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Electronic Library and Information Resources

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  1. Electronic Library and Information Resources Introduction and overview

  2. Objectives Participants will be able to: • Describe the different types of e-resource • Contrast their features and functionality • Describe the different access routes for electronic resources • Identify some of the access options available within developing countries • Access scholarly electronic resources

  3. What is an ‘electronic library resource’? Any library or information resource that can be accessed via computer, e.g. • Electronic journals • Scholarly databases • Information gateways • The Internet Also e-books, reports, magazines, grey literature

  4. 1. Electronic journals • Full-text—whole journal available • Electronic version of print • Electronic only • Examples at www3.oup.co.uk/jnls/ • Partial full-text—selected articles only • Table of contents or abstracts only • Examples at www.ajol.info

  5. Why use e-journals? • Up-to-date • Convenient: information at your desktop • Value-added features: search facilities, links to other databases, supplementary information, graphics, etc • Access to a wider range of material than might be available through your local library

  6. 2. Scholarly databases • Bibliographic: references to published material • Numeric: e.g. statistical tables • Full text: complete publications • Audio: collections of music • Image: e.g. collections of slides • Multimedia: audio-visual, animation etc • Examples:EBSCO Host • licensed, range of electronic information resources, huge volume of information

  7. Why use scholarly databases? • Provide information for a specific project or topic • Provide an overview of research activity in a given area • Up-to-date information on a specific subject area through regular scanning • Allow searching over large bodies of data and academic type information

  8. 3. Information Gateways • Subject Based Information Gateways (SBIGs): • web sites that act as a gateway to other sites and information resources. • Rely on human creation of meta data • Subject experts select, evaluate, describe, classify • Smaller, subject-focused databases • Lower recall, higher precision • E.g. PINAKES (information gateway gateway!)

  9. Why use information gateways? • High quality information – selected by human subject experts • Classification and description of resources • Subject-specific focus • Good starting places that lead to other quality resources

  10. 4. The Internet • Huge information resource • 3-6 billion pages of information • Continually growing and changing • No national, political, scientific barriers • Efficient search tools allow relatively easy navigation, e.g. • www.google.com • www.alltheweb.com

  11. Electronic resources: strengths • Huge range of information available • >3 billion web pages • >20,000 journals • Timely, up-to-date information sources • ‘Value added’ functionality (e.g. searching) • Additional skills development – ICT skills • Large volume of quality, free information

  12. Electronic resources: weaknesses • Technical barriers to use • need computers, network connection, software, etc • Infrastructural problems • bandwidth and telecommunications issues • unreliable electricity supplies, etc • Skills and training requirements • Costs can be high: technology and content • Variable quality of information

  13. How can we access resources? • Most academic e-resources are fee-based • often very high costs (although variable) • subscriptions to individual/group/organisation/ nation/region • pay-per-view models • Growing movement of “open access” • Authentication via username/password or IP address

  14. Preferential licensing agreements • Publishers and development organisations working together to enable access to information to aid development • restricted to specific organisations in low income countries • Range of initiatives, focusing on different users, subjects, geographical areas, etc. • HINARI, PERI, TEEAL, eIFL, AGORA, etc. • Free at point of use

  15. HINARI • Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative • Led by the World Health Organisation • Over 2000 STM journals from major publishers • 100+ eligible countries • Institutional level licensing • Free or heavily discounted access • www.healthinternetwork.org/

  16. PERI • Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information • Led by INASP • Over 17,000 full-text journals in all disciplines from major publishers (countries select resources) • 100+ eligible countries • National level licenses • Subsidised and/or heavily discounted • www.inasp.info/peri/

  17. TEEAL • The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library • Led by Cornell University • Over 140 journals in the field of agro-sciences • CD-Roms • 100+ eligible countries • Institutional level licenses • Heavily discounted access • http://teeal.cornell.edu/

  18. eIFL • Electronic Information for Libraries • Led by Open Society Institute/Soros foundations network • Negotiates affordable subscriptions on a multi-country consortial basis • 43 participating countries • national level licenses • www.eifl.net/

  19. AGORA • Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture • Led by UN Food and Agriculture Organisation • Over 700 journals in food, agriculture, environmental sci, related social sciences • Around 70 eligible countries • Institutional level licenses • Free or heavily discounted access • http://www.aginternetwork.org/en/

  20. Open access initiatives • Significant movement in academic community that information should be “free” to all • Access problems and costs are universal • Author pays versus user pays • Open archiving, pre-prints, open access, self archiving, institutional archives or subject specific archives • Tends to be techno-centric at present

  21. Open access examples • PubMed Central – hard sciences • www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ • BioMed Central – medicine • www.biomedcentral.com/ • DOAJ – all subjects • www.doaj.org/ • Bioline – research from developing countries • http://www.bioline.org.br/

  22. Summary • Range of electronic resources is huge + growing • The type, quality and usefulness varies enormously • The strengths/weaknesses and support needs must be considered for sustainable use • Free and fee resources • Many useful programmes and partners that can help with access to resources • (see list in handouts + INASP directory) • Interesting developments in “Open access”

  23. Thank youAny questions?