FAO closes information gap with free journals

03-10-2006 | |

More than 100 of the world’s poorest countries will now be able to access leading food and agriculture journals for little or no cost with the launch of the second phase of the Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) initiative, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

AGORA is a public-private partnership between the FAO, 37 of the world’s leading science publishers and other key partners including the World Health Organisation and Cornell University. Introduced in 2003 and providing access to 69 low-income countries, AGORA now expands to include universities, colleges, research institutes and government ministries as well as non-governmental organisations in an additional 37 lower-middle-income countries.
AGORA responds to the needs of thousands of students, researchers and academics in poorer countries, who continue to face challenges accessing up-to-date information which is vital to their work.
“We have seen from the first phase of this initiative that there is increasing demand for access to vital information by poorer countries. In less than three years, AGORA has already helped bridge the knowledge gap by providing 850 institutions access to more than 900 journals in the areas of agriculture and related subjects,” notes Anton Mangstl, Director of FAO’s Library and Documentation Systems Division.
Under the second phase of AGORA now launched, 37 countries with a per capita GNP of between US$1000 and US$3000 will be eligible. Institutions wishing to register will have a three-month free trial period before they are asked to pay an annual subscription of US$1000. The FAO will invest all subscription income into local training initiatives to help increase awareness and usage of AGORA amongst librarians and scientists.