African Journals OnLine
INASP is a cooperative network of partners that was established in 1992. Its mission is to enhance the flow of scientific and scholarly information within and between countries, especially those with less developed systems of publication and dissemination. 'INASP Health Links' is seen to be a short-term contribution to help address the increasing demand in developing and transitional countries for easy access to relevant, reliable health information on the Internet.
INASP - International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. INASP-Health is a cooperative network for organizations concerned with improving access to reliable information for health professionals in resource-poor countries.
The African information and research community is set to receive a major boost as the National Inquiry Services Centre (NISC) South Africa takes over management of African Journals OnLine (AJOL).
A group of African medical editors has set up a forum to support and strengthen medical journals in Africa. The forum, known as FAME [Forum for African Medical Editors], will be chaired by Dr James Tumwine of Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, who is editor of the journal African Health Sciences. FAME was set up last week at a meeting in Geneva convened by the World Health Organization to discuss how information published in African journals can be disseminated more widely. Currently, most of the medical literature published in Africa is not widely visible. Difficulties in journal production, coupled with huge distribution problems, mean that dissemination within individual countries is poor and across the continent as a whole is even worse. In addition, the African Index Medicus, an online resource for African health research, has all but collapsed. Globally, access to African journals is limited by the fact that few are indexed in Medline, although access is possible to some via African Journals On Line
and on CD Roms via ExtraMED.
A recent questionnaire study of 109 African journals by Edith Certain, of the WHO 92s research and training in tropical disease programme, found that 29 of the 66 journals that responded have a website.
A key aim of the new forum will be to link up editors across Africa and define their needs for support and training in all aspects of medical publishing.
Several international organisations are poised to offer help. Pledges of support for the forum were made at the meeting by the WHO, the World Association of Medical Editors, the Council of Science Editors, the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, the Fogarty International Centre, Latin-American medical journals online, BiomedCentral, JAMA, and the BMJ.
Further information is available by emailing Edith Certain , information officer at the WHO's special programme for research and training in tropical diseases.(Source: Tessa Richards, BMJ 2002;325:922, 26 October 2002)
The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) recently announced the launch of African Journals Online AJOL 2000.