested in their work. In other cases INASP will establish informal networks of like-minded institutions for the purpose of information sharing.

To achieve the above INASP will work in close collaboration with organisations such as the Academia de Ciencias de America Latina, the Asian Institute of Technology, the African Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences.

Collection of data through follow-up on existing link and training programmes

To date INASP activity in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe has been largely in response to approaches from individual scientists or librarians for a range of institutions across these regions, as well as following up on partners' listings of some of the main existing information provision initiatives.

Although much has been achieved over the past three years there is a danger that the inputs have been so widely spread that the impact on any one single institution might be very limited.

Funding of INASP, and indeed of its 210 network organisations, does not enable an infinite expansion of activities and although it is vitally important to maintain and further develop work with existing contacts, planning for the years ahead will include a consolidation of the type and number of institutions supported.

Experience has shown that some of the most sustainable and long-lived inputs are those stimulated during or following link arrangements, and fellowships and training courses.

During 1996 and 1997 INASP plans to work more closely with funding agencies and other organisations to identify core institutions involved in linkage and training programmes with whom a special initiative to promote, strengthen, or develop exchange and distribution of scientific publications might be undertaken.

This will involve:

- full briefing of the potential of INASP and INASP related activities for both scientists and link colleagues;

- advice on possible targeted supporting programmes and ventures;

- advice on implementation through existing or new programmes;

- support of up to five pilot projects in 1997 with grants of up to $1,000 to contribute to the shipment of items.

A brochure will be produced and distributed later this year.


Netherlands Periodicals Project (NPP) Update

In past years, the Netherlands Periodicals Project has kept us updated about the latest developments and annual figures. We received the 1995 figures early this spring. Below is an abstract of this, followed by a view on the future of the programme.

Statistics for 1995

In the course of 1995, 25 shipments of books and periodicals were sent to 19 institutions in 16 countries, containing some 10,000 books and journal volumes. The costs of packing and shipping totalled FL 80,442.23 (£30,000).

Demand

18 requests were received from institutions in developing countries wishing to join the project. Only two of these were eligible under the current condition that potential partners have to be participants in a Dutch bi-lateral programme. Requests rejected for the NPP were passed on, either to another potential donor in the Netherlands, or to ICBL (International Campus Book Link) in London.

Outstanding donations in 1995

A total of 15,000 books and periodicals on veterinary sciences, donated by the Institute for Animal Science and Health, were sent to three destinations in South Africa (University of Zululand), Zimbabwe (Veterinary Research Lab of the University of Zimbabwe), and Albania (Instituti Kerkimeve Zooteknike).

Utrecht University donated a large quantity of medical literature in 1995, as it had done in 1994. This included journals in biomedical fields and psychology. A large donation of their library shelving found its way to the universities of Can Tho in Vietnam, and San Carlos in the Philippines.

The future

The third phase of the NPP will begin in July 1996, and will continue until June 1998. The proposal for this phase took into account the developments that are taking place in the library world. As new information technologies, such as CD-ROM and access to the Internet become more widely available, offers of printed materials will decline.

The possibilities for on-line consultation of literature have increased dramatically in recent years, and will continue to do so. The vast potential that this new world of information exchange holds for researchers in the South is evident.

However, access to it requires local computer networks. Institutions in developing countries that have neither the money nor the infrastructure to develop these networks are in danger of being left behind, with even less access to information than they have now.

These developments will have consequences for the Netherlands Periodicals Project. In the next phase the 'conventional' donations of literature will continue, but at the same time the NPP will do its best to help its 12 main partners to gain access to electronic information. This could take the form of consultancy on such subjects as library computerisation, improved inter-library lending, as well as document delivery systems.

In June 1996, at the start of the new phase, new flyers will be available explaining how the NPP works.

Inquiries and comments regarding the NPP should be directed to:

Birgitte Speet
Nuffic NPP
Department for Human Resource and Institutional Development
Ms Birgitte Speet
PO Box 29777
2502 LT The Hague
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 70 4260 169
Fax: +31 70 4260 189
E-mail: bspeet@nufficcs.nl
Web site: http://www.nufficcs.nl

The NPP

Nuffic (Netherlands Organisation for International Co-operation in Higher Education) has been operating the Netherlands Periodicals Project (NPP) since 1983. The NPP is funded by the Directorate General for International Co-operation, of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The purpose of the Netherlands Periodicals Project is to help libraries in developing countries to build up their collections of scientific literature.

Books and surplus issues of periodicals are donated by the libraries of Dutch universities, private individuals, and companies. These are sent on a regular basis to a select group of libraries in developing countries. Nuffic acts as mediator, matching supply and demand, so that gaps in existing collections can be filled.

The NPP is intended for those countries on which the Dutch government concentrates its development co-operation efforts.

Institutions that receive books and periodicals through the NPP are already partners in one of the educational development projects that are funded by the Dutch government.


Annual figures International Campus Book Link (ICBL)

The 1995 Annual report for ICBL - Book Aid International's journal donation programme for academic libraries in Africa - shows an increased integration of the project into the whole organisation.

With a total of 240 cases sent (+/- B1 20,000 volumes) the quantitative output has not drastically risen in the past years. Emphasis remains on quality, not quantity, of the shipped materials. In 1995, however, much attention was paid to refining the project mechanisms.

Delayed subscriptions - of which some 600 are now provided - no longer date back further than 12 months and current subscriptions are bought at special rates from participating publishers.

Only two new partners entered the select group of supported institutions under this very targeted scheme. These are: Laikipia College, Egerton University, Kenya and the College of Medicine at the University of Sierra Leone.

No less than 5 countries were visited in 1995 to monitor the service of the project. During meetings which took place overseas it became apparent that some confusion exists about the relationship between the various Book Aid International projects. A special effort is now being made to clarify this situation.

A new feature in ICBL is the production of a document containing institutional profiles on all the partners participating in the programme. A first draft is currently being circulated among partners and will be available from Book Aid International in the near future.It is likely to increase the awareness of local needs as well as a sense of ownership among UK partners of the project.

The Annual Report can be obtained from:

Book Aid International
Ms Carolyn Sharples
Project Manager ICBL
39-41 Coldharbour Lane
London SE5 9NR
UK


Berne Conference on Scientific Research Partnership

In March earlier this year, Berne (Switzerland) was the scene for a conference on Scientific Research Partnership for Sustainable Development, organised by the Swiss Commission for Research Partnership with Developing Countries (KFPE).

One of the main aims of the conference was to provide a forum for research workers from North and South to jointly define ways in which research collaboration among dissimilar partners can be efficiently carried out.

The agenda featured some sensitive issues in North-South co-operation such as the issue of ownership of research data, the balance between 'development' and 'co-operation' as well as the relevance of research subjects to third world partner institutions.

A considerable amount of space in the agenda was reserved for issues such as knowledge transfer, publication of research results and access to information.

Proceedings of the conference can be obtained from:

KFPE - Conference Berne '96
Barenplatz 2
CH-3011 Berne
Switzerland


INASP Directory 1996

The INASP directory 1996 has been printed and distributed earlier this year and can now be obtained from the INASP administration at the address on the front of this Newsletter.

Inasp network members and other users of the directory who have not received a copy of the 1996 volume yet are advised that the following initiatives have ceased existence or have been removed from the directory for other reasons:

- The Center for Mineral Resource Investigations (CIMRI) of the US Geological Survey.

- The Sudan-American Foundation for Education, Inc.

- The United Nations Centre for Science and Technology for Development.

- The International Book Project.


IAI organises workshop on journal publishing in Africa

Between 27 and 31 May the International Livestock Institute in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia will host an International African Institute (IAI) workshop on editing and publishing of medical and scientific journals in Africa.

The workshop is intended for African journal editors and will aim at assisting them to improve their publishing operations.

The pilot edition of the IAI's Handbook on Good Practice in Journals Publishing will be the main document to be used during the workshop.

In line with the scope and focus of the Handbook, the Workshop will put emphasis on management of the various aspects of the journal publishing process, such as copyrights issues, editing, production (including desk-top publishing), subscription management and marketing and promotion.

Participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have been invited to join the workshops.

Hans Zell, who was commissioned by the IAI for the production of the Handbook will lead the sessions.

The Handbook is available at no charge for African publishers and at £320/$35 per copy for others from the following address:

International African Institute
SOAS
Thornhaugh Street
Russel Square
London WC1H 0XG
UK


Letters to the editor

In the last issue of this Newsletter we published a letter from Prof P. Campbell, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University College London.

Some of his statements evoked strong reactions from other readers.

We believe that the discussion, which seems to be developing on these pages, is a valuable one, and have therefore devoted two full pages to three letters from readers with very different backgrounds who wished to respond to Prof Campbell's letter.


Sir,

It was interesting for me to read the reaction of Prof Peter Campbell to some of the articles of your Newsletter, published as Letter to the Editor in the No. 5 issue of November 1995.

As the author mentions in particular the statements on the Guadalajara Workshop on Science Publishing in Latin America, I take the opportunity of your public invitation to respond. It has been my impression - different from that of Prof Campbell - that many of the articles published in the INASP Newsletter express a reality that is, unfortunately, largely ignored.

In fact, it has been for many of us very stimulating to find in INASP a forum for the expression and discussion of this reality, as seen and lived personally by the actors themselves: the editors and colleague scientists who work in developing countries or in close contact with their problematique. We are sincerely grateful to INASP and to your Newsletter for this.

As to science and the publication of research in Latin America, it is true that compared to the situation in the North, and particularly the OECD countries, we are well behind.

Among other things, most of our scientific institutions are less than 50 years old. British and French scientists recognised the 'paramount importance of publications' as early as the 17th century; we are recognising it much later.

There is, however, a scientific activity and production in the region that is by no means insignificant. A part of this production, mainly in some disciplines of the biological and other natural sciences and in the social sciences, is primarily of local or regional relevance. Also, in these and in other disciplines, such as mathematics and physics, Latin American colleagues contribute to what is called the international, mainstream science.

We have a few strong research groups and institutions, and we surely have the capacity -even though limited as compared to Europe or North America, for example- to have our own journals, editors, peers, etc. We also collaborate as referees in many of the journals produced in other countries, in addition to publishing in those journals.

This means, then, that in addition to many of the problems confronted by Northern science editors and publishers, we have our own, those that pertain to a community that still does not have a strong scientific tradition and must see how to survive and be productive in sometimes very precarious and unstable conditions. A community whose work is not properly disseminated even within the region, and scarcely visible without.

This is why we organised the Guadalajara meeting, and this is why, also, we ended the meeting with a series of conclusions and recommendations, both to the community and to policy makers, that, properly followed, should help improve the situation of our publications. Now is the time for the follow up, and we see with optimism that there are already some visible results of the meeting, besides the obvious outcome of having identified common problems and avenues for their solution.

On one hand, first steps have been taken to create a regional cataloguing and indexing system for the well over 2,000 active scientific periodical publications - which are not properly covered by the existing indices.

Also, there is a growing awareness - even from decision makers - of the convenience to define own criteria for the support and the evaluation of publications, in accordance with our own needs, resources and objectives.

For those of your readers who might be interested in receiving a bit more information on the situation of scientific publishing in Latin America, let me mention that the material of the Guadalajara meeting has been published by Fondo de Cultura Economica and can be ordered through local book dealers or directly to the publisher (see footnote).

In a future issue of your Newsletter, we hope to be able to report on further progress with regard to our scientific publications.

Yours sincerely,

Ana Maria Cetto.

Scientific Publications in Latin America A.M. Cetto and K.-I. Hillerud, editors. Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico, 1995. 305 pp.

Sir,

I read Prof Campbell's letter in the November 1995 issue of your Newsletter with enthusiasm but also with a sense of surprise. I am amazed to learn the opinion about possible solutions for one of the main problems of the striving scientific culture in Africa - science publishing - from a distinguished personality of western background.

Having done some research on scientific research and publishing in Africa, holding a portfolio in an office which promotes research and publishing, and also serving in a number of professional societies, I feel a strong need to respond to the views expressed by Prof Campbell.

I would like to start by stating the obvious: the view held by Prof Campbell reflects the view of a minority and should not worry us much. I nevertheless feel that such gross oversight should be rectified in time.

I highly support Prof Campbell's emphasis on the importance of making research results available to the public, but I would like to ask: 'Which public?'

Much of the research from developing countries focuses on national and regional problems and generates very little genuine interest from either scientists in the West or their publications.

It is therefore unrealistic and unfair to advocate publication of third world research in western media. The research activity which is undertaken and paid for by third world countries is heavily dominated by issues relating to their own problems and must be readily available for their peers and the general public that pays for these works.

But Prof Campbell thinks that scientific research in developing countries lacks peers. This is a gross generalisation which does not take into account the strength of many of these countries in certain disciplines.

For example, according to a UNESCO's World Science Index Report in 1993, sub-Saharan Africa has a higher specialisation index in biology and clinical medicine than any other region. (The specialisation index sets off a geographical region's share of world-wide publications in one discipline to its whole share in these publications.)

I am struck by the unfair recommendations put forward to discourage and remove support from university and institutional publishing bodies and national journals. I cannot figure out what message Prof Campbell is trying to convey...

The way to assist scientific publications from developing countries is not - and must not be - to encourage scientists to submit their papers to international journals, as Prof Campbell would like us to believe. Most western editors think that no good science ever emerges from the third world.

The fact is that institutions and universities must be encouraged and financially subsidised to publish their results in their own local journals which address issues of their own concern.

How many western journals would care to publish specific issues of relevance to any particular developing country? I am quite sure that most of the publications featured in these local journals would not have had a chance of appearing in international journals as the area of interest is different.

Let us compare two important diseases to illustrate this. Malaria afflicts hundreds of millions of people in the third world, whereas HIV - which is a major problem of the western world - affects a very small fraction of this figure but enjoys an exorbitant amount of resources and attracts huge attention in the publishing world.

Furthermore, national journals which are published and printed locally are very cheap and easy to come by. The international journals, in contrast, even when addressing third world issues, are very expensive, out of reach for local scientists, and above all, involve too-important and too-difficult-to-get foreign exchange.

Therefore, scientists is developing countries should be encouraged to publish their results at home and develop a sense of self-sufficiency and self-confidence. They have to relegate the feeling of dependency on international journals to communicate their findings by way of promoting local and regional journals.

Prof Campbell's comments are, to use his own words, 'unkind in the promotion of self-sufficiency and self-dependency'.

Like Prof Campbell, I support the effort of INASP to avail international journals in the libraries of developing countries. I would like to emphasise further that INASP should also promote the availability of regional journals as these address issues relevant to their regions.

Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to INASP for creating this forum to exchange views and comments.

Damtew Teferra

Research Associate
Addis Ababa University
PO Box 3434
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Sir,

Whilst having some sympathy with Peter Campbell's views, expressed in your Newsletter of November 1995, I have considerable reservations.

Prof Campbell says that he believes that the system of peer review works well but that he is aware of dissent from this view. He will also be aware that many germinal papers would not have been published had they been subjected to the sort of review which is seen at present.

He also seems to be saying (but probably doesn't mean) that peer review is the only kind of scientific scrutiny that is worth while. Surely by publishing an article the scientist is subjecting his work to a much wider peer review?

With regard to his comments about the best way to assist scientific publications from developing countries being to encourage them to submit their papers to international journals I wonder whether there will be enough room for all that is relevant in these journals.

Can groups of scientists in various countries not aspire to publish in their own language? Is it really undesirable for a country to want its own journal? If the latter is true, then we would not have many of the journals currently available, because many of the internationally acclaimed journals started as very local initiatives; the New England Journal of Medicine is a prime example.

In his assertations Prof Campbell neglects to address the fact that some subjects are of interest to a geographically limited readership and therefore not the sort of thing that would appeal to the editor of an international journal. Of course, one can agree that every effort should be made to make international journals available to libraries in developing countries but please let us not stifle the efforts of scientists in other countries to support their local initiative - who knows, we may one day be regarding what is now a very parochial journal as an international publication.

F. Woodroffe London


Notice Board

The INASP Newsletter Notice Board is a public forum for organisations and institutions wishing to advertise their projects, activities, offers or requests.

Short contributions can be sent to the editor at INASP.


Plant Biotechnology Network links East and West in plant biology.

The Plant Biotechnology Network was established in 1994 with the objective to improve the information flow between scientists and educators from Western, Central, and Eastern European countries in the fields of plant biology, ecology, and lately expanding into biomedicine and related areas.

The network is a non-profit organisation, located at the Prague Institute of Advanced Studies in the Czech Republic.

This trans-European network has grown rapidly over the last two years, now encompassing over 20 countries with more than 140 member groups.

The network serves its members by: - providing different services (referral for patenting and technology transfer, information on EU research databases, manuscript editing, free advertising in Plantnet);

- publishing annual profiles of member groups (over 30% of the members used the profiles to contact other groups for obtaining joint grants);

- publishing the Plantnet newsletter to disseminate useful information to the network members.

The newsletter Plantnet is an essential part of the services that the Plant Biology Network provides to its members. They consider this to be a very important source of information. Plantnet covers topics such as programme financing, exploitation of scientific results, review of the latest trends in plant biology and related areas and member profiles, to name just a few.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Magdalena Kostakova
Plant Biotechnology Research Centre
PIAS - The Prague Institute for Advanced Studies
U. Michelskeho lesa 366
140 00 Prague 4
Czech Republic


KEC Kampala call for assistance

The Kabutangana Executive Club (KEC) is an independent, non-profit organisation. Established in 1984, the KEC deals with a large number of activities but its main objective is to promote literacy in Uganda by distributing books and educational materials to the most needy: schools, libraries, institutions and disadvantaged people. The club is managed by seven staff who handle requests and offers and all subsequent administrative matters.

A call is made for financial support to help cover part of the shipping funds for a container of books from the USA to Uganda. The total costs are $6,000, of which $3,000 still need to be found.

The KEC also appeals for surplus books and journals at all levels and in all subjects which it can redistribute in the country. Though the club solicits books for all ages, it has an emphasis on general literature and education materials for children of up to 15 years old as well as scientific and technical literature for distribution to academic institutions in Uganda.

The KEC is concerned about the tendency to dump unwanted books in Africa, and stresses instead that it is better to send fewer books that are in good condition than huge quantities of unsuitable items.

More information from:

M.J.Collins
Exec. Director
The Kabutangana Executive Club (KEC)
PO Box 3092
Kampala
Uganda

Fax: + (256 41) 233 829

USA contact:

Dr Robert J. Kowalczyk
Books for Africa
Fax: + (1 612) 933 6966


The next Newsletter will be published in November 1996. If you would like to contribute to its contents or publicise your project, please write to the editorial address on the front page of this newsletter. Contributions must be received by 1 October 1996.


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