European Information Sources on Tropical Agriculture
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CTA. 1986. European Information Sources on Tropical Agriculture. Spore 6. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44539
A Directory of European Information Sources on Tropical Agriculture [directory]CTA
It is not unusual for a researcher to start work on a particular subject without knowing that similar research has already been done in a neighbouring country and that the results have been published several years ago. One also often discovers that extension workers who lack certain technical knowledge have little idea where they can get the information that they need. Such information is almost always available but the problem is knowing where to look CTA believes that one of its tasks is to enable its users to find the information that they need. It has thus decided to start publishing a series of directories the first of which is entitled: A Directory of European Information Sources on Tropical Agriculture . Plans already call for the second directory to deal with information sources available in ACP countries. From a list of 500 institutions CTA selected 161 libraries and documentation centres which are able to provide information in the field of tropical agriculture. Some of these organisations supply abstracts and bibliographies, while others furnish photocopies of information contained in their basic documentation. The directory covers a wide range of subjects. For each information source, details are given on the name (translated into English or French if necessary), mailing address, telephone and telex as well as the name and title of a contact person. The Directory is innovative in both its concept and content. Many directories fail to mention the percentage of documents by language, but this one does. Many directories neglect to state clearly if the libraries and documentation centres are open to the general public or able to provide special services. All of the entries for organisations mentioned in this Directory stipulate the kinds of services offered and whether or not any charges are made. An essential part of any good directory is its index. Without a good index, looking for a specific information source is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This Directory has four indexes: by country, by subject, by organisation and by acronym. The way that entries are organised together with the four indexes enable users to find answers to questions as different as: where can I obtain free services ? (such as photocopies or bibliographies), what organisations have data bases for a given subject ? (e.g. apiculture, agroforestry or cocoa cultivation), who do I contact to obtain information ? and who publishes a periodical on coffee ?, etc. One of the drawbacks of directories is that they are not very interesting to read. Only the people that use them appreciate their value. However, CTA hopes that these people will be numerous and that the richness of the agricultural information thus made accessible will be appreciated. The Directory will be distributed free-of-charge to all of the organisations registered with CTA as a library or a documentation centre. Other organisations that would like to obtain a copy should simply request one, specifying whether the English or French edition is required.