Elsevier and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam announced on 26th of August the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries (for example Benin, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Togo etc.) with access to ScienceDirect and Scopus, Elsevier's online scientific research platform and flagship abstract and citation database. Active in fields such as tropical medicine and sustainable development, the scientists are able to apply the information available in ScienceDirect and Scopus to the treatment and prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; promoting rural development with improved water, sanitation and food security in addition to other areas relevant to the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Elsevier and KIT's department Information & Library Service (KIT ILS) in Amsterdam are collaborating on this unique public-private partnership to drive capacity building in information technology and management in the developing world. The new agreement will expand access for five years while sharing best practice in research and training.
As an integral part of this initiative, KIT ILS facilitates a closed Virtual Knowledge Community on information management to share best research practices and identify issues of common interest. First piloted in 2007, this joint Elsevier - KIT initiative provides the Virtual Knowledge Community members in African, Caribbean, Asian and Pacific countries with access to ScienceDirect's 10 million full-text articles and Scopus' abstract and citation database containing 18,000 peer-reviewed journals from 5,000 publishers.
'Elsevier and KIT have a long and productive relationship. The continuation of this initiative provides our partners in the South with access to a wealth of information that is directly relevant to their research. The association of the program with the Elsevier Foundation and Research4Life provides both recognition and sustainability. It is a privilege for KIT ILS to act as an intermediary in a co-operative effort that so closely matches our departmental and institutional goals,' said Hans van Hartevelt, Director of KIT Information & Library Services. Jan Donner, CEO of KIT agrees: 'This is a unique project which definitely matches our institutional goals. We are very proud that we can realize this together with Elsevier as an innovative co-partner.'
'We are very happy to support the critical work that the Royal Tropical Institute is doing to drive access, usage and authorship in key developing world institutes, bringing key researchers closer to their peers and individual research communities around the world,' said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation and Senior Vice President Global Communications, Elsevier. 'This carefully targeted initiative is part of our overall effort with Research4Life and the Elsevier Foundation, to provide clinicians, researchers and policymakers in the developing world with access to the information they need to address critical health and sustainability challenges.'
'Good news, extension of access to ScienceDirect and Scopus for five more years. I have been using ScienceDirect to obtain articles for our scientists and this is having a very positive impact on our research. For instance, our output of publications has continued to increase, thanks to access to many journal titles in ScienceDirect.' Thomas Adigun, Head Librarian, Africa Rice Center, Cotonou, Benin.
'ScienceDirect is our sole full-text, up-to-date scientific database to which we have access. Our researchers have greatly benefited from it and it has become an essential source of information for us.' Rose May Ng Kee Kwong, Librarian, MSIRI, Mauritius.
About the Royal Tropical Institute
The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) (www.kit.nl) in Amsterdam is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation contributing to sustainable development, poverty alleviation and cultural preservation and exchange. KIT operates internationally through development projects, scientific research and training, and also provides consultancy and information services. The Institute is a not-for-profit organization that works for both the public and the private sector in collaboration with partners in the Netherlands and abroad.
About KIT ILS
KIT ILS specializes in supplying information services to users in the Netherlands and works with partners in developing countries to build their capacity in the field of information and library services. The Library's collection is one of the largest in Europe in the field of rural development, health and culture in the tropics and sub-tropics (see: http://www.kit.nl/eCache/FAB/1/707.html for a complete list of KIT Library resources). The department provides access to information not only through its reading room and lending service, but also through a Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service for approx. 200 organizations in ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries, document delivery services, Internet specials on topical issues, information portals on themes such as rural innovation systems, laboratory quality strengthening and maternal health. KIT ILS has recently contracted with a major humanitarian organization for the provision of a tailor-made information service.
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet (www.thelancet.com) and Cell (www.cell.com), and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com), Scopus (www.scopus.com), Reaxys (www.reaxys.com), MD Consult (www.mdconsult.com) and Nursing Consult (www.nursingconsult.com), which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite (www.scival.com) and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (www.medai.com), which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.
A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier (www.elsevier.com) employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).
In addition to the Elsevier Foundation's Innovative Libraries program which provides over US$ 200,000 in annual grants supporting STM library capacity building projects, Elsevier is the founding partner and the leading contributor of STM content to Research4Life, a unique public-private partnership. Research4Life is the collective name for three unique public-private partnerships - HINARI, AGORA and OARE - which aim to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by providing the developing world with free or very low-cost access to critical scientific and social science research.