International Network for the Availability
of Scientific Publications


INASP Newsletter No. 22, February 2003 ISSN: 1028-0790  
In this issue:

Newsletter Editor: Pippa Smart

Layout & artwork: Ard Jongsma

Editorial address:


© International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), 2003. No parts of this publication may be reproduced for commercial use. Reproduction of articles for educational purposes is permitted only with acknowledgement of the source.



INASP is a cooperative network of partners whose aim is to enhance worldwide access to information and knowledge. It has three immediate objectives:

- to map, support and strengthen existing activities promoting access to and dissemination of scientific and scholarly information and knowledge;

- to identify, encourage and support new initiatives that will increase local publication and general access to high quality scientific and scholarly information;

- to promote in-country capacity building in information production, organization, access and dissemination.

INASP is a programme of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Chairman: Kai-Inge Hillerud Director: Carol Priestley


INASP 27 Park End Street Oxford OX1 1HU, UK WWW:

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Use of scientific information in a world of divides

by Ana María Cetto

This article is the second part of an article on scientific information: Part 1 was published in the October newsletter.

University of Puebla case study

To what extent are ICTs changing the access, use and production of scientific information by scientists in the developing world? What are the factors that facilitate or inhibit this change? This article assesses the findings of a survey of the physics community of the University of Puebla in Mexico.

Physicists and astronomers are the world leaders in using electronic communication for disseminating research and a questionnaire was Emailed to 265 addresses at the University of Puebla, a medium-sized public research and higher education institution in Mexico - a half-developed, medium-sized country. Only 39 responses were received - too few for statistical meaning, but providing some interesting facts. We also interviewed computing and library officers.

The University of Puebla has a relatively robust ICT infrastructure providing the Internet, an Intranet, and multimedia workstations. Members have free access to computing services, and services through 41 library branches. There is a digital library service with free online and CDROM databases, electronic journals and document retrieval. Comprehensive training is also offered. The School of Sciences and the Institute of Physics also have their own specialized libraries.

Most researchers collaborate with other groups in the country but only 24% maintain links with groups in other countries - unlike the international networks of physics research groups in industrialized countries1. 61% of respondents are members of a national scientific society, but only 16% are affiliated to a foreign or international society.

Books remain the main motivation for library visits, then journals. This was confirmed by the head librarians, who declared that the number of visitors had not decreased despite the provision of online resources.

Most respondents have used the Internet for scientific purposes for less than five years, but now 78% use it daily, for one hour or more. The main services used are document retrieval and bibliographical databases, then online electronic journals, preprints and technical information. Online catalogues from other libraries are rarely consulted. The specialized services most frequently used by the physicists are the e-print archive, searching devices like, and webpages of UNAM, The Institute of Physics, the American Physical society and other scientific organizations.

63% of the respondents used the Internet or Email for publication of their work (unlike a 1998 study in Venezuela where only 22% of the academics of the University network RedUla did so2.) The main use is submission to journals, then preprint publication. Preprint publication is the main means of web publishing, followed by electronic journals. Only 7 faculty members have their own web pages.

Most respondents said access to relevant scientific information was the principal benefit of the Internet, then acquisition of computational or software tools; only one person mentioned dissemination of his own work. This shows that users perceive themselves as consumers and not producers.

Bad connectivity and low transmission speed were given as the main obstacles to Internet use, followed by lack of guidance and excess of information - despite the training provided. Most people looked for increased access to online journals and a solution to connectivity and bandwidth problems to improve usage.

Mexican physicists are expected to publish in the well-established journals of Europe and North America and not their own (two established) journals; and assessment of their research performance depends on this. It is not surprising, therefore, that physicists at the University of Puebla are frequent users of the international online literature rather than producers of national literature.

Publishing in the international environment is a way to "belong" to the international community, even where no personal links exist. This was the case in the paper era; electronic communications have not changed the phenomenon.

Final considerations It would be foolish to believe that solving the digital divide alone will help developing countries "leapfrog" in other fields. In scientific information management there are a few examples that illustrate what different groups can do on their own. However, north and south share joint responsibility and the challenge is to find mechanisms to promote more equitable development. Free flow of knowledge and information is one important mechanism, but recognition of the value of knowledge and information produced in the south is another. In this respect, the work of INASP to promote access to international literature and support local publishing, is of great value.

Note: A more comprehensive report of the survey appeared in ICSTI Forum (, September-December 2002). The author wishes to thank R. Hanako Takayanagui (Dirección General de Bibliotecas, UNAM) for her collaboration in the survey and in the preparation of the report.

1 Ch. Ford and A. Rosas Gutiérrez (1999). El uso de tecnología de la información entre investigadores mexicanos: un estudio preliminar. Investigación Bibliotecológica 13 (27), p. 41-68. J. P. Walsh and T. Bayma (1996). The Virtual College: Computer-Mediated Communication and Scientific Work. The Information Society (12), p. 343. J.P. Walsh, S. Kuker, N.G. Malonie and S. Gabbay (2000). Connecting Minds: Computer-Mediated Communication and Scientific Work, Journal of the American Society for Information Science 51 (14), p. 1295. 2 R. Urribarrí (1998). Cómo usan la Internet los académicos latinoamericanos. Un estudio de caso. Comunicación y Sociedad (34), p.111.

Ana María Cetto Instituto de Física, UNAM Email:  


African Association of Editors of Scholarly Journals

by Janet Hussein

Over the past twenty years African scholarly journals have expanded in number and scope, and are contributing a great deal to African research and scholarship. There have been a number of initiatives to improve dissemination (such African Journals OnLine - AJOL), quality, output and management, but there is still scope for improvement.

Capacity building and networking amongst editors is invaluable, and a proposal to form an Association of African Editors was sent to AJOL journals: enthusiastic responses were received, and a working group set up.

This group comprises: J Hussein (Zimbabwe Science News), R Oniang'o (African J of Food, Agric, Nutr & Development), F Oyekanmi (CODESRIA), T Assefa (Publications officer of OSSREA), O Omoregie ( J of Aquatic Sci), E le Roux (Af Insight), A Omigbodun (Trop J of Obs & Gynae), U Yakubu ( J of Cultural Studies), M Horsfall Jnr ( J of Applied Sci & Environmental Management), A Ngowi (Botswana J of Technology) and J Limson (Science in Af). Ruth Oniang'o has kindly agreed to coordinate the group.

We have a draft constitution and logo, and are currently sourcing funding for an inaugural meeting of the Association, which may be combined with an INASP workshop in East Africa mid-2003. Other activities planned include: an Email discussion group; website; newsletter; workshops; and training/resource links with other associations (e.g. European Association of Science Editors - EASE).

For further information contact: Prof Ruth Oniang'o Email:  

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INASP and Sida/SAREC in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka imageby N.T.S.A. Senadeera

This article is based on a speech delivered at the inauguration of a PERI workshop on Electronic Resource Library Management at the University of Colombo 11 October 2002.

Welcome to the second PERI workshop at the University of Colombo this month. This workshop is being held for the chief librarians of university, academic and professional libraries to enhance their information and communication technology skills. I have been invited to speak to you about PERI activities in Sri Lanka to provide some background to this workshop. While introducing INASP-assisted PERI activities, I am also compelled to refer to Sida/SAREC-assisted library support activities in Sri Lanka from 1990 to present day (2002) in which INASP has played an important role as the foreign collaborator.

Historical perspective

Sida/SAREC-supported university library activities in Sri Lanka began with a project proposal submitted in December 1986. From inception, INASP was nominated to be the foreign collaborator of this library support project.

The Sida/SAREC Library Support Programme is concerned with improving the scholarly periodicals/journals resources in the university libraries of Sri Lanka. This is achieved through:

(1) acquisition of important academic periodicals, and;

(2) promoting access through the publication of a Union List of Current Periodicals, and purchasing essential equipment.

Sida has also assisted the University of Peradeniya in establishing its campus computer cable network. Sida/SAREC and INASP also supported an international workshop in 1999 for Sri Lankan and South Asian editors of academic journals.

Initiatives and proposals

In my proposals for Sida/SAREC library activities for 2003-2005, I suggested a different strategy for using scholarly and scientific periodicals in Sri Lanka by implementing several PERI initiatives:

(a) Obtaining countrywide access to suitable online full-text periodical databases; (b) Holding three Internet workshops at country level to enhance the knowledge and use of online databases; and

(c) Establishing a web-based facility entitled Sri Lanka Journals OnLine in order to provide access to and dissemination of results of many research projects carried out in Sri Lanka and in the South Asian region.

I am grateful to INASP for starting some of the PERI initiatives in Sri Lanka in 2002 (arrangements for countrywide access to several large full-text databases and holding two PERI workshops), negotiating the necessary funds through the funding sources of INASP and nominating the Librarian, University of Peradeniya as the PERI Country Coordinator for Sri Lanka (superceded by Ms. Sumana Jayasuriya, Librarian, University of Colombo on 1 October 2002 on my retirement from service).

Proposals relating to library support activities for 2003/2005 are currently under consideration by Sida/SAREC.

The impact of this programme has now gone beyond universities and has reached a countrywide dimension.

More information from: N.T.S.A. Senadeera Librarian University of Peradeniya Email:  

Mr Senadeera was the coordinator of the PERI Programme in Sri Lanka up to 30 September 2002. After his retirement, he was superceded by Ms Sumana Jayasuriya. Email:  

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PERI review and planning workshop 25-27 November 2002 Oxford, UK

by Helena R. Asamoah-Hassan

There were 32 participants at this first meeting of the PERI Coordinators, including one from each PERI country. Over three days we discussed a range of issues, and agreed items for a plan of action.

One of the first topics was the role of the Country Coordinator (CC). Although there are differences between countries, we agreed to consider a team approach to ensure that tasks are shared and the CC not overworked.

We then discussed information delivery including selection and renewal procedures. Participants suggested that renewals should start early and the list of packages should include prices for comparative purposes.

The second day began with ICT training activities. The current methods were reviewed, and it was agreed that there is the need to adapt materials to local situations. It was also decided that manuals for different packages be provided for future reference.

We then discussed how to identify publishing requirements. We need to investigate each country situation, and agreed that a Publishing Coordinator be nominated by the CC to work closely with journal publishers.

Discussions continued on the best means to publicise and market PERI. It was decided that there is the need to identify key stakeholders and to arouse their interest and commitment.

To ensure long term sustainability of PERI we discussed the formation of consortia, and heard interesting presentations from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana. Countries can learn from each other's experiences and consider setting up regional and international consortia.

On the last day we discussed budgets and costs, and the process of including new countries. Recently-joined countries were advised to link up with successful "older countries" to learn from them. Finally a wrap up session was held to agree a plan of action out of the meeting.

The next day we met with the project funders. It was an opportunity to express our appreciation for their support - but we informed them, like Oliver Twist, that we still need more support to enable us to stand on our own feet in future.

The meeting was very rewarding. We shared experiences, learnt from each other and answered questions. The warmth of the human touch as opposed to the chill of the "electronic" touch was very evident in the way issues were raised and solved face-to-face. Although the weather was too cold for most of us, it was a very successful gathering of the PERI family and we look forward to a reunion.

Helena R. Asamoah-Hassan (Mrs) PERI Sub-Coordinator Ghana Email:  

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Impressions from the NIS

by Anna Boyajyan

On 25-27 November of 2002 I participated at PERI Programme planning and review meeting organized by INASP in Oxford (UK). The meeting was held to review the activities and progress of the PERI programme during 2002 and to plan for future development and activities in 2003.

I represented NIS and was freshman at the meeting, because Armenia has only been involved in PERI activities since the beginning of 2002. To date (with funding provided by EC and INTAS) we have developed the first and third components of PERI.

The meeting included series of presentations and group-discussion sessions. The way it was organized gave every participant the opportunity to share and exchange experience and to take part in discussing development through 2003.

Notably, I was surprised with a lot of work that INASP has done in Africa to improve the dissemination of scientific information through the region - a lot of relevant training programmes, access to online academic databases, dissemination of national research information, and support to national academic journal publishers. I hope our further cooperation with INASP will provide a similar benefit to the NIS region.

Anna Boyajyan PERI Coordinator, Armenia Email:  

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A view from Sri Lanka

by Sumana Jayasuriya

The meeting in Oxford with INASP and Country Coordinators from African countries was very useful, as it gave us the opportunity to establish contacts, and discuss issues and problems common to developing countries, especially since I was the only country representative from Asia.

Universities in Sri Lanka have been receiving assistance under Sida/SAREC Library Support Programme from 1990 with INASP acting as the foreign collaborator.

It has been decided to launch a project Sri Lanka Journals Online -similar to AJOL. Dialogue between INASP and recipient Country Coordinator, and also discussions among Country Coordinators are very important when launching new projects. The Oxford meeting paved a way to begin this dialogue and share experiences.

Sumana Jayasuriya PERI Coordinator, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Email:  

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New Resources from PERI

Springer Verlag

Springer Verlag is one of the world's leading publishers, delivering high quality peer-reviewed journals through its acclaimed online service -SpringerLink. Access is provided to over 400 titles by the LINK service. 


Access to the world's widest range - over 100 titles - of management and library and information services journals. 

Countries eligible for inclusion in PERI 

PERI is being implemented in a planned and phased manner. Countries involved in one or more components of PERI at 1 January 2003 are printed in blue.

Burkina Faso 
Central African Republic 
Congo, Kinshasa 
Congo, Brazzaville 
Côte d'Ivoire 
Dominican Republic
El Salvador 
Equatorial Guinea 
Guinea -Bissau 
Papua New Guinea
Russian Federation
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
São Tomé and Princípe
Sierra Leone 
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka 
West Bank and Gaza
Western Samoa
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The importance of PERI for Latin American countries

by Patricia Escobar Salguero

The PERI meeting in Oxford was a wonderful opportunity for Latin American countries to start planning collaborating activities with INASP and peer institutions from other countries with similar needs.

Access to, and dissemination of, scientific information are key factors in promoting quality research and building scientific capacity within developing countries. More than ever, competent and socially committed scientific communities are needed to understand the underlying causes of economic and social problems and to provide policy-makers with ways to fight poverty and promote sustainable development.

Expert advice, affordable costs and experience sharing are some of the potential benefits that we hope to gain from our involvement in PERI, and the organization of this event and the commitment shown by INASP staff make us hope that our expectations may soon come true.

Patricia Escobar Salguero PERI Coordinator DICyT (Directorate for Scientific and Technological Research) Bolivia Email:  

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INASP-Health     INASP-Health     INASP-Health     INASP-Health

About INASP-Health

INASP-Health is a cooperative network of more than 1000 organizations and individuals worldwide, working together to improve access to information for health professionals in developing and emerging countries.

Further details: Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh MD Senior Programme Manager INASP-Health  

Supported by: BMJ Publishing Group CDSI (ICSU) Exchange IICD Wellcome Trust World Health Organization


INASP-Health: new publications and services

  • INASP-Health Directory 2003 - available April 2003 (print, CD-ROM, Web) 
  • INASP Newsletter and INASP Health Links - now available on e-TALC CD-ROM - see below 
  • INASP Health Library Partnerships Database - 
  • Local HIF Programme - contact  
Join HIF-net at WHO ! 

Email your name, organization and professional interests to:  

Where there is no Psychiatrist: A Mental Health Care Manual

by Vikram Patel 

There is a huge unmet need for mental health care in developing countries. Most care will have to be provided by primary health workers with little or no training in mental health. During the 10 years I worked in Zimbabwe and India, I looked at several manuals for primary and community health workers. Unfortunately, they were all heavily influenced by biomedical psychiatry; for example, topics referred to psychiatric diagnostic categories such as depression and psychoses. These words not only fail to translate into many languages, but are also laden with stigma.

Where there is no Psychiatrist is a highly illustrated practical manual for community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers; primary care doctors and general practitioners. 'Medical' treatment of most mental illnesses is relatively straightforward, so it can be communicated to both medical and non-medical health workers in a similar medium.

The manual takes a problem-solving approach to diagnosis and management, and includes mental health care for refugee camps, school health programmes, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK), the price of the publication is £8 (approx 12 US dollars). The College is looking to work with local organisations to make the manual more accessible in developing countries.

For further information, see:  or write to: . 

e-TALC: Health Development Resources on CD-ROM

by David Morley

Many health professionals now have access to computers, but may have limited or no access to the Internet. This free CD-ROM from TALC (Teaching-Aids at Low Cost) includes publications from AfriAfya (Kenya), Health Action International, id21, INASP, PLAN International, Practical Pharmacy, Tearfund, Uganda CME Newsletter, and World Anaesthesia. It also includes the Atlas of Leprosy and Cochrane Library.

To order (or if you would like your materials to be included on future CDs) contact   Website: 

Resource centres for district-level health workers in Tanzania

by Sarah Hammond

Since 1990, the Centre for Educational Development in Health Arusha (CEDHA) and Healthlink Worldwide have established a network of district resource centres (RCs) for health workers across Tanzania. In 1997 we reported the lessons learned from the first 6 years (see  Our continued experience has highlighted the need to place the development of RCs in a wider social context.

With funding from DFID (UK), the project has established 43 district RCs across Tanzania, located in district health centres. Health sector reforms in Tanzania have increased district-level responsibility for health planning and service delivery, and RC development has responded to the increasing need for information on health practice and management. The RCs are staffed by health workers themselves, who have received training from CEDHA, using the Resource Centre Manual produced by Healthlink Worldwide

Key lessons learned

l Health workers value textbooks more than newsletters and journals, even though the latter may hold information of similar quality, and are cheaper to obtain. l RCs develop best in situations where professional development is valued and encouraged. l The RC assistant or coordinator is crucial to develop a dynamic RC; they need a combination of skills, linked to educational levels, creativity and initiative. l RCs need institutional commitment for long-term sustainability. The level of support from the Council Health Management Team, and the District Medical Officer, has a major impact. l Commitment is required from districts before they are selected, including the agreement of staff time for the RC assistant, allocation of a room, a small budget for expenses, and donation of materials for the centre.

Throughout their partnership, CEDHA and Healthlink Worldwide have supported the production of local content at district level. District health workers were encouraged to identify priorities in their districts, and were supported to develop a total of eight guides on subjects like quality assurance, district health planning, gender-based violence and sexual health issues. Health workers also expressed an urgent need for easy-to-understand information on health sector reform: CEDHA adapted and repackaged the human resource policy from the Ministry of Health to meet this need.

An evaluation of the project in 2001 showed that health workers require greater access to Internet and video resources. CEDHA and Healthlink Worldwide are introducing these facilities in a small number of centres in 2003. The project will be supported by Source (, an international support centre designed to strengthen the management, use and impact of information on health and disability.

For more information, contact Sarah Hammond, Regional Link Coordinator. Email:  

Healthlink Worldwide Cityside, 40 Adler Street London, E1 1EE UK

Healthlink Worldwide CEDHA 

CME - accessing, evaluating and using health information

CME is vital to healthcare by Steve Allen and Sarah Davies

The E-learning Global Health Programme is an Oxford University initiative, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The course will provide relevant, valued continuing medical education (CME) to African health professionals and is underpinned by Oxford's existing strengths both in tropical medicine and online learning.

Distance learning presents an opportunity to deliver high-quality, relevant education and training to practising health workers. Effective education in, or close to, the workplace can directly improve practice and provide career development without the need to study overseas.

To provide training that is relevant to health professionals in Africa, the programme needs to be valued locally and, therefore, designed and developed in close association with people on the ground. To achieve this, the following approaches have been used:

l Regular consultations at a number of health conferences in Africa, identifying key individuals and institutions that can contribute to the project. l Identification of ways in which the programme can complement current certification systems, and thereby be recognised and accepted in the African education system. l Local creation and interpretation of health information is vital. The learning materials will be authored mainly by collaborators based in health facilities in Africa.

A student-centred, problem based approach will put the student and their individual situation at the heart of the learning experience. With so many excellent information resources available (websites, textbooks, journals, CD-ROMs etc.), we will recreate as little content as possible. Rather, we will create the learning context for students to develop essential skills in evidence based healthcare.

The programme will focus on malaria initially, but will be extended to cover a range of priority health topics, including HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and tuberculosis.

The Project will be technically supported by the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Oxford (the Centre runs a number of programmes in African countries, including a permanent research unit in Kenya), and by Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) at the Department of Continuing Education, Oxford University. TALL have been creating Internet-mediated courses since 1996, and combine course development with research into e-learning, providing courses that make the best use of innovative learning and teaching techniques that are appropriate to the learning situation.

With the expertise in tropical medicine and learning technologies that Oxford can offer, we seek to work with partners with a background in resourcing for Africa.

Dr Steve Allen Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine  

Dr Sarah Davies Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning  



INASP-Health     INASP-Health     INASP-Health     INASP-Health

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PILLARS - a new way of sharing information

by Isabel Carter

Recent research by Tearfund UK has identified barriers to information flow at grassroots level in Africa1,2. These findings have now been translated into practice through PILLARS (Partnership in Local Language Resources).

PILLARS Guides aim to encourage group development, capacity building, literacy skills and empowerment. They are designed for use within community groups. A trained leader is not required - just one literate person. Each guide contains around 20 or so topics. Each topic consists of a double page spread with information, illustrations for non-literate members, and discussion questions or practical activities.

PILLARS Guides are also available on CD-ROM, with all the design and text files in Pagemaker. The materials are copyright free, and are intended to be changed, translated, and adapted to meet local needs. This process is facilitated by the PILLARS workbook, which describes a participatory approach based on a series of three workshops. Participants initially work on translating and adapting their chosen guides. The focus at this stage is on team building, confidence-building, encouraging translation and orthography skills, field testing the materials, and encouraging a sense of ownership and pride in the local language. In the third workshop, participants begin to write and print their own guides, hopefully forming a local language committee in the process. This approach has already been piloted in the Lusoga language (Uganda), Zande (Sudan), Yoruba (Nigeria), Burmese (Myanmar) and Mooré (Burkina Faso).

A participant from Uganda commented "This has been a golden opportunity to sharpen my writing skills". Participants often lack self-confidence. Betty in Uganda commented "I don't know enough to write a book" but when asked if she could work with 3 others and write a few short paragraphs about traditional vegetables, began work without any hesitation. In Ibadan, Nigeria participants found the process empowering. One participant commented "This has opened my eyes to the beauty and value of the Yoruba language," while another said, "Changes for development will be rapid in areas PILLARS has touched".

PILLARS provides a new and innovative way of sharing information. It builds on the ready availability of small groups in nearly every country, women's, youth, health or literacy groups, cooperatives and farmer organisations.

At present five guides are available with a new guide on 'Healthy Eating' available by March 2003. Others are planned on traditional medicines and HIV/AIDS.

For more information please see Tearfund's new international website  This also contains all the back issues of Footsteps, a magazine networking 50,000 health and development workers around the world.

1 Carter, I (1999) Locally Generated printed materials in Agriculture: Experience from Uganda and Ghana, Serial No 31, DFID Education Research Report

2 Carter, I (1999) Factors influencing agricultural information flow within farmer groups in Uganda and Ghana, Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Leeds, Dept of Development Studies, Dept of Sociology and Social Policy

More information from: Isabel Carter Coordinating Editor Programme Development Team - Tearfund Email:  

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Training course on research and writing skills for library, archives and information science authors in Nigeria

training imageby L.O. Aina

Held at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria 7-11 October 2002, this training course was co-sponsored by INASP through the PERI programme, and the African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science (AJLAIS). The training course was held in response to the declining quality of manuscripts submitted to AJLAIS from Nigeria.

The objectives of the training course were (a) to improve the research and writing skills of librarians, archivists, information scientists and other information professionals; and (b) to motivate participants to train and encourage their professional colleagues in writing and research skills.

Twenty one information professionals attended the course. All the participants agreed that the training course had greatly improved their knowledge of research methods and writing skills, and promised that this would be reflected in the manuscripts submitted in future. The participants also agreed that they would facilitate similar training for their colleagues when they returned to their different stations.

More information from: Professor L.O. Aina Nigeria Email:  

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The Story of JCS

by Udu Yakubu

Publishing in Nigeria is an exclusively commercial enterprise - none of the major publishing houses has a social sciences journal title. Journal publishing by academic departments and associations is decreasing rapidly, and it is prestigious to publish in foreign journals. Appointments and Promotions Committees (A&P) in universities look down on 'local' journals, and many journals have no presence beyond the academic departments where they are produced.

How can poorly paid academics reverse the situation? In 1998 a colleague and I discussed starting a journal, even though it would mean some financial sacrifice. We got to work: compiled a list of possible editorial associates, and drafted and disseminated the first call for papers. Responses were far from enthusiastic as colleagues knew such notices often led to nothing. However, in mid-1999, the first issue was published. Hundreds of journals make 'Vol 1, Number 1' before going under, but when the second issue (of 400 pages!) was published in 2000, people began to be more confident. But to get out this volume, we had to borrow from friends, and did not have the luxury of full-time editorial staff - it still took commitment and sacrifice.

But, the journal has grown steadily. It has published over a hundred contributors throughout Africa and beyond. It is now indexed by such bodies as the Modern Language Association of America, Cambridge Sociological Abstracts and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. Also, the strategic significance of INASP and its the African Journals OnLine (AJOL) project cannot be over-emphasized. In 2000, INASP provided the journal its first opportunity for international visibility. The accruing benefits have been quite immense.

The journal is still far from the dreams of its editorial collective, but is recognized for intellectual originality, productivity and development in the country. Subscription and circulation are rising steadily; the editorial process is getting streamlined; reviewers are more committed, and we attract more quality contributions.

Yet, we are far from the comfort zone. Funding remains a major handicap and a donor with a similar vision to ourselves would be invaluable. Collaboration with institutions within and outside Africa, and greater participation by scholars - especially Africanists - is also a goal. In 2003, we are moving from two to three issues per volume. We will be exploring full-scale electronic publishing, and improving impact worldwide. These are huge challenges, but the journal has never posed any less.

Private initiatives surely have their limits. However, if journals remain the foremost means of intellectual development all over the world, and if intellectual development constitutes the basis for socio-political and economic development, how will developing countries become developed in the absence of that essential foundation? For the Journal of Cultural Studies, we believe, ala Chinua Achebe, that it is morning yet on creation day.

Udu Yakubu Founder/Editor Journal of Cultural Studies, Nigeria Email:  

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Empowering revitalization An advocacy and lobbying workshop in Botswana

by Margaret Baffour-Awuah and Morwadi Pilane

The Carnegie Corporation of New York is providing grants to revitalise public libraries in Africa, and to kick-start the process has sponsored several workshops aimed at capacity building. INASP contracted Book Aid International (BAI), who (with support from local facilitators: M. Pilane, F. Macheng and F. Anyenda from Kenya) ran the Advocacy and Lobbying Workshop.

All the workshops were geared to fueling the revitalization exercise, but perhaps the most empowering was Advocacy and Lobbying. It aimed to support the development of the capacity of the library service to do advocacy and lobbying work in order to secure additional resources and make the service more sustainable. This was done by provision of relevant training (knowledge, skills and attitude).

Participants came from the National Library with 50% from public libraries - including the four model public libraries of Gaborone, Francistown, Molepolole and Serowe. The rest of the participants came from educational and special libraries and the University of Botswana Library. Most were heads of stations or sections, ranging from Senior Library Officers to Senior Librarians, with qualifications ranging from Diploma to Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Library and Information Studies.

In addition to advocacy and lobbying, fundraising, marketing and public relations were covered as a valuable part of lobbying. Methodology included group work and presentations, learning to identify problems and to provide solutions. One of the issues clearly identified was the vital role of stakeholders in the revitalization programme. This is crucial in Botswana. Except for the Village Development Committees who have provided over 50% of the Village Reading Room Structures, little has been contributed by stakeholders towards library services. Lobbying is needed to bring stakeholders on board.

A draft action plan was developed to address the following: · Sensitizing staff on change management; · Developing human resources for advocacy work; · Developing plans for advocacy skills and competencies; · Redesigning departmental structures and systems; The plan is subject to approval by the Botswana National Library Service management.

Several other workshops sponsored by Carnegie have taken place. They include Botswana Library Association (BLA) Proactive Librarianship workshop, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop run from 29- 31 July 2002.

The workshop evaluations indicated that participants had benefited and the revitalization programme had been given a head start. Appreciation was expressed for Carnegie's funding, and for INASP and BAI's facilitation.

More information from: Margaret Baffour-Awuah Email:  
Morwadi Pilane Email:  

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E-journals: Developing Country Access Survey

ejournalsby Pippa Smart 

Over the past few years there has been much concern over the information gap between developed and less developed countries and this has led to a number of initiatives from publishers and/or learned and professional societies designed to supply journals into the developing world. These initiatives have largely focussed on the provision of online information, as this can be provided at little cost to the information provider - although connectivity within the developing countries is, of course, a limiting factor.

One result of this development is a concern that multiple initiatives are confusing to the recipients, and there is there is no comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the different approaches. In response to this, ICSU's Committee for the Dissemination of Scientific Information (CDSI), asked INASP to conduct a survey of publishers' activities and attitudes towards the provision of their content into the less developed countries. This survey was carried out during the second half of 2002.

The results of this survey identified considerable interest in initiatives to promote and deliver information into the developing world. It highlighted a number of small publisher-specific programmes already in place, mostly associated with learned societies and society membership. It also highlighted the complexity of the publishing environment, where involvement in any initiative to promote readership is dependent on other partnerships - with other publishers, with other societies, and with memberships.

Response to the survey came predominantly from the non-commercial publishers (87% of respondents), and showed a wide geographical spread, with 32% from the USA. It was interesting to note that both commercial publishers and non-commercial publishers held similar opinions about the importance of getting information into the developing world, but that (largely due to lack of information), many non-commercial publishers were not currently offering their content free or at reduced rates (see the table). Most respondents thought that the larger initiatives (such as the PERI programme and HINARI) are sustainable, with the acknowledgement that cost and time to the publisher is an important consideration. Although online provision avoids direct postal and printing costs, there are still administrative, and other "hidden" (particularly staff time) costs that were of some concern. This concern made the pan-publisher initiatives more appealing as they would remove some of the burden from publishers.

The full report (including details of which countries are included in the different initiatives) can be found on the INASP website at: 

More information from: Pippa Smart Head of Publishing Initiatives, INASP Email:  

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Library consortia in the SCANUL-ECS region: a summary of case study findings

by Beatrice Sekabembe

Library resource sharing and cooperation in the SCANUL-ECS region would be promoted if all member libraries embraced the consortia concept.

This was the major finding of the recent case study on activities of existing and functioning consortia in the SCANUL-ECS region carried out between August and November 2002. It was commissioned by SCANUL-ECS as one of the recommendations of the 5th SCANUL-ECS meeting, and funded by INASP.

Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa were covered, but the major focus area was South Africa because of the established library consortia there. Eastern sub-region libraries were at different levels of consortia formation, and the Central sub-region was still embracing the idea.

The study sought to: l find out the rationale behind the formation of library consortia; l investigate methods used to manage existing consortia; l identify different types of consortia (geographical and membership attributes); l analyse policies, plans and areas of cooperation or agreements; l find consortia activities in such areas as training, software acquisition, etc.; l investigate the functions and challenges in service provision; l examine the opportunity for forming a Consortium of consortia.

Of the 35 institutions in South Africa, nine were selected. Uganda represented the Eastern Africa sub-region and Zambia represented the Central region.

Nationally, South Africa library consortia formed a coalition known as the Coalition of South African Library Consortia (COSALC) to guide their activities at the national level and also to act as their national and international mouthpiece.

All the existing library consortia involved their parent authorities. Funding was through subsidies from student fees, member subscriptions, donor support, and through income-generating projects. The major recommendation was the formation of a regional SCANUL-ECS library consortium to oversee all consortia activities in the Eastern, Central, and Southern African sub-regions.

The main advantages of this would be: 1. Realizing more funds as one strong African region; 2. A stronger voice to the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC); 3. Possibly taking over the African Information Society Initiative; 4. Strengthening of the African Virtual / Digital Library; 5. At the African Union level, filling in the economic development on behalf of libraries through such bodies as the East African Community (EAC), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and a relevant body that may be formed in the Central region (may be called the Central African Development Community, CADC); 6. Strong representation at the Association of African Universities (AAU); 7. Formation of a stronger library professional body.

Other findings and recommendations appear in the printed report distributed in January 2002 and distributed to all registered SCANUL-ECS member institutions.

More information from: Beatrice Sekabembe School of Information Library Makerere University Kampala Uganda Email:  

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New books from INASP

Library funding: adequate financial support for African university libraries

64pp. ISBN 1 902928 13 X £6.00

In 2000 the Standing Conference of African National and University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS) requested Professor John Willemse to develop guidelines which might assist African university libraries determine levels and sources of financial support.

This book represents the result of this report, including a summary of findings and recommendations.

The Book Chain in Anglophone Africa

Now out on CDROM !

Compiled and edited by Roger Stringer, this volume provides a country-by-country analysis of 18 Anglophone African countries, plus a directory of major players within those countries. More information on INASP publications can be found on:

Other books published and forthcoming from INASP:

  • The African Scholarly Publishing Handbook Edited by T. Mkandawire and A. Mlambo , expected late 2003

  • Book Marketing & Promotion: A Handbook of Good Practice , HM Zell · Getting Started in Electronic Publishing, S Morris (in English, French, Spanish and Russian)

  • A Guidebook on Journal Publishing for Agricultural and Rural Development, A Youdeowe (in English or French) · INASP Directory 2002/2003

  • INASP-Health Directory 2003, expected mid 2003

  • INASP Rural Development Directory 2003/2004, expected mid 2003 · Income generation: Experiences from University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, edited by D Rosenberg

  • Income Generation: Experiences from public library systems in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, edited by A Powell expected mid 2003

  • Information and Communications Technologies in Africa: a Review and Selective Annotated Bibliography, by Dr C Nyaki Adeya

  • Into the Information Age: Computerization of the Copperbelt University Library, edited by MC Lundu and CB Lungu · Library Funding: adequate financial support for African university libraries, by J Willemse

  • Marketing and Promotion for Agricultural and Rural Development Publications: A Practical Guide, by B Impey (in English or French) · A Practical Guide to Bookselling and Retailing, edited by B Impey and O Orimalade - late 2003

  • Public Libraries in Africa: A Report and Annotated Bibliography, by Aissa Issak Reader Development: Recent experiences from seven countries in Africa, edited by D Rosenberg, expected mid 2003

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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.

Third Pan-African Conference on Reading for All

"Literacy Without Borders," will take place August 18-22, 2003, in Kampala, Uganda.

The themes for the conference are: l Crossing linguistic barriers l Cultural differences in reading l Reading and social change

For further information about the conference, please contact: Third Pan-African Conference on Reading for All PO Box 25412, Kampala, Uganda Tel/Fax: + 256 41 235 264 Email:  

Monitoring real time connectivity in developing countries

One of the recommendations from the recent Round Table meeting in Trieste on "Developing Country Access to On-Line Scientific Publishing: Sustainable Alternatives" was to monitor in real time the connectivity of research and educational institutions in developing countries.

This project recently started and African Universities and research centres are welcome to take part in it. To find out more on the few requirements needed see:  or look at the working report at: 

The eJDS/Monitoring Team 


LEAP IMPACT, a community of development professionals interested in monitoring and evaluation of information services, products and projects, has produced a number of evaluation tools. The draft tools are available at 

The toolkit is intended to help assess the performance of services such as newsletters and websites. The kit includes information on planning, data collection, indicators, questionnaires, focus groups, case studies, after action review, as well as many other aspects of the evaluation process.

LEAP IMPACT is a joint initiative of CTA, IICD, Bellanet, KIT, FAKT and GTZ.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) News

The second Preparatory Committee will take place in Geneva from 17-28 February 2003. Information on the Committee meeting can be found on the geneva 2003 website at

The World Summit on the Information Society Executive Secretariat is also pleased to announce the first edition of the WSIS Newsletter which will be published approximately four times per year.

English version:  French and Spanish versions available soon: French:  Spanish: 

The next INASP Newsletter will be published in June 2003. If you would like to contribute to its contents, please write to the editor at the Oxford address. Contributions must be received by 1 May 2003.

International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
and also:

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