Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

OA to agricultural research in developing countries

Stephen Katz, FAO's role in facilitating access to the scientific and technical literature in Agriculture in developing countries, written for presentation at the Berlin 5 meeting, Open Access: From Practice to Impact: Consequences of Knowledge Dissemination (Padua, September 19-21, 2007).   Because Katz was unable to attend the meeting, this presentation was delivered by Stefka Kaloyanova of the FAO.

Abstract:   Research generated in developing and emerging countries is currently “missing” from the international knowledge bases because of financial consequences affecting its publication and distribution. Much of the scientific research output from Africa for example, is in form of grey literature and hardly accessible. FAO is the specialized United Nation agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and emphasizes on knowledge management for food and agriculture. FAO more than an extensive source of agricultural knowledge, also takes proactive initiatives that promote the management, access and exchange of agriculture knowledge and information to member countries and other institutions. The presentation outlines some major initiatives, namely the AGRIS network which promotes capacity building in information management as means of availing agricultural content from developing countries while AGORA promotes access to mainstream journals in agricultural sciences that ordinarily would not be available to scientist from these regions. It illustrates how Open Access (OA) and the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) models are being used within the AGRIS network as a means of solving the problems on the development and exchange of agricultural information. The presentation highlights FAO’s ability to tackle information availability and access problems for its member countries from different perspectives to achieve a common goal.