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Friday, November 16, 2007

Free online access to books and journals for Pakistanis

HEC provides online access to 40,000 text books, [Pakistan] Daily Times, November 17, 2007.  Excerpt:

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has provided students and faculty members of universities across the country with online access to over 40,000 text books and research journals.

Under Digital Library Programme of HEC, an open-access online portal has been established through which all journals published in Pakistan have been made available for worldwide electronic access.

The portal allows international exposure of research conducted within Pakistan, and assists in the international peer-review process of indigenous publications.

In 2006, the HEC had commissioned a case study of its Digital Library by International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) that covered the content, training, marketing, finance, monitoring and evaluation and impact of the digital library....

Over 220 leading international publishers have been identified for the access, including Oxford University Press, Taylor and Francis, Blackwell Synergy, BMJ Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press, Emerald, John Wiley and Sins, McGraw Hill Book Companies, MIT Press, Springer Publishing Company, Stanford University Press, Sybex Inc, and United Nations University Press....

Pakistan has become one of the first few countries in the world in which the entire student community is being given free access to a large knowledge source....

Comment.  It looks like the government is providing subsidized priced access to the non-Pakistani journals, rather than open access.  But I can't tell about the Pakistani journals.  Also see the May 2007 announcement of the OA portal for Pakistani journals, and the National Digital Library itself.