Tuesday, 21 April 2009

How important is internet visibility of African agricultural research outputs?

Interview with Harry Heemskerk, Head of Information Projects and Products at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

Agricultural research outputs need to be shared and made visible in order to increase the visibility of African agricultural research institutes, the visibility of individual researchers and the visibility of concepts and research outputs.
The digitalisation and digital repositories are important:

a) for the preservation of the content,
b) for the preservation of the URL-links to the publications,
c) to store publications in one place but with visibility in many other places.

Therefore open decentralised standards are needed like the Open Archives Initiatives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). In African research institutes this expertise in more and more available and some additional training is needed on copy right issues. Policy/Decision makers need to be involved to create awareness about open access.

The Royal Tropical Institute organised with the Association of African Universities (AAU) and with the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) a workshop in Accra in March 2009 about experiences with digital repositories for Chief librarians and for vice chancellors.
Harry Heemskerk answers the question on what convinces key decision makers and which resources are needed.


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