Press Releases

Cooperation and education as source of resources

The presentations of the first panel of the ICSEP had shown that the cooperation between countries, joint ventures with private companies and the focus in education could be efficient solutions to extend the investments in the scientific publications

Valparaiso Oct 1- The day in ICSEP started with the presentation of Sir Roger Elliot (, chairman of the ICSU Press. He remembered that 30 years ago, the printed scientific publication started a collapse process, therefore the volume of information to be published grew enormously, surpassing the capacity of existing periodicals. At the same time, the capital in hand to invest in new periodics suffered gradual reductions. "The electronic publications saved us", affirms Sir Elliot.
The question that he made today to the participants of the event was: how to make possible all the advantages of electronic scientific publication to the developing countries? How they can contribute in more effective basis to international scientific community?
In contrast to presenting ready answers, chairman of the ICSU Press preferred to describe the main challenges that currently exists in developed countries and that, according to him, are immensely extended when placed in the economic, politics and social panorama in developing countries.

Infrastructure: Scientific electronic publications and the Internet depend on the telephony system, net communication, available equipment and softwares in each region. The cooperation between companies and entities of distinct sectors can be the handspike for the joint growth.

Supportability: it is clear that scientific electronic publications present less cost of production that the print vehicles. This, according to Sir. Elliot, is a strong argument to stimulate the scientific expenditure of periodicals and magazines in the Internet. The support of international organisms of research can also be extended for the sustenance of science in the Web.

Copyrights: it is necessary to scientific author be aware that the copyrights of a work belong to himself in a first place. It always has been a reliable circle in the scientific community regarding to use of article copies. The same politics must remain in the electronic field, controlled for the scientific community itself.



To answer Sir Elliot's presentation, four speakers explained the solutions found for the challenges that happen in each region.

Ana Maria Cetto (, teacher of the Institute of Physics of the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, initiated clarifying that Latin America possesses many contrasts. Some countries develop more quickly than others do and there are localities without Internet access. Obviously, the impact of e-publications was important. In the vision of librarians, the electronic process brought new challenges and an infinite horizon of action possibilities. For the publishers of scientific magazines it is the same. They need to deal now with the volatileness of the Web. What it is standard today may not be tomorrow. It is necessary to follow the flow of the new features that Internet offers and, at the same time, standardize methodologies (for virtual libraries, for example), with simple and attractive interfaces.
Based in the Latindex, Ana Maria pointed out that some electronic scientific magazines in Latin America are very uneven and unstable.
Still using Latindex, she presented numbers with the total of scientific electronic magazines with complete text available in Latin America, Spain and Portugal (727). The subject with more results is medicine and public health (266). The first place in ranking of free texts is Spain (194), followed by Brazil (172), Mexico (132), Chile (43), Colombia (43), Cuba (41), Argentina (29), Venezuela (16), Peru (11) and Coast Rica(8), among others countries with less results.

Subbiah Arunachalam (, distinguished fellow, of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation clearly that it is not possible to considers all the Eastern Asia countries as one, therefore the investments in technology and scientific electronic publication development is well distinct. He presented numbers that show a falling down in scientific Indian production, which reflected immediately in the existing publication number. As per the contribution of the authors in developed countries, the South Asia has a weak one. This affects directly the publication number. China is an exception and has been a model of development in the area. "With focus it can happen", concluded Arunachalam. World Wide Web has a great interest in organizing free accesses to the scientific magazines. Arunachalam affirmed that the Asian countries must take the front of this movement. The first step is to foment the conscience of the scientists, librarians and decision makers about the communication necessity.

After that, Vitaly Nechtailenko (, head of the Electronic Publication Department of the Geophysicist Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, described that just before its economic and politics fall, the Soviet Union had given the first steps in direction to the development of a similar Internet communication. "The level of our scientists and educators was one of the highest in the world. The universities had a network between national academies of science and research institutes. The libraries were connected with a very efficient system of exchange information. It all generated an important indexation and references program. And the resources for the sustenance of these programs were all governmental ones ", said Nechtailenko. It is clearly that the government also made all the control of the system.
The Russian crisis led to the drastic reduction of the governmental subsidy. Searching its reorganization, the region involved occidental organizations to interchange information. The first project based on the Internet had the cooperation of agencies as NASA, UNESCO and British Council.
Currently, the scientific panorama in Russia and the countries of the Eastern Europe are formed by three categories:

Publishers - commercial (the ones that more publish scientific works. Formed by joint ventures between North American companies and Russian research institutes); and publishers from independent societies (they own about 94 periodicals in English and 100 in Russian).

Libraries - the best category in terms of cooperation. The majority offers free access to the texts. Some are associated with scientific Non-governmental organizations and societies. The electronic libraries are in full functioning and one of them - the VINITI ( - totalizes approximately15 million available articles.

Media - the countries of the Eastern Europe count on great groups of communication that work with scientific dissemination. The Russian Backbone Network (RBnet - was created to take the Russian production to the centers of occidental scientific communities.
For the next years, the region intends to continue investing in programs as the InternetII (to support traditional web as a metanetwork for general use), and the development technician for a new generation of net users, with high productivity and orientation of non-commercial use.
They also had an integration program of the Russian Academy systems and one presidential program to elaborate a net communication and activities to optimize average education.

Finishing the panel, Edward Fox (, director of the Virginia Tech, InterNet Technology Innovation Center of the United States, presented what he considers as ways and solutions for the challenges of the electronic publication in the developing countries.
In past there are an extremely complicate way the author and the reader of the scientific research. This communication has now a common point (the article). Therefore, the user of the scientific information receives today support of all the dissemination instances: publishers, copyholders, research institutes, etc. This format can originate different plans of financial subsidy for electronic publications.
With the gradual change of mind, people will start to produce science directly to the electronic format. With it, each researcher can be an effective source of information of electronic publications. As to the scientific authors, the diffusion of their work is important, a partnership with scientific magazines can be another interesting solution to reduce the production costs. University students and of after-graduation students in the United States already participate of this process. Its theses are published almost immediately after its board approve (
"The secret is to share and to accept the sharing of small things", affirms Fox. Still according to Fox, another excellent aspect is the virtual libraries to education. A successful example is the Journal of Educational Resources in Computing Science Teaching Center (
Priority to the US government, the National Digital Science Library (NSDLl- is a scientific data dissemination project so far evaluated in USS 100 million. With complex systems of integration between university, collections, researchers, committees of science, services to the user, the site will allow total access to the majority of the published data. "We hope to keep a high level of quality production in NSDL. This will certainly attract investors to keep it active", it concluded Fox.


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