International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications
58 St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1ST, UK
Tel: +44 1865 249909 Fax: +44 1865 251060
[email protected]

No. 10 May 1998

In this issue:

Newsletter Editors:
Ard Jongsma
Neil Pakenham-Walsh
(INASP-Health section)

Contributors to this issue:
Heather Edwards, Adam Greenberger, Metin Gulmezoglu, Andy Haines, Abul Hasan, Ruth Kondrup, Mark Perkins, Carol Priestley, Shana Reggio, Jean Shaw, Pru Watts-Russell.

Editorial address:
P.O. Box 2564
London W5 1ZD UK

Tel: + 44 (0) 181 997 3274
Fax: + 44 (0) 181 810 9795
[email protected]

African Journals
Online Launched

In the past years, a modest start has been made in promoting African-published journals as a way of raising the profile of African research. Making use of all the technological means available for the dissemination of African research results, INASP has now started using its web-site to provide electronic access to a pilot-group of 7 African scholarly journals.

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INASP is a co-operative network of partners aiming to improve world-wide access to science information. 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 Science (ICSU) initiated with the support of the European Commission and UNESCO.

Chairman: K-I. Hillerud
Director: Carol Priestley


P.O. Box 2564
London W5 1ZD UK

Tel: + 44 (0) 181 997 3274
Fax: + 44 (0) 181 810 9795
[email protected]

Oxford office:
27 Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HU UK

African Journals online is live
Linda White

African Journals Online, a project to promote African-published scholarly journals by means of the Internet is the latest addition to the INASP Website. Initially supported by UNESCO, African Journals Online is a direct outcome of the 1996 ICSU Press/UNESCO Expert Conference on Electronic Publishing in Science. It provides access to either the tables of contents or the full text of African journals via the Internet.

Tables of contents are available at the INASP web site at aim is to include issues published from 1997 onwards. They are loaded as each issue of the journal becomes available. Photocopies of these articles can be ordered via INASP. To start with, issues of the following seven journals are available.

The full text of three other journals is available as part of the Bioline service at:

Users of Bioline can subscribe to a journal or pay to see the full text of individual articles. Issues of the following three journals are available initially.

As said before, the aim of the project is to promote the awareness and use of African-published scholarly journals. INASP recognises that few African-published journals have had the opportunity to explore the potential of the Internet for publishing and marketing. It is providing that opportunity through African Journals Online.

All income received during this project will be returned to the publishers and the prices are those supplied by the publisher.

The impact of African Journals Online will be monitored and evaluated. If successful, steps will be taken to extend and expand the project.

P.S. On the INASP Website at information on most other INASP activities can be found, as well as copies of this Newsletter and other selected INASP publications.

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Recognition, at last !

Association of African Universities establishes Ad hoc Committee on University Libraries

After a long process of lobbying, African university librarians have finally succeeded in getting their cause on the agenda of the Association of African Universities. Kay Raseroka informs us from Botswana about the latest developments.

The Association of African Universities has undertaken various studies on cost-effectiveness and efficiency in African Universities. Although libraries were invariably pointed out as Œunits to which resources are allocated¹, there was no analysis of the efficiency of their contribution to meeting the institutional mission.

As mentioned in earlier Newsletters, in l995 the International African Institute (IAI) undertook a study of university libraries selected from the various sub-regions of Africa. The results of the survey confirmed librarians¹ worst fears that, for most African university libraries, funding was far below the basic level required to adequately meet the learning support needs of rapidly increasing student populations. Information provided to students is often outdated and the library capacity is usually inadequate.

Although librarians are aware of the deteriorating services, they have until now been able to convince neither their local university management nor their national authorities that the academic information held by libraries bears a direct - in this case negative - influence on both the quality of learning and the quality of degrees awarded.

Advocacy Efforts

Members of the Standing Conference of National and University Librarians of East Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS) decided that presentations should be made to the Association of African Universities (AAU) concerning the need for the creation of an AAU sub-committee on libraries. It was agreed that the main objective of the sub-committee would be advocacy. The matter was presented through the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Botswana who, at the time, was a member of the AAU Executive Board. However, progress was slow.

After the publication of its report, the IAI held discussions with the AAU Secretariat and informal consultations with university librarians in the region at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in l997. It was still widely agreed that a concerted effort had to be made to persuade the AAU to establish an advocacy sub-committee to address the plight of libraries in African Universities.

AAU Committee on University Libraries

Now, a Committee on University Libraries has been proposed for establishment by the AAU Secretariat. This proposal will be submitted for consideration by the AAU Executive Board later this month.

The objectives of the proposed Committee are:

In order to facilitate project proposals and the provision of preliminary information/data required by the AAU, university librarians from African sub-regions have been selected to form an Ad hoc Committee. The following librarians have seats on the committee:

East Africa (Mr Tirong arap Tanui, Moi University Eldoret, Kenya)
West Africa (Mr Henri Sené, Université Cheik Anta Diop, Dakar Senegal)
Central Africa (Mr Stany Mezeme - Université Omar Bongo)
North Africa (yet to be nominated)
Southern Africa (Mrs Kay Raseroka, University of Botswana)

The Ad hoc Committee will be chaired by Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, while the Secretary General of the AAU (Prof Narciso Matos) and one of the other Vice-Chancellors will be members too.

In about three years from now, the current Ad hoc Committee will be replaced by an elected committee.

Kay Raseroka is University Librarian at the University of Botswana.

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The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library
Cornell University launches CD-ROM pack for distribution in developing countries.

Cornell University¹s Albert R. Mann Library and the Rockefeller Foundation are launching a new product for agricultural research in those parts of the world with the most urgent need for increased food production. The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library
(TEEAL) is a full text compilation of 125 agricultural journals stored on compact disks and sold at 10% of the normal total price for subscription to hard-copies of all of the journals.

The reduced rate subscription will be made available to libraries in countries rated as low-income, lower-middle-income, and middle-income economies in the World Bank¹s 1996 World Development Report.

According to Cornell, the journals included in TEEAL are those which are of most fundamental importance to developing countries. Some 675,000 pages of issues published from 1993 to 1996 will be scanned. The resulting digital page images will be stored on an estimated 70 compact disks from which information can be retrieved with provided search and retrieval software.
Annual updates will be produced 9-12 months after each year¹s final issues have been printed. Updates will be issued for ten years, after which information access via the Internet is expected to be widely available in developing countries.

Among the publishers which have granted (limited) copyright permission for their journals to be included are Academic Press, Elsevier Science, Kluwer Academic, Pergamon and Springer. However, publications such as the East African Agriculture and Forestry Journal, the Pakistan Development Review and the Bangladesh Review of Agricultural Economics are included too.

For more information, please contact Wallace C. Olsen,
Project Director at:
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4301
Tel: + 1 (0) 607 - 255 8939
Fax: + 1 (0) 607 - 255 0318
[email protected]

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INASP plans Workshop on Electronic Publishing in SE Asia
As a direct result of ICSU Press' interest in electronic publishing and INASP¹s experience of organising workshops for science journal publishers, INASP is helping to organise a workshop on the opportunities electronic media offer to science publishers in southeast Asia. The workshop is scheduled to take place in Bangkok later this year. The National Science and Technology Development Agency, the Thailand Research Fund and the Science Society of Thailand have offered to be the local organisers.

As things stand, it looks as if the workshop will cover more areas than just electronic publishing. The partners in Bangkok have asked for some core managerial aspects of journal publishing to be included too. Publishers will be invited from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

INASP Workshop for Science Journal Publishers in West Africa

Early February this year, INASP organised a 'Workshop for Science Journal Publishers' in Accra, Ghana. The workshop was sponsored by the United States National Academy of Sciences. Key resource person was Hans Zell, Senior Consultant to the African Books Collective and a specialist in this field. His recent publication, the Handbook of Good Practice in Journals Publishing, was used as a guide for the various sessions. Participant Taiwo Owoeye, Editor at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, reports.

Fourteen participants had been invited to the workshop: one from Côte d¹Ivoire, six from Ghana, four from Nigeria, two from Senegal, and one from the US. The majority of these were representatives from small publishing houses. Other organisations represented included CODESRIA, ENDA Tiers Monde (both well-funded institutions with large publications units and with their headquarters in Senegal), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a non-profit international agricultural research institute based in Ibadan, Nigeria.

The workshop started out with a brief introduction of their journals by all participants. This was followed by sessions on various aspects of publishing - from how to start a new journal to peer review, marketing and sales - using as a guide the pilot edition of the Handbook of Good Practice in Journal Publishing edited by Hans Zell and published by the International African Institute. This handbook is a comprehensive reference tool on various aspects of journal publishing. It is particularly useful because it brings information included in major style guides together in one volume. It also includes several annexes with models of forms used in publishing that can be adapted by interested persons.

I found the sessions on subscription management, market assessment, and costing particularly interesting and informative, especially as my organisation, the IITA, does not sell its periodicals.

One highlight of the workshop was the visit to the office of the Association of African Universities (AAU) where we had a practical demonstration of the Internet. It was interesting to see the Web pages of various organisations and to find that several Ghanaian dailies are posted on the web. Even though, in my view, the Internet cannot replace the written word, it holds a huge potential from which anyone can benefit.

Another highlight was the formation of a network of all workshop participants, to be co-ordinated by the AAU, to stimulate discussion among colleagues and to ensure that the suggestions made during the workshop will not be forgotten.

On the whole, the workshop was a worthwhile experience and I was pleased to be a part of it. Based on my participation in and interaction with colleagues at the workshop, I have made a series of proposals to the management of my organisation, some of which will be implemented.

Taiwo Owoeye
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Oyo Road
PMB 5320

[email protected]

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Towards Users

In our Newsletter of May 1997 we wrote about the IFLA project supporting the establishment of a Vietnamese Union Catalogue of Foreign Science and Technology Periodicals. In this contribution, Vu Van Son, Director of the Central Library for Science and Technology, puts the previous story into the perspective of Vietnam¹s national policy.

Information Resources and Services in Vietnam

Library services in Vietnam are influenced by political, economic and cultural factors. Modern library services are relatively new in Vietnam. The concept of open access to the holdings of a library is well known, but not implemented completely. Open access is organised to newly received book exhibitions, reference literature and journals of the last three years. Marketing library and information services also are concepts most Vietnamese libraries are still not familiar with. Electronic information services are beginning to be studied. Fee-based information services are not popular. However, the motto ³towards users² is taking hold among Vietnamese librarians.

Books and periodicals are the main resources in Vietnamese libraries. CD-ROMs have been imported but mostly as gifts. The National collection of foreign serials consists of around 3,400 titles. Because of low economic growth, the governmental budget allocated to foreign literature purchase is limited and concentrated in 4 institutions: the National Library of Vietnam, the National Centre for Scientific and Technological Information and Documentation (NACESTID), the Institute of Social Sciences Information and the Information Centre of the National Centre for Natural Sciences and Technologies.

Recently, resource sharing has been paid increased attention to. Union catalogues - both traditional and computerised - have been set up, although an inter-library loan system still doesn¹t exist. Thanks mostly to donations from international organisations and foreign governments and embassies, national collections have been enriched with documents in English, French and German.

Information Technology

Since 1990, many libraries in large cities in Vietnam, such as in Hanoi, Hochiminh City, Danang, Hue, and Can Tho have carried out partial computerisation of library management and information retrieval. They have introduced acquisition and circulation control, set up electronic catalogues, started networking through LANs for on-line access, etc. However, in comparison with other countries in the region, the material and technological base of many Vietnamese libraries was still behind and in bad working condition. Since 1995, this situation has improved and the application of information technologies has been accelerated by the National Programme on Information Technology with a Master Plan covering the years until 2000, which was issued through a Government Decision in April 1997.

The general goal of the building and development of IT in Vietnam is to build the first foundation for an information structure that will be able to meet the basic information demands in management and socio-economic activities. In order to achieve this goal, the Master Plan focuses on developing potential resources and building the IT infrastructure and implementing the major national computerisation projects, including library and information activities.

Vietnamese librarians and documentalists recognise the need to acquire new information technologies to improve access to information and data sources, but in the present context of Vietnam, it is hard to obtain enough funds for modernising and computerising all those libraries which are dependent on funding support for their normal operations. However, owing to the attention and investments of the national government and the support of international organisations, such as the IDRC, Sida:SAREC, and bilateral programmes with France and Australia, the new information technology development that took place in the last few years has encouraged Vietnamese librarians to increase the use of microcomputers for handling library management functions and for establishing databases to supply their users with accurate and comprehensive information.

The NACESTID, heading the National System of Scientific and Technical Information, has pioneered the application of IT and achieved remarkable results. Recently, multimedia began to be used in the largest of Vietnamese libraries. The Central Library for Science and Technology of Vietnam has become the first to apply bar-codes with optical recognition equipment for circulation control. At the end of this year NACESTID will start to move its activity onto the Internet.

TALCs Partnership Book Programme

Since the mid 1960s TALC has distributed over 7 million slides (colour transparencies), accompanied by a variety of written suggestions as to how the slides can be used to improve their teaching. And from the early 1970s, TALC has provided about 1 million low-cost books, every effort being made to identify and, where necessary, develop books which would be particularly appropriate for those in primary health care.

Recently we have become more concerned with what use is made of the books that we distribute. Two experiences illustrate the need for this. It is likely that these experiences could have occurred anywhere in the world, but the first was from South America.

When visiting one of the best community health workers in a South American programme, the worker was asked to use his copy of Where There is No Doctor to find out what action he would take if a case of poliomyelitis occurred in a village. He thumbed through the book, threw it down and said he would send the child to hospital - although some of the villages are cut off for many weeks in the wet season. This worker, like many others, had not been trained Œaround¹ a book. He had never been taught how to use the index of a book, and how to use a book to extend his knowledge and ability.

The second experience is related by a well experienced doctor who teaches medical assistants in central Africa.

"We tried to create a reading culture amongst our students, particularly as we got more into problem based learning. However, we discovered that students who had been in schools that use the Œparrot fashion¹ style of teaching had no inclination and little ability to read. We therefore reduced our reading list to 5 essential books, and included the price of them in school fees. Students were given the books, and all problems were confined to the tests within these books, apart from problems in the community. Other sessions were given to specified reading. Without such discipline, books were carried around to protect papers carried inside them - or to look important."

TALC believes these experiences are common to many countries in the developing world. This has led us to develop three initiatives:

1. Encourage training programmes around a book. If less well educated health workers are to use books regularly then training programmes need to be developed which involve the trainees using the book. TALC hopes to identify those who could make use of books such as Where There is No Doctor, Disabled Village Children, A Book for Midwives and Nutrition for Developing Countries. All of these and some other TALC books are appropriate for use where health workers are literate and can read English. TALC would also encourage those who are running the courses to undertake a refresher weekend after six months to see how well the books are being used. Working in partnership with such teachers TALC hopes to obtain grants to supply the book for training and also for continuing use by the trainee.

2. Small Libraries in Health Centres and District Hospitals. Even the low cost books provided by TALC are equivalent to a week or more salary for many health workers. For this reason it is unlikely that many will be able to Œown¹ more than one or two books. We looked at experience from around the world in running small libraries and found that except for schools there was almost none. Unfortunately unless the small library is planned it so often ends up locked in the senior worker¹s office or the books rapidly disappear from open shelves. For this reason TALC considers it is necessary to develop libraries run by small democratic committees representing all levels of workers in the health unit. So far TALC has sent out over 1200 library packs but we have not yet managed to develop a research programme to find out what happens to these books.

3. Develop local NGOs to provide books and other low cost material for local currency. TALC works closely with an organisation in Nigeria providing books and has also helped in the development of a small TALC in South Africa. However, TALC considers that to widen this approach we need to work with other organisations and we were happy to join a small loose consortium with Healthlink (formerly AHRTAG), a nonprofit organisation that reaches some 2 million health workers around the world with their free health newsletters, and FSG-MediMedia, which produces Africa Health and Medicine Digest, two of the most widely read journals in the developing world. The consortium hopes to develop small offices in the capitals of developing countries which can respond to local needs for health education from the mass of such information available (but so far poorly organised) in the North to areas in the South where it is so desperately needed

For further details please contact:

Professor David Morley
Teaching Aids at Low Cost
PO Box 49
St Albans AL1 5TX
United Kingdom.

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Health Information Forum

INASP-Health launches a series of 6 workshops to help support the activities of organisations involved in improving access to health information in developing and transitional countries.

Healthcare workers in resource-poor countries often do not have access to sources of information taken for granted by their counterparts in the developed world - up-to-date textbooks, journals, and other materials to guide the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Despite the successes of individual projects in addressing these problems - and the introduction of information technology - it seems that the situation in many countries continues to worsen.

There are a number of different agencies in the field, North and South, each with its particular focus, e.g. publishers (print and electronic), donation-distribution programmes, librarians, and the healthcare professionals themselves. But these agencies tend to work in isolation and there is no clear strategy that we can all say we are contributing to.

Several international meetings, including the landmark BMA meeting in London (1994) and the 5th international congress of AHILA (Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa) have highlighted the need for greater coordination among those involved.

Launch of the forum

INASP-Health held a meeting on the 30th of March at the British Medical Association with a number of leading health information provider organizations to look at ways in which we might work together more effectively. The meeting was chaired by Professor KGMM Alberti, President of the Royal College of Physicians, and participants included representatives of: Africa Health and Medicine Digest, African Medical Research Foundation, Healthlink (formerly AHRTAG), British Council, British Medical Association, CAB International, Educational Low-Priced Sponsored Texts, Essential Drugs Project, International Health Exchange, Makerere University (Uganda), Nigerian Medical Forum, Phi (formerly SatelLife UK), Teaching Aids at Low Cost, Tropical Health Education Trust, and the Tropical Medicine Resource (Wellcome Trust).

Participants agreed there was a clear need for a regular open forum to offer mutual help and support to those involved in health information work, and thereby achieve more effective working strategies. As a result, INASP-Health has been asked to organise a series of workshop meetings to examine specific issues relating to the information needs of healthcare workers.

Objectives of the Forum

€ To facilitate contact and sharing of skills and experience

The forum will act as a focus for the exchange of ideas, experience, information, and contacts. This will avoid duplication of effort or Œreinventing the wheel¹, as well as prevent avoidable mistakes. It will also generate debate and facilitate partnerships, leading to the development of new approaches to meet the needs of different target audiences.

€ To promote analysis

The forum will seek to improve knowledge and understanding as to the needs of health information users and the most cost-effective ways of meeting those needs.

€ To promote advocacy

As a collective body of leading organizations in the field, the forum will give a voice to health information users and providers in the South, and act as an advisory body to policy makers, publishers and other interested parties.


Workshops will be held every 2 months, starting in July 1998. The first three will cover the following issues:

(1) Meeting the information needs of isolated health workers.
(2) Meeting the information needs of medical and allied education.
(3) The role of local information and resources at country level.

Each workshop will involve a combination of short presentations and small-group discussion to explore the topic, exchange experience and ideas, and develop action plans. The sixth meeting will review the work of the Forum in its first year, follow up on the various ideas developed through the earlier meetings, and set objectives for future work.

Information providers and users in the South - healthcare workers, librarians and publishers - will be represented wherever possible, both by direct participation and by communication between the forum and relevant organizations such as WHO and AHILA. The programme and reports will be posted on the INASP web site and AHILA-Net.

We should like to thank all participants, in particular Paul Chinnock (Editor, Africa Health and Medicine Digest) and Dr Richard Smith (Editor, British Medical Journal) for their vital roles in helping to launch the Forum.

Carol Priestley
Director, INASP
Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh
Programme Manager, INASP-Health

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Nigerian Medical Forum

The Nigerian Medical Forum (NMF) is a UK-registered charity run on a voluntary basis by Nigeria-born doctors and health professionals living and working in the UK. Its sole objective is the relief of sickness and the preservation of public health in Nigeria, by providing medical and dental health information materials and other health equipment and facilities. The organisation is funded by contributions from NMF members and money raised at various events throughout the UK.

The economic crisis in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1980s raised the cost of health information materials well out of the reach of the doctors in the region. In Nigeria the cost of subscribing to the standard edition of the BMJ for 1 year is equivalent to three times the annual salary of a consultant. The NMF therefore secured a contract to publish the West African edition of the BMJ within Nigeria. BMJ West Africa was launched in 1997 and is available to health professionals at an affordable price in local currency.

With 7 years¹ experience, NMF has the structure and capacity to ensure that donated materials reach the place of most need in Nigeria. We send back-issues of needed medical journals to the national medical library and all 18 medical colleges throughout Nigeria, for whom we also subscribe to current issues of the journals Tropical Doctor and Medicine International.

In response to the increasing problem of road traffic accidents - which have now overtaken infectious diseases as the greatest killer in Nigeria ( we recently supplied copies of the acclaimed manuals, ABC in Trauma Care and ABC of Spinal Injuries, to all medical libraries in Nigeria. We also compiled the proceedings of a symposium on Accident Care in Nigeria as a booklet which was widely circulated in Nigeria to government and health institutions.

NMF is proud of its achievements and we believe our approach can serve as a model for others seeking to improve access to health information in other parts of the developing world. We are keen to share our knowledge and experience with any groups who may wish to benefit from it.

The NMF is committed to a non-political and not-for-profit agenda, and is sensitive to the requirements and feelings of the Nigerian people, who will resist anything that smacks of neo-colonialism. Nevertheless, our fundraising activities have been seriously hampered by the image of Nigeria in the West. We pray that funding agencies in the UK will notice our achievements and come to our assistance so that we can help doctors and health professionals in one of the poorest regions of the world to deliver informed and effective health care to their patients.

For further details please contact:

Dr Joseph Ana,
Nigerian Medical Forum
84 Bishopscote Road
Luton LU3 1PB

About INASP-Health

INASP-Health is a cooperative network created by health information providers, for health information providers. Its goal is to facilitate cooperation across the health information community towards universal access to reliable information for healthcare workers in developing and transitional countries.

The network currently involves more than 500 participants, North and South, representing non-governmental organisations, international agencies, library services, publishers (print and electronic), and others. Visit our web site for further information about our range of services and activities.

We welcome all those who are willing to share their experience and expertise with others to improve access to reliable information. Participation is free of charge and without obligation. Please write to Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh MD, Programme Manager, INASP-Health, INASP, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HU, United Kingdom.

We are grateful to the following organisations for their support: British Medical Association, Danida (Denmark), Department for International Development (UK), ICSU-Press, and the Reuter Foundation.

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The Unmet Needs of the Rural Healthcare Worker

"Working in complete physical, intellectual and professional isolation"

I am a general surgeon working in a remote district hospital in Eastern Ethiopia. The hospital is 500 km east of the capital Addis Ababa. I am covering the service of a population of more than 2.5 million. I am working in complete physical, intellectual and professional isolation. Since I graduated in May 1995, I have not had access books, journals or periodicals to refer to and help my patients get better with. Subscribing to any medical journal is unthinkable due to its high cost and our low wages.

You may imagine the workload of a general surgeon working in a rural hospital. I am covering the service of general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, traumatology, urology, orthopaedics, eye surgery and anaesthesia alone. I am 24 hours a day, 30 days a month on duty and have no vacation. I have to recruit and train my operating team and the ward staff without any books. I am training GPs in emergency surgery and obstetrics using only my lecture notes.

We are in a vacuum from recent scientific developments in medicine to properly treat our patients. With the attrition rate of medical knowledge of 10% per year, a doctor may become a non-doctor (quack) in 10 years of service. To prevent this downward trend of Œcontinuing medical ignorance¹, from which no-one is immune, we need continuing medical education. For this we need books, journals, etc.

It is very difficult to go to the capital and refer to the relevant journals in the central medical library. I am working here for over 2 years and need your help. How can I get old copies of the BMJ, British Journal of Hospital Medicine, Tropical Doctor, Medicine Digest, and other used journals? I am regularly receiving Africa Health which is helping me a lot.

Dr Tekolla Belaingh Desalegn
Head, Department of Surgery
Deder Hospital
PO Box 28

Editor¹s note: (1) The term 'continuing medical ignorance' was coined by Dr Peter Bewes, a recently retired surgeon who is acclaimed for his pioneering medical education work in district hospitals throughout Uganda. (2) We are grateful to TALC and Book Aid International for their valuable assistance in the above case.

INASP-Health Directory

The INASP-Health Directory (see INASP Newsletter
November 1997) will be published in October 1998. The Directory will provide contact details and profiles of selected organisations that support book and library development or provide appropriate free or low-cost materials for healthcare workers. Organisations that would like to be represented are invited to contact Neil Pakenham-Walsh at our Oxford office.

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Are African Journals Used ?
Preliminary results of evaluative survey published
By Diana Rosenberg

African published journals are said to be the lifeblood of African scholarship. And many recent initiatives have been aimed at improving marketing (APEX and African Journals OnLine), distribution (AJDP) and quality (Training Workshops).

But very little research has been carried out on the use that is made of these journals by African academics and their impact on research. A project with this end in view ‹ an evaluative survey of the use made of indigenous journals in African university libraries ‹ began in 1996. Co-ordinated by the International African Institute and extending over three years, this survey is looking at the amount of journal use, the value and impact of journal articles to on-going and future research and the use of African as opposed to Western journals. Data is being gathered in two universities ‹ the University of Ghana and the University of Zambia ‹ through counts of library use of journals, interviews with academic staff and analysis of citations in final year projects, theses and staff publications. The local researchers are Professor A. A. Alemna for the University of Ghana and Vitalicy Chifwepa for the University of Zambia.

Reports have now been published analysing the results for 1996 and 1997. Some conclusions so far are that:

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Second 'Guadalajara' Workshop on Journal Publishing in Latin America

As a follow-up to the first Workshop held three years ago (see INASP Newsletter, 4 May 1995), a Second International Workshop on Scientific Publications in Latin America was held in Guadalajara in November 1997.

A carefully selected group of 50 scientists, editors, information specialists and other experts on science publishing from 16 different countries, were invited to discuss issues concerning scientific journals in the region.

The main motivations prompting this Second Workshop were the rapid development of electronic publishing, the growing awareness of the importance of quality and visibility of our scholarly publications, the severe financial constraints facing these publications, and the creation or reinforcement of networks and multilateral projects of regional cooperation.

Participants were invited to prepare written contributions on the following topics:

These and related aspects were critically analysed during three days of intense work, in an atmosphere of enthusiasm and friendly collaboration that contributed much to the outcome of the discussions. A number of conclusions and recommendations were issued that will serve to guide the work of editors, scientists, information specialists and policy makers in the next few years.

These conclusions, along with the materials presented at the meeting, are being prepared for publication in book form, again in cooperation with Fondo de Cultura Econ¢mica (Mexico) with partial financial support from ICSU, through ICSU Press. We remind our readers that the materials of the first Workshop were collected in the volume Scientific Publications in Latin America, A.M. Cetto and K.-I. Hillerud, eds. (Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico, 1995).

The Second Workshop took place within the framework of the 11th International Bookfair in Guadalajara. Partial support for the organisation of the meeting was provided by the UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Montevideo, the University of Guadalajara, UNAM and CONACYT, Mexico. Additional and more detailed information, including the text of the conclusions, can be obtained from:

Ana María Cetto
(INASP Board Member)

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Mapping Sri Lanka
The University of Peradeniya produces Sri Lanka¹s most comprehensive Union Catalogue of Science Journals to date.

Ascertaining the availability of specific scholarly periodicals in the university libraries of Sri Lanka before approaching a foreign source for obtaining a photocopy has continued to be a problem often encountered by academics at the universities of Sri Lanka. This is mainly because the traditional Union Lists of periodicals compiled by individual professionals and institutions are neither current nor comprehensive enough to be used for current research purposes.

The need to ascertain the local availability of international periodicals has become more acute at present since librarians in Sri Lanka find it difficult to pay high prices for photocopies of articles supplied by internationally reputed document supply centres. The University of Peradeniya Library has therefore taken the initiative to publish the 3rd Union List of Current Periodicals in the University and Postgraduate Institute Libraries in Sri Lanka with the assistance of all such institutions in the country.

The Union List has just been finalised. Although it was planned to be updated once a year, this has proven to be unfeasible. The 1998 list records 3900 items currently received on subscription, in exchange and as gifts. These are located in 29 main and branch libraries belonging to 12 national universities and 6 postgraduate institutes.

The list, compiled in alphabetical order, does not assist the reader with locating all details of periodical articles appearing in the current periodical holdings but it helps the reader to find out whether any of the periodicals in which the desired articles appear are found in the country and, if so, where. Once tracked down, the required articles can be requested either by fax or by email and photocopies are provided within the university library system free of charge. From libraries where only photocopy services are available, the articles are sent by post. Under normal circumstances, a letter takes about two days to reach its destination.

The list provides volume, number and year of the last periodical items received by the recipient library. This information gives the reader a clue as to whether information in other issues of the same journal might be held by the same library.

The list was originally designed more than ten years ago to assist the readers of the University of Peradeniya Library with locating the journals scattered over seven different main and branch libraries. In a first stage the list was expanded to cover the current periodicals of all university libraries. While compiling the second list, the resources of the postgraduate institutes which focus on specific subject areas were included.

It is hoped to make this updated third list available via the Internet through the web-site of the University of Peradeniya ( so that all libraries and scholars in Sri Lanka and abroad will be able to peruse the current holdings of periodicals of the libraries of the universities and postgraduate institutes in Sri Lanka.

N.T.S.A. Senadeera
University of Peradeniya

South-South Rural Development Directory soon available

A pilot edition of the Directory of INASP¹s South-South Rural Development Network is currently being printed. Copies will be available late June.

The Directory contains descriptions and contact details of information providers on rural development located in the South. The main focus is on Africa which accounts for some 100 of the 150 entries collected so far. Copies will be sent free of charge in response to requests from developing countries. A nominal charge of £10.00 for packing and postage will be made for requests from elsewhere.

The Directory can be ordered from Pru Watts-Russell at the INASP Secretariat.

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I have just visited your web site (INASP) and I consider that the work that we are doing will dove-tail rather well with your objectives in developing south-south information flows. NISC SA here in Grahamstown (SA) is a bibliographic database publishing company. We publish databases for Africa and many of these are derived from Africa.

We are ³a company in the public interest² and offer information databases free for subjects where we feel the information is vital. We distribute ³Child Abuse and Neglect² free to professionals and POPLINE ( population, community health and family planning) is distributed free in developing countries including the whole of Africa. We give the education database ERIC free with subscriptions to other databases.

My mission is firstly to provide information sources relevant to Africa and secondly to promote African publications by offering a platform for the publication of relevant databases, small and large. In so doing NISC will make a contribution to the south-north and south-south flow of information.

We identify databases and integrate them together to offer completely new information sources which often include very small special databases and bibliographies which are not available in any other way other than on the site where they are produced.

We may have ten different databases together as one resource. The databases on the disc may be searched integrated as a unit individually or in any combination.

The ROMWright Software we use is innovative and includes such things as spelling variant intelligence which allows for example English and American spelling to be retrieved which ever is used, all variations in compound words are retrieved and plurals are searched for automatically. the software can be used in Novice, Advanced or Expert mode to allow for all levels of searching experience.

Titles with African content which we have published to date include: African Health Anthology (300,000 records), African Studies (almost 300,000 records) South African Studies (450,000 records) Water Resources Worldwide (490,000 records) Fish and Fisheries Worldwide (175,000 records) and Wildlife Worldwide (430,000 records).

Margaret Crampton
NISC (National Inquiry Services Centre)
22 Somerset St,
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140,
South Africa

Tel: + 27 (0) 461 29698
Fax: + 27 (0) 461 29550
Email: [email protected]

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INASP Workshop on Funder-Recipient Relationships
On 6 and 7 February this year, INASP (in collaboration with the association of African Universities) organised a workshop on funder-recipient relationships for a selected group of African university librarians and representatives of some major funding agencies involved in university library development. The workshop took place in Accra and was co-funded by Danida and INASP.

The fruitful discussions resulted in a set of 12 recommendations to four target groups: the Association of African Universities (see also Kay Raseroka¹s article elsewhere in this Newsletter), funding agencies, university librarians and university administrations.

Funders were addressed with the request to develop stated policies on information issues if they wish to be involved in the field. They were also ­ in line with INASP¹s efforts since 1993 ­ urged to share information concerning their activities more actively with each other. Last but certainly not least, they were reminded to employ staff qualified in the field of information sciences for the negotiation, management and evaluation of information-related projects.

Addressing the problem of internal communication in university structures, university librarians are advised that the important relationship of equal partnership with university administration and academic staff can only be achieved or maintained through satisfactory user-oriented performance of library services. In this context, the employment of qualified subject specialists at the library was pointed out as a helpful consideration. University librarians were also encouraged to actively promote awareness of the information resources that exist within and outside the university library and to take an active role in supporting their local and regional professional associations. Vice-chancellors, in turn, were encouraged to provide their library staff with the necessary opportunities to take this active supporting role.

Finally, university administrations in general were reminded that financing university libraries is their responsibility and that donor funding and income generated by the libraries themselves should only be regarded as a supplement, not as a reason to completely withhold any institutional funding.

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African Journals Support and Development Centre
UK journal support projects move to Africa.
ŒJournals constitute the lifeblood of the scholarly enterprise; they provide a medium through which scholars communicate and converse with each other, ideas are circulated and consumed, and research results are disseminated and debated¹ says Paul Tiyambe Zeleza in his introduction to the APEX97 catalogue. Yet the syndrome of vol.1, no. 1, followed by sudden death, is all too common in Africa. Journals published there find it difficult to survive and need all the support that they can get.

August 1997 saw the launching of a new initiative in support of scholarly journal publishing in Africa. The African Journals Support and Development Centre (AJSDC) will be based at the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) in Nairobi, Kenya and has a mandate covering marketing, distribution, education and training, income generation and research.

Two projects which up to now have been located in the UK are being transferred to the new Centre. They are the African Journals Distribution Programme (AJDP), which purchases copies of African published journals for distribution to African university libraries and the African Periodicals Exhibit (APEX), which takes place at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair each year.

Full funding for the programme has been provided by Danida. And for a three year transitional period, the International African Institute (IAI) and the Southern African Book Development Education Trust (SABDET) will collaborate with AAS in guiding and taking the programme forward.

For copies of the APEX97 Catalogue and any further information, contact:

Serah Mwanycky
African Academy of Sciences
P. O. Box 14798
Tel: +254-2-884401/5
Fax: +254-2-884406
[email protected]

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.

Disaster and After...

... an international conference on the practicalities of information services in times of war and other catastrophes.

Sponsors: IGLA, the International Group of the Library Association Dates: Friday, 4 September (late afternoon) to Sunday, 6 September 1998 (after lunch) Venue: Badock Hall, University of Bristol, UK Cost: £ 165.00 (full board accommodation); day and non-residential rates available.

Programme: to include papers on southern Africa (the information management programme of the Red Cross); southeast Asia (survival of documentary materials); Sweden (psychological effects of library fire); Poland (action to reverse the damage caused to library materials by the 1997 floods); Northern Ireland (documenting civil conflict); Eritrea (information service during the 1961-1991 war for independence); Palestine (information service during the Intifada); Belarus (Chernobyl and lack of scientific information); former Yugoslavia (Sarajevo).

Enquiries and bookings:

P. D. Thomas
25 Bromford Gardens
Westfield Road
Birmingham B15 3XD

SCANUL-ECS meets in Kenya
The Standing Conference of African and University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS) holds its third conference at Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya from 23 to 26 July this year.

The theme is ŒSurvival in a Changing Environment¹. Topics to be discussed include the impact of democratisation, sustainable financing, survival with information technology and marketing of library services. National librarians will separately examine the state of the art in regional national libraries and current international trends.

An important part of the conference will be the session that reviews progress made on the activities, strategies and action plans that resulted from the previous SCANUL-ECS Conference in Lesotho in 1996 and the University Libraries in Africa research.

For further information, please contact the SCANUL-ECS Chairman:

Tirong arap Tanui
University Librarian
Moi University
PO Box 3900
Tel: + 254 (0) 321 - 43309/43720
Fax: + 254 (0) 321 - 43275/43047
[email protected]

The next INASP Newsletter will be published in Nov 1998. If you would like to contribute to its contents, please write to the editorial address. Contributions must be received by 1 October 1998.
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