Re: Access-Denial, Impact-Denial and the Developing and Developed World

From: Barbara Kirsop <ept_at_BIOSTRAT.DEMON.CO.UK>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 16:18:22 +0100

Following the discussion on the relative importance to scholars in the
developing world of access-denial v impact-denial, I asked a few of the
EPT Trustees from these regions for their views. I attach their brief
comments below. Those received to date indicate that all information is
equally important: which is most important will depend on its immediate
relevance and application. The establishment of eprint archives in
developing countries will accelerate the flow of information from S to
S, and also from S to N, which as indicated in an earlier message is
critical for the development of effective global programmes (eg for
malaria, AIDS, conservation etc). To this end, the continuing
availability and development of free open source eprint software is

Barbara Kirsop
Electronic Publishing Trust for Development

>From Professor Janet Hussein, University of Harare, Zimbabwe, Past
President Zimbabwe scientific Association:

>'From my experience both as an editor and a researcher, developing
country scientists require access to material from both the developed
world and the developing world. Access to material
from developing countries is especially important with regard to any
research dealing with the effect of specific socio-economic conditions
on health, agriculture, environment, development, education etc.
Research published in developed countries is often of the fundamental
rather than applied type and it is often the locally reported work that
covers much of the relevance of new research in different disciplines to
developing country scholars. This 'applied' research is more likely to
directly benefit the developing country communities.

In an effort to obtain a view of what scientists in Zimbabwe read, I did
a quick survey of cited references in some recent journals published by
the Zimbabwe Scientific Association. The references are a mixture of
local, regional and international journals, with the international
journals dominating. However, a closer look at the international
journal cites reveals that a number of these are written by developing
country authors. These authors currently prefer to publish overseas in
order to gain recognition from peers, to aid their promotion prospects,
secure funding etc. However, in the long term, I think we would rather
be producers than consumers of knowledge. Improving the quality of our
local reporting/publications and improving access to this information
will hopefully lead to developing country researchers posting their
'best' work on local sites rather than our having to 'reimport' the
work back home again.'

>From Professor Arunachalam, Swaminathan Foundation, Chennai, India

'All information is important. Therefore North to South flow, South to
North flow and South to South flow all are equally important. Equally
important is the availabilty of the technology at the individual
scientist's desk (such as a good internet connection).'


'The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has started an
institutional archives. For more information, please contact
<>. [IISc also has started a programme called
SciGate to assist the faculty and students of the institute.]
Developing countries need such archives as by and large papers published
by DC scientists do not get noticed.'

> From Daisy Ouya, Editor Insect Science and its Application
(, Kenya:

'I couldn't agree more that DC researchers need access to S literature,
as well as N literature, each for specific purposes. I also feel that
global distribution of one's research is important to N and S
researchers equally.'
Received on Sat Aug 10 2002 - 16:18:22 BST

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