Virtual library boosts open access to aquaculture and fisheries publications


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Reading publications on aquaculture and fisheries technology may not be a problem, even during the pandemic. If people have internet access, they can always find their next read on the topic, as a digital library has published thousands of publications on the topic for readers around the world.

The Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (Seafdec / AQD), an international research center located in the city of Tigbauan in the province of Iloilo, gave public access unlimited to more than 1,800 publications, including full-text digitized books, popularization manuals, conference proceedings, annual reports and other papers written by the organization’s scientists and researchers, Seafdec / AQD said in a report. Press release.

Stephen Alayon, head of the library and databank services section that painstakingly digitized and indexed the publications, said this was part of the institution’s initiative to make quality scientific information readily available.

“We believe that information generated by publicly funded research should return to the public, and the public’s right to such information should be respected,” Alayon said in an interview.

The publications are available online via the institutional Seafdec / AQD (SAIR) repository, accessible at the address https://repository.seafdec.org.ph.

Prior to this initiative, users must submit a request for access to a title in the library’s collection, but with SAIR’s open access model, they can immediately download a PDF copy of the digitized publication they wish to read. . In fact, a user can already unknowingly access PDF files through search engine results.

Open Access is an international movement to make publications and other data free from financial, legal or technical barriers to public access.

From the inception of SAIR in 2011 until May 2021, hosted documents have already been downloaded 4.2 million times by users around the world.

Haven of knowledge during the pandemic

The need for freely accessible digital publications has been highlighted by the shift to e-learning and alternative working arrangements brought about by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“Searches of the site in 2020 jumped 147% to 224,524 from 91,057 in 2019, while unique visitors jumped 903% to 773,777 from just 77,147,” said Dr Edgar Amar, manager. of the Training and Information division of Seafdec / AQD.

He added that students and academy members make up a large part of SAIR’s user base, as well as researchers, fish farmers, and public and private sector employees.

“We have made our aquaculture manuals even more available during this pandemic to help fishing schools and to give our fish farmers the scientific procedures detailed by our scientists and researchers in these books,” said Dan Baliao, head of Seafdec. / AQD.

Baliao said that because the face-to-face training sessions and farm visits were very limited, making the publications available on the internet was “the least Seafdec / AQD could do.”

Seafdec / AQD and its member countries devote substantial effort, time and funds to the production of these manuals and books which are painstakingly written by our scientists and researchers.

“It makes sense that we maximize their use by ensuring that they reach as many extension workers and farmers as possible,” said Rex Delsar Dianala, Head of Communication for Development at Seafdec / AQD.

“What we really want is for as many people as possible to benefit from our research here at Seafdec / AQD. If the whole world has unhindered access to our research-based books and manuals, we will have done most of our part, ”Dianala said.

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