International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications

58 St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1ST, UK
Tel: +44 1865 249909 Fax: +44 1865 251060

Accessing Information in Developing Countries

An INASP (The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications) Workshop, in association with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission at the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Workshop Outline

This one day workshop is intended to provide an outline of the issues associated with accessing information in developing countries. The workshop will address the opportunities offered by electronic information resources and the changing role of the university library in the electronic era.


The following subjects and content areas will be covered during the workshop.

Electronic information resources overview: what types of electronic resource, such as journals and scholarly databases, are available for use in libraries, universities and research institutions in developing countries? What are the main strengths and weaknesses of the different types of e-reource? What infrastructure is needed to support them?

Gaining access to electronic resources in practice: what different packages, licenses and agreements are needed to access electronic resources? What are the access options available in developing countries? How might access to electronic resources evolve in the future?

E-resource use and the role of the university library: What are the factors that impact on the use of electronic resources? What role does your institutional library have in enbling effective and sustainable access to such resources? What constraints affect your library?

The way forward: what practical steps can universities take to ensure that the information sources available can be accessed by their staff and students? How can researchers and administrators support this?


After the course all workshop participants will be able to:

  • Describe the different types of electronic information resources available
  • Contrast their features and functionality
  • Explain their strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify examples of each type
  • Describe the infrastructure required to support electronic resource use
  • Describe the different access routes for electronic resources
  • Identify some of the access options available within developing countries
  • List possible future developments in access to resources
  • Describe the factors that affect and determine the use of e-resources
  • Explain the part played by the university library in enabling effective and sustainable use
  • Identify constraints under which libraries work
  • Suggest ways that academics and administrators can assist the library

Course Materials

All of the materials for running this workshop are freely available to download and use - please read our copyright and conditions of use statements first. We do ask you to complete a simple registration form (so that we can track usage and interest in these materials). We are also very keen to hear from people who have used or are thinking of using the materials - all are most welcome.