CTA's Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service
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CTA. 1994. CTA's Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service . Spore 49. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49305
CTA's Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) serviceOne of the major constraints to agricultural research in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, is access to current and relevant information in the form of primary documents,...
One of the major constraints to agricultural research in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, is access to current and relevant information in the form of primary documents, secondary services, machine-readable databases, etc. Progress is hindered or prevented by a variety of factors such as shortage of foreign exchange to purchase primary literature or photocopies, poor communication and resource sharing within national agricultural research systems, lack of awareness of existing information resources and scarcity of qualified information specialists to use information services and resources adequately, and the general low priority given to information-related activities in research budgets. To keep researchers updated on the literature available in their field of research, the target of any information service should be for each researcher or team of researchers to receive current awareness bibliographies with abstracts on a regular basis and, if they do not already have this, a retrospective bibliography in their field of research. The challenge is to make the distribution of this information as effective and efficient as possible. In recognition of the problems and requirements described, CTA launched an SDI pilot project in 1988 together with the Centre de Coop\E9ration Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le D\E9veloppement (CIRAD) in ACP countries in Africa. In 1991 it was extended to all 69 ACP countries with the additional support of CAB International (CABI). This service took off slowly because of difficulties in obtaining specific information about the latest research activities at the national level, the researchers in charge, and existing information resources. The objective of the SDI programme is to allow a researcher to keep abreast with the latest scientific and technical information relevant to his or her field of research by regularly providing information of specific interest. Each potential beneficiary fills in specially designed forms outlining his or her own research programme, a list of 'KEYWORDS' to describe the subject of interest and the subscriber's address. The service aims at providing a minimum of four personal (individual) profiles per country. In addition, ACP countries are divided into six regions and each region is targeted to receive a minimum of 100 profiles on at least 10 subjects of broad interest. As it is beyond the resources of most researchers in the ACP countries to purchase all the documents they identify, the service allows each beneficiary to receive a limited number of selected publications from the bibliographies. This acts as a starting point from which the researchers can trace the latest scientific and technical publications relevant to their work. To ensure the success of the service in terms of timeliness, appropriateness and usefulness, it is monitored continuously by means of quick-response reply cards supplied to the beneficiaries. This allows adjustment and improvement of the project in order to prepare the general evaluation which will be done in 1994. The day-to-day management of the SDI services is handled by the Centre International de Documentation en Agronomie des R\E9gions Chaudes (CIRARC/CIRAD) and CAB International (CABI). CIRAD covers countries in Eastern, Central and West Africa and CABI covers Southern Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific countries. Enquiries are welcome and should be addressed to the Director, CTA.