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Electronic Library and Information Resources Introduction and overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Electronic Library and Information Resources Introduction and overview."— Presentation transcript:

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. 1.Electronic journals 2.Scholarly databases 3.Information gateways 4.The Internet Also e-books, reports, magazines, grey literature

4 1. Electronic journals Full-textwhole journal available –Electronic version of print –Electronic only –Examples at Partial full-textselected articles only Table of contents or abstracts only –Examples at



7 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

8 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


10 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

11 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!)


13 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

14 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. – –


16 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

17 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

18 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

19 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

20 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

21 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

22 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

23 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

24 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

25 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

26 Open access examples PubMed Central – hard sciences – BioMed Central – medicine – DOAJ – all subjects – Bioline – research from developing countries –



29 Summary Range of electronic resources is huge + g rowing 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

30 Thank you Any questions?

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