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 (firstname.lastname@example.org),
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
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 (email@example.com), 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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
After that, Vitaly Nechtailenko (email@example.com),
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 (www.viniti.ru)
- 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 - www.ripn.net:8082/rbnet/)
was created to take the Russian production to the centers of occidental
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org),
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
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 (www.theses.org/openarchieves.org).
"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
Priority to the US government, the National Digital Science Library
(NSDLl- www.nsdl.org) 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.