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

From: <>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 15:32:45 +0000

At 02:58 25/11/02 +0000, Subbiah Arunachalam a ecrit:
>Thanks very much Peter, Stevan, Johnson and others who have given your
>valuable comments. Let me pose my question in another form:
>The new information and communication technologies have tremendous
>potential to facilitate communication flow among scientists (researchers)
>and between scientists and their 'clients' (in the case of agricultural
>research, the clients are the farmers and policymakers).

I am librarian in a french agronomic research institute (INRA) that
employs 4000 researchers. I share totally your ideas concerning the need
to act quickly to give free access to the literature in agriculture. As
you say, it could help to decrease poverty and hunger in the world.

>At present,
>physicists (especially high energy physicists and astronomers) and
>computer scientists are taking considerable advantage of ICTs.
>Agricultural scientists are among the poorest users of ICTs.

How can you tell that is so? What is your source? When you speak of
agriculture research you speak of biological research, do you not?

Have you heard of the free database Pubmed? And the free access
periodicals of BioMed Central?

>How can
>we reach the benefits of ICTs to agricultural researchers? How can
>we make the transition from a 'poor use today' to a ' much better use
>tomorrow'? If I am able to find the funds, how can I go about actually
>making the transition to the better tomorrow? It is one thing to say
>that different subjects/ fields have different cultures, but another
>to do something about it.
>I am interested in changing the culture in
>agriculture. In my opinion, agriculture is a key area today. There is so
>much needless poverty and hunger in the world. Most developing countries
>depend on agriculture for their survival. We need to act quickly in
>that area.

Be assured that we are not so late in Agriculture and that we are not far
from providing Free Access to scientific communication.

Just two examples of what is happening in our Institute.

1) We provide free electronic access to a good quality periodical
(indexed in ISI's Current Contents) : Productions Animales

2) An OAi archive will soon be declared under the name PhysiologieAnimale
This archive currently conains only 8 recent publications (with retained
copyright) by some researchers in my lab. My aim is to provide the example
for all the 257 other INRA labs and to help them to start open access
archiving, in their turn.

You can easily imagine that an Archive could be rapidly filled by the other
5000 annual INRA publications of all our researchers. And also with the
80 000 past publications (since 1946).

We just need some more time to get up to speed, but the idea and the
will are there (at least in my institute!)

Best wishes

Helene Bosc
Unite Physiologie de la Reproduction
et des Comportements
UMR 6073 INRA-CNRS-Universit=E9 de Tours
37380 Nouzilly
TEL : 02 47 42 78 00
FAX : 02 47 42 77 43
Received on Tue Nov 26 2002 - 15:32:45 GMT

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